Plant oils are a concentrate of vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids. Even if these active ingredients have been carefully preserved during the oil extraction process, they oxidize in contact with heat, light and air. What is the shelf life of a plant oil? Focus.
What Is the Shelf Life of Plant Oils?
If you have ever used plant oils as part of your beauty routine, you have surely noticed that they change color and smell after a while. This is due to a natural phenomenon of oxidation, caused by various factors, such as light, oxygen, interactions with the container or heat. Contrary to essential oils which are rather stable and can be kept longer at room temperature, plant oils are less stable, age faster and need to be stored in optimal conditions. Consequently, the shelf life of a vegetable oil depends on its oxidative potential.
It is for these reasons that virgin oils from first cold pressing are kept in glass bottles, opaque and slightly tinted. Moreover, if you want to use your oils as long as possible, it is recommended to close them properly after each use and to always store them in a place protected from light, humidity and air. Oils that are sensitive to oxidation, such as hemp, hazelnut, argan or rose hip oil, should be stored in the refrigerator. If all these conditions are respected, a plant oil will be able to keep its virtues approximately 12 months, if the bottle was not yet opened. However, after opening, oxidation takes place and the so-called "sensitive" oils can be kept for about 6 to 12 months, while the so-called "stable" ones, such as jojoba or castor oil, can be kept for more than 12 months.