If you buy essential oils then you may well have already looked into how to store them and look after them. If you don’t know how to store them and you’d like some guidelines you can check out one of my previous blog posts about how to look after your essential oils.

So, why write a blog post about citrus oils?

Well, citrus oils are a little bit different to many of the other essential oils. Due to their chemical composition they react more quickly with the air, which isn’t a problem when you’ve first bought them but it can become an issue the longer you have them. Over time, as the oil reacts with oxygen in the air it looking after citrus oilschanges its chemical composition, which is a term known as oxidisation. If a citrus oil has oxidised then you are more likely to find you experience a skin irritation when you use it.

So, how can we minimise the oxidisation process?

We can’t stop the oxidisation process, as it’s something that naturally happens whenever the oil is in contact with air. This is why when you buy a citrus essential oil, the date on it will be shorter than other essential oils, as the supplier will take into account how the oil will react over time.

When you’re using a citrus essential oil, only open the bottle when you need to and put the lid back on as soon as possible.

If you’re not going to use the essential oil very often, buy a smaller bottle. Remember, as you use your essential oil you will be creating more space inside the bottle, which will get filled up with air. By leaving as little space as possible you are providing less oxygen molecules for the oil to react with.

To reduce the risk of skin irritation, discard any citrus essential oil after six months of opening, or do not use it directly on the skin.

Once you have used 2/3 of the bottle consider discarding the remains, as it will oxidise with the oxygen molecules in the bottle and again, is likely to cause skin irritation.

While it may seem frustrating to have essential oils which require additional safety aspects and which also may involve having to discard them, citrus essential oils do tend to be cheaper than other oils as they are readily available. If you use essential oils regularly it is worth considering one or two to add to your collection if you think you will use them. When you do find you have to discard them, do think of ways to do so responsibly – adding them to a compost bin is much better than putting them down the drain.


Louise Morgan Holistic TherapistLouise is an holistic therapist who owns the Therapy Centre, BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information visit louise-morgan.co.uk or contact her clinic on 01275 217160