Skip to content

How Long Do Essential Oils Last?

How Long Do Essential Oils Last?

At The Natural Patch Co., we are all about doing things the natural way. This is why we have doubled down on essential oils and their vast health and cognitive benefits. 

Essential oils have been used for hundreds of years by indigenous communities worldwide to alleviate pain and soothe various ailments. No matter the time passed, the validity of these oils remained the same. 

If you’ve purchased oils recently and can’t wait to reap the benefits, you’re not alone. Maybe you bought oils a few years back, and you’re ready to get back into them again. 

But how long do these oils last? How long will each bottle last, and how long do the effects last on a day-to-day basis? That’s what we are here to explain today. 

Everything has a shelf life, and essential oils are no exception. We are going to review the lifetimes of these products and the best way to get the most out of them. 

Spoiler alert: it’s a lot easier than you think!

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are so common in our everyday lives that we may not stop to think about the technical composition of the pretty little glass vial on our bathroom countertop. Well, essential oils are the essence of plants, herbs, and certain fruits and vegetables. These extracts are either cold-pressed or chemically extracted from the base ingredient and combined with a carrier oil. 

Think of them in the same light as a vanilla or almond extract. You’re basically taking the essence out of spices, herbs, etc., to get the benefits of those items. 

How Do They Work?

Essential oils are a key part of aromatherapy. As the name suggests, the benefits of these oils are gained through inhalation. 

When inhaled, the oils stimulate areas of the brain known as the limbic system and encourage positive growth for specific functions. These functions can help alleviate symptoms associated with ailments such as stress, anxiety, memory loss, poor concentration, and others.

Aromatherapy is well-researched, but we need more scientific evidence on exactly how essential oils can positively affect us when absorbed through the skin.

What Are the Health Benefits of Essential Oils?

Health benefits really are vast when talking about essential oils. We really mean vast. 

Essential oils can be used to help with anxiety, memory, concentration, and focus. They can also help combat symptoms of allergies, insomnia, swelling, headaches, and nausea. Essential oils are generally safe for kids and adults. 

While we can’t deny the advancements of modern medicine, there are so many ways to utilize essential oils in conjunction with other remedies your doctor may have in place. The most important part about using essential oils correctly and effectively is understanding which oils are used for what purposes. 

Identifying which oils help treat anxiety versus those that repel mosquitoes is critical for the best use of your products. 

How Long Essential Oils Last

While essential oils can last a long time, they will eventually expire. As a rule of thumb, don’t keep essential oils in your natural toolbox for longer than three years. 

However, this date can change depending on the quality of oils you have invested in. It’s imperative to research the brands of essential oils on the market to ensure that you only buy the best. 

Why is it important to buy the highest quality? Some lower-end brands run the risk of having poor-quality or irritating additives. For those that rub oil into the skin, there is always the risk of adverse reaction. This includes rashes, hives, or irritation. Oils that have additives have an increased chance of reaction. 

It’s vital to understand how to properly dilute essential oils before use and review the side effects associated with the specific oil and brand name.

Is It Dangerous To Use Expired Essential Oils?

Even with the highest quality, you will want to make sure that you keep tabs on the dates that you bought your oils. As we have stated, throw out any oils older than three years max.

For one, the longer oils sit, the chemicals break down. When the chemicals break down, the strength and resiliency of the oils break down as well. This means that the effectiveness of each oil you use will greatly decrease. 

For another, oxidation occurs the longer oil is left on the shelf. Oxidation creates another chemical breakdown or effect in the oil that causes more severe reactions. Even in situations when you use a diffuser as opposed to placing them directly on your skin, oxidation can create a reaction in the air that leads to irritation in your lungs, eyes, nose, and throat. 

These chemical reactions can occur naturally, but they can also happen quicker with improper storage of your oils. This means light exposure, ambient temperature, and humidity need to all be kept in check to ensure that oils can last as long as possible. 

How To Make the Effects of Essential Oils Last Longer

Essential oils also have different lasting effects while in use.

When you use them directly on the skin or in baths, the oils are absorbed through the skin; the effects generally last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours at best. 

When inhaled via a diffuser or sprayed in the air, the effects of essential oils can last from two to four hours. 

Why We Use Patches

Two to four hours does seem like a lot of time, but we can do so much better! 

Our patches give you the perfect blend of essential oils for your specific needs, and they last up to eight hours each. We designed each of our patches for different uses, and each patch utilizes the best essential oils for that specific need. 

Take our ZenPatch, for example. These patches have the perfect blend of lavender, atlas cedarwood, mandarin, and sweet orange essential oils. Each of these oils is beloved for promoting positive moods and helping regulate emotions. 

The best part about these patches? They go on clothes, not on skin. Not only do they release essential oils a little at a time to give you the most out of the eight-hour lifespan of each patch, but you won’t even notice you’re wearing it. 

This is the most important for the tiny humans in the household. Kids don’t like lotions and oils rubbed into their skin. The texture bothers them, and it’s just as soon as we turn our backs that they’re wiping it away. 

With these patches, you’ll add a cute and silly sticker design to their clothing that they’ll have fun wearing and promote healthy habits all day. It’s a serious parent win if we’ve ever heard of one.

Most Popular Oils 

Regardless of specific needs, there are a few fundamental oils that most users like to keep handy at all times.

The top ten are:

  • Peppermint: great for nausea, improves mental clarity and promotes healthy digestion.
  • Pink grapefruit: boosts metabolism and curbs cravings, helps encourage healthy eating habits.
  • Frankincense: improves immune system/promotes immune strength, can help with acne, scarring, etc.
  • Lavender: alleviates symptoms of migraines and headaches, improves restless sleeping and helps treat insomnia, and has serious calming capabilities.
  • Lemon oil: promotes overall brain function and helps fight fatigue and symptoms of common colds.
  • Atlas cedarwood: promotes nervous system strength and circulation. Boosts concentration.
  • Eucalyptus: works as an antibacterial, cleans the air you breathe in, and promotes clear and clean breathing.
  • Bergamot: reduces inflammation, promotes a positive mood or attitude, and can help reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Citronella: reduces risks of bacteria, repels insects, and has calming effects on the body.
  • Sweet orange: calms the body, eases anxiety, promotes healthy digestion, and has anti-inflammatory benefits.

There are so many more; we could go on and on. In case you haven’t noticed yet, these are also some of our favorite oils to use. 

At the Natural Patch Co., we are minimalists for storage and maximalists for fun — that’s the very essence of our patches. We infuse the best benefits from essential oils in a cute sticker form; It’s so much easier than organizing clunky accessories and cabinets full of vials and bottles. 

Plus, the kids will have a lot more fun with our products than sticky or slimy oils, so you know the benefits of essential oils will last all day. 

The Bottom Line

Our main goal is to bring you the most information possible on any topic brought to the table. 

We are confident that our patches are the best product on the market to help you get the most out of these amazing oils. There’s no need to start your own apothecary, just grab a kid-friendly, adult-approved patch and let the fun begin!

Sources:

Essential Oil Mistakes | Health

How to Avoid the Dangers of Expired Oils | ACHS

Native Plant Oils | United States Department of Agriculture

Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy: A Systemic Review | ScienceDirect

Sleep & Emotional Wellness

Shop Our Sleep & Zen Patches

Shop Now