Caring for your essential oils will ensure you get the longest life and the best results from usage.
I have listed below some important tips to help you with looking after, storing and using your oils safely and effectively.
Because essential oils do not contain fatty acids they are not susceptible to rancidity like vegetable oils. So if stored and cared for correctly essential oils can last a long time.
The only exception to this rule are citrus essential oils. These are less stable and should be kept for no longer than a year after opening.
When not using your essential oils you should keep them in dark glass bottles that are tightly sealed. Care should be taken to keeping them away from heat and direct sunlight, as this will degenerate the oils.
If you are using the oils yourself, i.e. not under the guidance of a professional aromatherapist, it is a good idea to skin test oils before using them. To do this, dilute a small amount and apply to the skin on your inner arm. If redness, burning, itching or any irritation occurs then stop using the oil immediately.
For someone who tends to be highly allergic I suggest you follow a different procedure, as follows:
Remember though, always mix the essential oil with a carrier oil before applying to your skin.
As a general guideline, the dilution rate for essential oils is 2% to 3%. For example, if you use 2-3 drops of essential oil you should dilute it by adding about a teaspoon of carrier oil. This should be cut in half for children and the elderly.