Do Carrier Oils Go Bad

do carrier oils go bad

Do Carrier Oils Go Bad

It really depends on the type of oil and how you store it. Most carrier oils have a shelf life of around 2 years.

According to, carrier oils are derived from vegetarian sources. Because carrier oils are natural ingredients, they will go bad at some point.

How you store your carrier oils can make all the difference. After the original oil container has been opened, the time starts ticking.

Storing your carrier oils in its original container, in a cool dry place, will help extend its shelf life. You do not have to refrigerate carrier oils, but for many, it will extend the shelf life even more.

If your refrigerator is already full of produce, drinks and left overs, feel free to keep your oils in a pantry. Make sure your storage area is cool and dry.

When Do Carrier Oils Go Bad?

The consensus across the web varies. Below are the most common carrier oils used for hair and skin, and their average shelf-life.

  • Fractionated Coconut Oil – 5 years
  • Jojoba Oil – 5 years
  • Coconut Oil – 2 to 5 years
  • Castor Oil – 1 to 5 years
  • Macadamia Nut Oil – 2 to 3 years
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 to 3 years
  • Sunflower Oil – 1 to 2 years
  • Almond Oil – 1 year
  • Hemp Seed Oil – 6 to 14 months
  • Grapeseed Oil – 6 to 9 months
  • Avocado Oil – 6 to 8 months

If you blend carrier oils together, which I almost always do, try to use your oil blend within the year.

To forgo the question, do carrier oils go bad, avoid bulk purchasing of carrier oils.

Monitor how frequently you use carrier oils and purchase them accordingly. Purchase large quantities if you have large DIY projects, otherwise, plan ahead and purchase what you need.

If you are a beauty product junkie like me, it is tempting to want to try several oils at the same time. Since I struggle resisting, I like to order smaller quantities of carrier oils I’m trying for the first time. There are several carrier oils you can purchase in 1 or 2 ounce bottles.

Most often I purchase carrier oils in 4 ounce quantities or smaller. This is with the exception of coconut oil and almond oil. I use quite a bit of these oils for my hair and skin on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis.

How Do I Know If Carrier Oils Have Gone Bad?

Let your eyes and nose be your guide. Watch for a change in color or smell. Although the scent of carrier oils are not as strong as essential oils, you should be able to detect a change in its odor.

Once I left a jar of unrefined coconut oil in our storage room, which gets pretty hot in the summer time. I just simply forgot I put it there. 🙁

Needless to say that drastically adjusted its shelf life and it went bad in a few months. The coconut oil did not smell terribly horrible, but it was bad enough that I knew I didn’t want it on my skin.

If cooking with carrier oils, you especially want to pay attention that your oils are stored properly. You do not want to cook with a rancid oil.


Ways to Use Your Carrier Oils Before They Go Bad

If you can’t remember when you purchased that 16 ounce bottle of carrier oil, here are a few ways to use it up before it goes bad.

  • Oil Cleansing (Facial Cleanser)
  • Add to Deep Conditioner
  • Add to Shampoo
  • Make a lip or body scrub
  • Use as a deodorant (coconut oil)
  • Add to tea or coffee (coconut oil)
  • Roast your favorite veggies (olive or grapeseed oil)
  • Make your own soaps
  • Give some away to friends and family!

As you can tell, carrier oils have many uses and benefits. They rarely go bad in my home! 😉


Love and blessings,


Coconut Oil | Flower Waters | Carrier and Essential Oils for Hair and Skin

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10 thoughts on “Do Carrier Oils Go Bad

  1. I through my coconut oil out to soon! It is good for 2 to 5 years. This is a good list of when oils go bad. I will have to keep this list and make sure to keep a date on my oils and use them up before they go bad.

    1. I’m so glad this was helpful to you. I think the best guide is the nose. Just like with food that’s been in the fridge too long, the nose always knows. 🙂

  2. Hey Candra, when I feel I’ve had one of my C/O’s to long I’ll mix them with a little lanolin or raw honey and use it for a hot oil pre~poo, I hate wasting any of my investments, so I like to find other ways to use them~or a good bath oil!

    1. Yay! Thank you for commenting on my blog! 🙂 What an awesome tip! I hate to waste too. Adding lanolin or raw honey is an great idea! Does it make your pre-poo even better? It seems that it would.

  3. In a world with soooooooo much negativity~You always stay so positive! Taking care of one’s self and helping others to find ways of doing the same!! God Bless you & Family!

    1. God bless you Barbara! I always look forward to hearing from one of my social media bff’s! You keep the positive flow going!

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