Storage and shelf life of sauna oils

Essential oils are sensitive to light and temperature. Therefore, you should pay attention to a few basic things.
Tips for proper storage of sauna oils

Tips for the correct storage of sauna oils

The sauna is a great place to switch off and relax. If you want to recharge your batteries, do your body good and relieve painful tension, regular visits to the sauna are definitely a good idea. However, a visit to the sauna only becomes a real wellness experience for all the senses with the right sauna oil or sauna infusion, with which the water for the sauna heater is enriched. These are easy to use and exude a wonderful aroma inside the sauna cabin. But how long do they last, and what else is important to consider? We present everything important to you in more detail below.

Sauna oils – their properties and use

Classic sauna oils are special aromatic fragrances enriched with essential oils. These are now available in a wide range of varieties, such as eucalyptus, spruce, orange, lemon, sandalwood, or even lavender – here, the personal taste as well as the purpose decide. Because certain oils naturally have a certain effect on our body: while citrus oils have a rather stimulating and refreshing effect, lavender aroma can wonderfully help us to come to rest.

The use of a sauna oil is uncomplicated in practice

The use of a sauna oil is relatively simple: to prepare an infusion, add a few drops of the oil to the water. Later, the mixture is then poured onto the hot sauna stones with a ladle. Here it evaporates immediately, and the aroma is distributed throughout the sauna room. Often a towel is used for waving to intensify the effect – so you can inhale the scent wonderfully and the sauna experience becomes even more intense.

What is the shelf life of sauna oils?

Whether opened or unopened, essential oils are best stored in tightly sealed, dark bottles. It is important to protect the oils from heat and sunlight, and it is also recommended to store them out of reach of children. Citrus oils in particular are considered to be especially sensitive to light.

Basically, the shelf life always depends on the respective product. In most cases, the manufacturer notes corresponding information on the label, which should be adhered to. While some aromas can only be stored for a short period of three months, there are also essential oils that are still usable after 12 or 18 months. However, most oils will easily last two to three years before losing their aroma and should then be discarded.

These sauna fragrances have a particularly long shelf life

Flower and wood oils in particular retain their scent for a particularly long time and are characterized by a good shelf life. If in doubt, simply sniff them. In the best case, a sauna oil is always stored at room temperature in a dry place protected from light. When storing, always make sure that the bottles are tightly closed – otherwise the aroma will escape after a short time.

Alcohol in sauna oils – what is the reason for this with regard to storage?

Alcohols such as ethanol or isopropanol are usually added to sauna oils, which preserve the product and ensure that the essential oils combine more easily with the water. In addition, alcohol offers the advantage that the aroma spreads quickly in the sauna cabin. Important: Sauna infusions are also flammable for this reason and must therefore be kept away from fire or any other source of danger!

What is the shelf life of sauna infusions?

Due to their unique chemical composition, the reaction varies depending on the type of oil. Most oils have a shelf life of at least two years before they become unusable. Replacing essential oils is recommended by several experts on a three-year cycle. Patchouli, ylang ylang, vetiver and sandalwood are the exceptions; they improve with time.

What is the risk of using expired essential oils?

Of course, one may wonder if using old essential oils is really dangerous. Not only do essential oils change their scent when exposed to oxygen, but the chemical composition of the oil itself is altered.

Using contaminated essential oils can cause skin irritation, rashes, burns and other symptoms. For example, if tea tree oil or lavender oil are oxidized, they can severely irritate the skin.

How can you tell if essential oils have gone bad?

How can you tell if your essential oils have gone bad? Essential oils from certain citrus fruits, such as lemon and grapefruit, contain particularly high levels of the odorant limonene. However, with most oils, the oxidation odor is subtle at best.

There are several methods to determine whether oxygen has affected the quality of your essential oil. Some, like chamomile and peppermint, become noticeably more viscous, while others change color.

If you use a diffuser (available on Amazon) or apply essential oils directly to the skin, the therapeutic effects of the oils will be reduced or eliminated. Once the oils have degraded to this point, they can no longer be used for their intended purpose (such as skin care). The same applies to the use of the oils as a sauna infusion. The use of oxidized oils such as tea tree or lavender may cause irritation or sensitization of the skin.


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