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What to look for when choosing essential oils

The shelf life of essential oils, carrier oils and massage oils varies greatly, and their life expectancy can be influenced by many different external factors such as:

  • incorrect light exposure

  • heat exposure

  • air exposure

  • extended storage periods

When oils start the degradation process, hydrolysis (process of breaking the bonds) occurs as well as oxidation.

Unfortunately, due the widespread popularity of essential oils, there is an increased practice of adulteration, which takes on several forms:

  • A very small quantity can be diluted into a spirit base.

  • Synthetic aromatic substances can be added, which results in fabricated oils.

  • A quantity of the main chemical constituent may be added to the essential oils to

‘stretch’ it.

  • An essential oil from cheaper plant may be added, e.g., lemon to bergamot, or citronella to Melissa.

  • A substitute oil is used.

  • Some of the chemical constituents may be removed, these oils are known as fractioned oils.

Factors to consider when purchasing essential oils

It is very important to buy essential oils from a reputable supplier.

The following factors should be considered when purchasing your oils:

  • Quality

  • Purity

  • Price

  • Odour

  • Best before date

  • Origin

  • Botanical name of plant

  • Safety

Here are some suggestions on where to purchase your essential oils online:

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