When you first get into using essential oils, you are going to be a little concerned about whether or not they will go rancid. After all, you have spent money on these beautiful oils and you don’t want them to be damaged. Here are a few things you should know.
Getting started with essential oils
If you are looking to improve your overall health and wellness, consider using essential oils. They are potent plant extracts that can help you get a good night’s sleep, boost your mood, or relieve stress. However, before you buy, be sure to learn more about these little wonders.
Essential oils are made by steaming or pressing parts of plants to capture the essential oil and the compounds that produce the fragrance. Some of the most popular carrier oils include avocado, fractionated coconut, and jojoba.
It may seem counterintuitive, but heating an essential oil can reduce its therapeutic benefits. Heating also causes the chemical composition to change.
There are a number of ways to enhance the shelf life of your oils, and you should choose a container that will best protect its vitality. You should also avoid exposure to the elements, and store them in a cool, dark place.
Essential oils are highly concentrated, so be careful when handling them. This is especially true for young children.
It’s also a good idea to consult an aromatherapy expert before you start experimenting with essential oils. Their knowledge can help you select the right oils for your specific needs.
An essential oil’s longevity depends on the chemicals and distillation techniques used to produce it. Older oils may not work as well, or have the same effect, and can be a source of irritation if they are inhaled or applied to the skin.
The best way to use an essential oil is to carefully inhale it. For optimal results, you should hold the bottle at about eye level and inhale slowly.
Another interesting fact about essential oils is that they don’t necessarily go bad. In fact, you should store yours in a well-sealed container to minimize the chances of contamination.
Oxygen causes oxidation
Oxygen is the primary catalyst for oxidation. It works by reacting with the fatty acids in fats to form primary and secondary breakdown products. This causes a change in the chemical structure and viscosity of the oil. The rate of oxidation depends on the constituents of the oil, as well as the amount of air and heat in the environment.
Several studies have been conducted on the effects of oxidation on oils. In some cases, it has been reported that the use of oxidized oils can cause a variety of ailments, including sensitisation and inflammation. Others have suggested that oxidative products may promote cancer.
Essential oils, as well as vegetable and animal fats, undergo oxidation. Depending on the type of fat, the rate of oxidation can vary. Vegetable oils, for example, are typically much more oxidized than omega-3 oils.
A common method used to determine the oxidative quality of EPA/DHA-containing oils is to measure the peroxide value (PV). PV is a measurement of the percentage of peroxide present in the oil. As the oil oxidizes, the percentage of PV increases. However, the amount of PV will decrease over time, as the peroxides interact in further oxidative reactions.
In addition to the PV test, other tests are used to gauge the oxidative quality of EPA/DHA-rich oils. These include the measurement of conjugated dienes and oligomeric cross-reacted oxidized lipids.
Other forms of oxidation testing include the para-anisidine value and the TOTOX method. These are colorimetric methods. Para-anisidine measurements measure the presence of alkenal and 2,4-alkadienal groups.
UV light has also been shown to speed up the oxidation process. Citrus oils are especially prone to deterioration due to exposure to ultraviolet light.
UV light causes oxidation
If you use essential oils, you should know that they are vulnerable to UV light and can cause oxidation. This is because of the constituents in essential oils. There are numerous chemicals and compounds involved. Some of them are more volatile than others. The oxydryl group in particular can form free radicals.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to store your oils in dark-coloured bottles. Amber-coloured bottles are particularly effective because they can protect your oils from UV light. Another good option is to store your oils in a bottle with an airtight lid. You should also keep your caps tight as these can facilitate the oxidation process.
Aside from UV light, the effects of oxidation can be attributed to heat, air and various other environmental factors. The odour of an oil can change and it may even lose its brightness. Additionally, essential oils are susceptible to bacterial breakdown and decomposition.
Oxidation is a slow process. In fact, the oxidation process is the main culprit behind the degradation of essential oils. Although it is not as fast as some other processes, it is still significant.
In the context of essential oils, the oxidation process is a complex reaction that affects the quality of the product. Most importantly, it decreases the lignin content of the oil. Lignin is the major component of wood and is particularly sensitive to sunlight. Its presence increases the risk of skin rashes and other adverse reactions.
Other than the effects of oxidation, heat is another factor that can attack your oils. Heat increases the rate of oxidation and thus makes it more dangerous for your health. Moreover, it also increases the amount of free radicals that can be formed.
The proper dilution of essential oils is an important aspect of safe aromatherapy. It can save money and extend the use of essential oils. Some essential oils need special dilution requirements.
When using essential oils, it is recommended to mix them with carrier oil. This will help minimize oxidation and preserve the oils. A common carrier oil is sweet almond oil. But there are many other options.
Essential oils contain high concentrations of plant chemicals, primarily monoterpenoids, which are the main active ingredients. In fact, they are so concentrated that they can spoil quickly if they are left undiluted.
Diluting your essential oils will also keep them from causing skin irritation. If you’re not sure about how to dilute them, you can consult with a health professional or your doctor.
The amount of dilution you need will depend on the oil, the container you use, and your body’s sensitivity. For example, facial cosmetics and massages require a dilution ratio of 0.2 to 1.5%.
Essential oils are best stored in glass bottles with airtight lids. They can be refrigerated, but you should remove them from the fridge at least twelve hours before you use them. You should also store them in a dark, cool, dry place.
You should also check your oils for free radicals. These are a form of damage that can lead to diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Free radicals are created by oxygen, which changes the chemical composition of oils.
Using a carrier oil to dilute your essential oils will not only keep them from evaporating but will also prevent their scent from being spoiled. Other effective dilution agents include soaps, body butters, and creams.
Essential oils are a costly investment. They may be safe to use when new, but they’ll eventually start to decay. That’s why it’s important to know when they’re going to expire.
Oxidation is a natural process that happens when essential oils come in contact with oxygen. It degrades their therapeutic properties. This can result in skin irritation or sensitization. If you aren’t sure if an essential oil is oxidized, you can check the label.
Some essential oils are more prone to oxidation than others. This is due to their chemical composition. For instance, citrus oils are more susceptible to oxidation than tea tree.
Once an essential oil is oxidized, it loses its potency and aroma. Because of this, it isn’t always recommended to apply the substance to your skin. The color and viscosity of the oil may also change.
However, there are some ways to extend the shelf life of your essential oils. First, store your essential oils in a cool, dark, and airtight container. You can use a small bottle if you want to keep the amount of oxygen in your bottle at a minimum.
Store your oils in a refrigerator or a cupboard that is not exposed to direct sunlight. Sunlight speeds up the oxidation process.
Another way to prolong the life of your essential oils is to buy less of them. You can also reuse containers. But remember, that any containers you use should be made of metal or food-grade aluminum.
To help you keep your essential oils fresh, you can store them in an airtight, food-grade aluminum or glass bottle. Be sure to check the expiration date on the bottle before opening.