We buy countless amounts of products in the hopes that they will solve all of our beauty troubles or at least help enhance our natural features. And many of these products come in liquid form and contain active ingredients to treat our skin. The shelf life of essential oils varies. It can depend on the temperature they are stored at and their exposure to light, heat, and air. When it comes to where to keep your beauty products, there are a few storage mistakes to be sure not to make. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your skincare products.
Facial oils are concentrated, organically active ingredients, which need to be stored carefully to maintain their benefits. Active ingredients tend to lose efficacy over time, which is normal; however, it's magnified by certain conditions, such as light, heat, and air. All base oils will experience degradation if they are not protected from light, heat, and air. The essential oils will start to change in composition from the moment they are released from the plant during the process of steam distillation. This is a natural consequence of time and conditions.
Exposure to Light
It is imperative to shield the contents of the jars and bottles from light as sunlight can cause certain ingredients to break down and oxidize. Just as UV light accelerates the rate at which skin ages, it also accelerates the breakdown of your facial oil. Most facial oils are designed to minimize this risk by using dark or opaque bottles or keeping them stored in the original box. Both opaque bottles and containing boxes prevent light from interacting with your facial oil.
The general rule is that the more clearly you can see the oil, the more light can degrade it. Keeping your products in a cool, dark, dry place and out of direct sunlight helps the oil to last longer after opening.
Exposure to Heat
Heat increases the speed of the molecules, which means an increase in the speed of the molecules competes with the attraction between molecules and causes molecules to move a little further apart, resulting in the ingredients losing its efficacy pretty quickly — all the reason why you should store your skincare products in a bathroom or medicine cabinet. Showers warm up the bathroom regularly, so remember, light usually equals heat. Also, be sure to keep facial oils away from windows, lamps, lighted mirrors, and so forth.
Exposure to Air
Have you ever opened a bottle of expensive, organic oil that has been sitting in your warm cupboard or on a sunny shelf for a few years, and noticed its weird, “off” odor? From the moment a fresh seed, nut, fruit, plant is pressed to release the fixed oil trapped inside, the ravages of the elements start the process known as oxidation and rancidity begins.
Air can cause facial oils to deteriorate. The color change is much less noticeable, and as a matter of fact, it's doubtful you'd notice anything. But what you may notice is a change in the scent because air is an oxidant and can age whatever it comes into contact with.
Skincare is only as effective as your use of it. Treat products without proper care, and they won't work well. Handle products with care and you will receive all the benefits the product was meant to offer.