Essential oils (EOs) are the most concentrated form of plant material such as trees, roots, bark, plants, fruit, spices, and nuts.
Recent years have seen a surge in EO use for multiple purposes – from medicinal and therapeutic, stress and anxiety management, sleep support, and beauty and skincare, to household supplies.
But not all essential oils are created equal and even though they can offer more natural, low-risk, and economical alternatives, one must proceed with caution and mindfulness.
Here are 11 specific ways you can get more mileage out of your oils and save some $$ in the process:
1. Don’t cheap out on the oils, instead look for cost-effective accessories.
You don’t ever want to go cheap when purchasing EOs.
If you do you’re likely compromising quality and therapeutic capacity.
Always try to go for certified organic essential oils that are clearly labeled for therapeutic use.
This will minimize your potential exposure to toxins, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals.
You can go the more cost-effective route when it comes to diffusers and other accessories.
2. Purchase a set, kit, or value set.
Sometimes getting oils in a set or bundle form can be more cost-effective than purchasing each oil individually.
You’ll have to do proper research, though, and make sure that the company, brands, and oils you’re purchasing are high-quality, and come from reputable sources.
3. Don’t apply your oils neat, use a carrier oil or other dilution agents instead.
Because essential oils are highly volatile compounds they evaporate quickly off your skin.
If you’re using EOs topically you can combine it with a fat-based carrier oil that increases the amount of oil that penetrates your pores.
Cost-effective carrier oils coconut oil and olive oil.
4. Create your own blends.
Pre-blended oils often come with an extra charge.
It can be easy and fun to create your own blends with the proper knowledge and guidance.
You have more control over the process and in the long run it can save you some cash too.
5. Because of their potent medicinal, immune-supporting, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties many EOs belong in your medicine cabinet as a first-response course of action.
It’s way more economical to buy 1 bottle of Lavender once and use it for multiple uses – medicinally, stress-relief, and beauty.
This also saves you money because you are less prone to buy other medicines, supplements, and other products.
Or at the very least you’ll buy them less frequently.
6. Cook (safely) with oils that can replace their whole, more expensive counterparts.
High quality, organic oils can make excellent substitutes for recipes that call for herbs like basil and oregano, or citrus fruit like lemon or orange juice or zest.
Since EOs are potent, you only need 1-2 drops per dish max.
That ends up being more economical than purchase whole organic lemons or oranges.
Since it takes about 35-75 lemons to fill one small bottle, think of how much potency goes into just 1 drop of essential oils as opposed to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Also, keep in mind that EOs have a much longer shelf life which makes them much more cost-effective too.
7. Store your oils in cool, dark places that are away from direct sunlight and heat.
Even though some say that EOs don’t have an expiry, they actually lose their freshness and therapeutic properties after about 2-4 years of opening, depending on the oil.
This is thanks to oxidation – the process of gradual oxygen exposure.
Make sure your oils are properly and tightly closed to seal out as much oxygen as possible.
Heat can also accelerate the oxidation process to keep them someplace cool.
8. Store your oils in the fridge to prolong their effectiveness.
Keep your oils in a dark bag in the fridge to make them get more mileage.
You can also try adding fractionated coconut oil, which is stable and doesn’t go stale or moldy.
9. Don’t store your oils in plastic, stainless steel, or aluminum, always use glass.
EOs can break down chemicals in plastic causing it to bleed into your creations.
This can be very harmful to your health as many chemicals found in plastic are toxic and even carcinogenic.
Storing EOs in metal containers causes a similar problem and can cause heavy metals to contaminate your blends. (No bueno.)
10. Use natural emulsifiers.
If you’re ready to have some DIY creativity time and make your own beauty and household products you can use natural ingredients like alcohol, aloe vera oil, lecithin, and water-soluble Vitamin E TPGS to mix oils and water together.
11. Replace your bottle caps with a dropper top.
Sometimes you get more than you need when you using the topper your EO bottle came with.
Maybe you only need 1 drop of Roman Chamomile for your daily face oil but instead, end up getting three because the topper runs.
Getting inexpensive individual droppers for each precious oil bottle will help you use only what you need when you need it.