Essential oils, unlike food, do not deteriorate, although they do alter with time. The basic message is that you should not inhale or apply expired essential oils to your skin. However, this does not mean that the quality of the oil has been affected by extending its life beyond what's recommended by brand owners.
Expired oils may still be useful for scenting candles or other household items. They can also be reused as flavoring agents in recipes or blended with newer oils to make them more palatable or less harsh.
All things considered, it is not recommended but it is possible to use expired essential oils. The key is knowing how much safety depends on avoiding contamination from microbes such as bacteria or fungi. Bacteria and fungi can grow in oil, causing it to become contaminated. However, most essential oils are stabilized by chemicals which inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. These chemicals remain in the oil even after you have added it to water or another medium where they are no longer effective.
For example, grapefruit oil is stabilized by alcohol. This means that even if some bacteria or fungi were to get into the oil, there would be no way for them to grow because of the alcohol. Although alcohol inhibits mold, it does not prevent bacteria from forming mold.
Essential oils do have a shelf life, however it is not the same for all essential oils. However, essential oils degrade, oxidize, and lose their potency with time, and they should not be used on the skin after they have expired. Essential oils are extremely potent, and too much of them can be toxic if ingested. Do not ingest any product that has been in contact with skin or any article worn by someone else who has worn an infused product.
Old oil may smell like burnt sugar or popcorn if that's all that's left, which means that it has lost its fragrance value. While some people can still get a benefit from old oil, it isn't recommended to put it on your hair or use it as a perfume because then you're exposing yourself to unnecessary risks. If you want to use old oil, dilute it first before applying to skin or clothing because even though it may not be poisonous, it can still burn if it comes into contact with heat or fire.
Unless they include one of the unstable carrier oils discussed previously, most will endure at least two years before degrading. Some can even endure up to 15 years without losing their efficacy. To be safe, many experts recommend replenishing essential oils every three years. This can be done by purchasing more drops or by using them in higher concentrations.
Essential oil companies typically specify how long you can expect a bottle to last. If it says three years, then that's about all you need to know. However, if it's a concentration rather than an exact amount, such as 10% v/v, that means one bottle could last for several years depending on how much you use it. A little goes a long way when using essential oils.
There are various factors that can affect how long your oils will last including quality and brand, how much you use them, and whether they are diluted with alcohol or not. Oils that are distilled twice become less potent than those that are only distilled once. Essential oils are often blended by manufacturers according to demand for different effects. For example, if they think you might want a soothing effect but also want to get off of work, they may blend in some peppermint with the help of alcohol (usually vodka) to make the painkiller go further. These blends are usually labeled as having "extended duration" or "long-lasting".
Although expired dried spices are unlikely to make you sick, they will lose the majority of their scent and flavor over time. Therefore, they should be used before they expire. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg, it is best to avoid buying them in bulk because they can go bad more quickly than other spices.
Spices can make you sick if you eat them by themselves or in products that aren't cooked first. For example, if you have a cold virus and you eat some raw garlic then your throat will feel worse after eating garlic. Also, if you have asthma then it would be best not to eat spicy foods because they could make your symptoms worse.
Spices that you buy in stores are usually packed properly so they don't go bad soon after they're cut open. However, if you have a lot of old spices sitting around in your cupboard or drawer then it's possible that some might go bad. In this case, you should probably toss them out even if they are still usable. It's better to be safe than sorry!
Expired spices can lose their flavor and color slowly over time if they are not used soon after they are chopped, ground, or stored in airtight containers.