6 tips on how to extend the shelf life of carrier oils

I don’t buy that many carrier oils these days because I noticed they oxidize and turn rancid very quickly. Like I had to throw out half a bottle of sweet almond oil recently, even though I recalled purchasing it not too long ago. But the funny thing is that I noticed that the same oil in which I had mixed with some drops of astaxanthin still smell okay. It then occurred to me that the best way to extend the shelf life of a carrier oil is by adding an antioxidant.

1. Adding an antioxidant
While the astaxanthin I’ve used is helping to preserve the sweet almond oil, but it causes the oil to turn orangey so it’s not the most ideal antioxidant for most people. A better and more common antioxidant to add in a carrier oil is a vitamin E oil.

2. Store in a cool, dark location
Oils should be stored away from direct sunlight as the UV rays can damage the oils. The best place to store the oils are in a cool, dark place.

3. Use amber or dark glass bottle
For the same reason as keeping away from the sun, carrier oils do better when they’re stored in an amber or other dark glass bottles.

4. Use a smaller bottle
Interestingly, I also found out that a smaller bottle can help to extend the shelf life because oxygen that lives in a partially full bottle will react with the oil, causing it to turn rancid quickly.

5. Tighten the bottle cap
For the same reason, bottle caps must be tightened for oxygen is an enemy to oils.

6. Keeping in the fridge
Putting the oils in the fridge can definitely help to extend the shelf life. Personally, I’ve only tried to refrigerate Emu Oil.

If you have any more tips to share, please add in the comment box.


  1. xin says:

    I do pop Vit E to the oils the concoctions I made. I usually only make 50ml at one go to make sure that it won’t turn rancid so soon
    xin last post is: Sun, Sea, Food & Massages: Come Tour Phuket with Me!

  2. Lanie says:

    what a coincidence.. last night I made oregano herb oil infusion in a smaller bottle. 2 months back I made a huge batch of oregano herb oil infusion in a big bottle and not only that it turned rancid quickly also turned moldy (as I used fresh herb instead of dried herb).. and the big bottle was frequently opened.. hope I did it right this time around…

    am also storing it in a dark cooler place…
    Lanie last post is: Review: Fruit Home Delivery by KSY

  3. EcoBeauty says:

    I stopped buying too many carrier oils because I realized that unless I can be a hardcore DIYer, I’ll never be able to finish all of them before they turn rancid.

    I think adding a few drops of tea tree or any antiseptic EO will protect them from bacterial contamination, aside from the Vit E capsules that prevent early rancidity.
    EcoBeauty last post is: EthicBioskin Organics: Really, Really Premium Handmade Skincare Products from Etsy! (Review + Giveaway)

  4. Sesame says:

    That’s wise! Making smaller batches really help. Do you keep the balance in the fridge?

  5. Sesame says:

    Oh moldy? I guess you’ll need more potent preservatives or like what you did, made a smaller bottle. It’s such a waste when the oils go rancid. ?

  6. Sesame says:

    Yup…same here. It’s hard to finish one whole bottle, not to mention a few! But yeah, adding antiseptic EO helps…just that I don’t like tea tree or it’ll be a lot easier cos I have lots of tea tree (okay, irony!) I use the tea tree for other purposes.

  7. lydia says:

    How you know when the oil is rancid?

  8. Swati says:

    wow but i have never noticed any of my oils turning rancid!!! may be they are not altogether pure!!! which oils do you use??? i mean do you order them from any website???
    Swati last post is: Do you mind disclosing your age? {Your Opinion}

  9. LIYA says:

    Thses are helpful tips. Will you please tell where can get oxident agent?
    LIYA last post is: Home remedies for constipation

  10. Sofia says:

    I didn’t know that adding antioxidant would help, thanks for the tip! I always instead bought smaller bottles, even though you always get a “better deal” with the bigger ones, they just never last anyway.
    Sofia last post is: 3 Best River Cruises In Europe

  11. Sesame says:

    When it smells different from the usual, usually like how cooking oil smell when it’s old.

  12. Sesame says:

    I order from a few but sweet almond and grapeseed turns rancid quickly. Even rosehip oil too.

  13. Sesame says:

    Try skinactives.com.

  14. Sesame says:

    True…small bottles would be good but even then, some of them oxidize too quickly.

  15. Lanie says:

    I buy sesame seed oil and sunflower oil by the liter though.. as we use sesame seed oil for oil pulling on a daily basis ==> so it does not turn rancid on us.. by end of the month.. its finished…

    sunflower oil==> we use it as conditioner (as we are a no-poo/low-poo family). however for oils we use for massage or any natural therapy (specially herb infusions).. its really a waste to make a big batch..

    one hard lesson: dont infuse fresh herbs in oil.. the water/moisture in the fresh herbs will make the oil moldy (white specks on top)… if you are infusing herbs… use dried herbs instead.
    Lanie last post is: Pinoy Datorade (Malunggay, Camote Tops Banana & Dates Smoothie)

  16. Sesame says:

    I tried infusing dried lavender in oil before but while the oil looked okay, I couldn’t detect the scent.

  17. nami says:

    nice tip…..where do you get these oils from?

  18. Mary says:

    Great idea to add antioxidants! I try not to have to many oils on hand at once so I use up whatever I have before it goes bad. I also sometimes will store them in the fridge as suggested.
    Mary last post is: New product! Honeybee Gardens Lipstick in Aztec

  19. Sesame says:

    Yes true…better to not have too many.

  20. Clara says:

    I hadn’t though of adding an antioxidant but it makes sense. Neat idea!

  21. Sesame Chew says:

    Glad you find that tip helpful.

  22. Judy says:

    Great tip but how much Vit E do you put in per ounce?

  23. Alan says:

    How did you infuse the oil with lavender. I hear in the oven for 4 hours on lowest setting 190 is best. Sometimes it is advised to do it twice with more fresh or dried flowers.
    Alan last post is: Ode to Madonna: Love in a Time Capsule

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