The world of essential oils is a crazy place rife with expert and not so expert opinions but in the case of good essential oil storage practices I defer to a chemist who offers practical information on the matter of temp, light, colored or clear.
#1 Essential Oil Storage Tip – Colored glass or clear glass? Essential oil chemist Dr. Robert Pappas, Ph.D. chemist has this to say about “colored or clear” and more…
- Clear glass is preferred to clearly see the color of the oil
- Most essential oils are photochemically inactive but do have some reactivity in the UV region of the electromagnetic spectrum
- UV light, with enough energy to cause a photochemical reaction is absorbed by normal glass, no matter what color the bottle is
- Exceptions are: essential oils with chamazulene (blue chamomile, blue tansy etc.) lower energy light and not just UV can significantly effect these blue oils
- As a general rule of thumb, intensely colored oils tell you there is significant activity in the visible region, normal light can effect the product since clear glass is transparent to all frequencies of the “visible” spectrum. Common sense take away: Do not store these oils in clear glass for long periods of time under heavy lighting conditions.
#2 Essential Oil Storage Tip – Temperature because the biggest threat to essential oils is thermal degradation.
- Be more concerned about refrigerating oils like citrus and chamazulene (blue) containing oils than the color of bottle, they are the most susceptible oils to thermal degradation.
- As a general rule of thumb, keep all essential oils below 75 degrees, cold storage for citrus and chamazulene containing oils to keep your collection viable and smelling fresh.
#3 Essential Oil Storage Tip – Reduce airspace, reduce oxidation – the 2nd biggest threat to essential oils.
- Keep bottle airspace to a minimum to reduce decomposition due to oxidation.
- As a general rule, once the bottle is half full, transfer the oil to a smaller bottle to significantly extend the useful life of the oil
- Oxidation can thicken an oil and/or drastically change aroma
In summary, if you just take extra measures to keep the airspace to a minimum and the temp at 75 or below (lower for citrus and chamazulene containing oils) you can keep the oils smelling nicer for longer periods as well as extend their effectiveness and these two things will contribute far more to the preserving of the oil than any colored bottle will do. Dr. Robert Pappas, Ph.D, chemist.
We’re always learning around here!
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