Have you ever gone through your bathroom cabinet and found a moisturizer that is 5, 10, or maybe even 15 years old? Did you ask yourself whether you should still use it? You don’t want to waste the product, and it’s only moisturizer after all. 

Many people don’t realize that beauty products have an expiration date just like food does. In some cases, it might not be a big deal to use a beauty product that is out of date. Things like expired moisturizers won’t usually harm you, but you won’t get any benefits, either. 

However, products like jojoba oil should never be used after they’ve expired. Not only does expired jojoba oil smell disgusting, but it releases toxins as well.

Below, I cover how you can tell when jojoba oil is bad, how to store jojoba oil so it lasts as long as possible and how long it can last.

What Is Jojoba Oil?

Jojoba oil’s name is actually quite deceiving because it is not an oil at all. Rather, jojoba oil is actually a waxy ester, so it stays fresher for longer and has a longer shelf life than most true oils. 

The jojoba plant grows in parts of Northern Mexico, Arizona, and California, and we extract the “oil” from the seeds of the plant. 

People have been using jojoba oil for centuries as a natural remedy for skin conditions. It is wonderfully moisturizing, and it can work wonders on the body. People use it to moisturize their skin, treat infections like dandruff, and to treat acne. 

Jojoba oil is so great for the skin because it’s incredibly gentle and it doesn’t contain allergens, meaning that almost anyone can use it. It is so gentle, in fact, that people even use it on their dogs!

Because jojoba oil is a waxy ester and not an oil, it has unique properties. The composition of the “oil” is very close to the composition of sebum — the oil that our skin naturally produces. 

Because of this, many people believe that jojoba oil can trick the skin into believing it has already created enough sebum. This is thought to reduce the overproduction of sebum that causes oily skin, and it can help with the reduction of acne and clogged pores.

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Does Jojoba Oil Go Bad?

jojoba oil
Jojoba oil

There is a myth out there that jojoba oil does not go bad. Some people believe that since it is a waxy ester instead of a true oil that it does not have an expiration date. However, this is not true. 

Jojoba oil does have an expiration date, and it’s important that you can tell when your oil has gone bad. Rancid jojoba oil can be toxic to the body, so it should never be used when it has gone bad. 

So, how are you to know if your jojoba oil has gone bad? Fortunately, it is quite easy just by its smell and appearance.

How Can You Tell If Jojoba Oil Is Bad?

Essential oils and products like them are derived from plants. Because they are a plant product, they can go bad, and they do have a shelf life. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to tell whether your jojoba oil has gone bad or not. 

Smell The Oil

One of the easiest ways to tell if your jojoba oil has gone bad is by smelling it. Fresh unrefined jojoba oil doesn’t have much of a smell — just a light, earthy scent. Refined jojoba oil shouldn’t have any scent at all. When the oil has gone bad, it will go rancid and the smell will be terrible. 

An oil becomes rancid when it oxidizes, meaning that it has been exposed to too much air. It produces a foul scent that smells like a mixture of garlic and vinegar. 

The Appearance 

When it is fresh, refined jojoba oil does not have a color to it. Fresh unrefined jojoba oil will be a light golden coloration. If you notice your oil beginning to change color, it’s probably going bad. If the oil turns very dark, it has certainly gone rancid and should be thrown out.

Exactly How To Store Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil Bottles

If you want your jojoba oil to stay fresh for a long time, you need to ensure that it’s stored properly just like any other perishable product. You would never dream of storing your milk on the counter. Jojoba oil is the same way, it needs to be stored properly to stay fresh. 

There are a few things that can cause jojoba oil to go bad prematurely: exposure to light, exposure to air, and exposure to heat. 

Although jojoba oil does not like the heat, this does not necessarily mean that you need to store it in the refrigerator or the freezer. As long as your house stays at room temperature, it will be okay. However, if you’re someone who prefers to keep their air conditioning off over the summer months, your jojoba oil is likely to go bad. 

Storing your jojoba oil is really quite simple. 

First, keep the oil at room temperature or lower. 

Secondly, you’ll want to keep it in an airtight container. The presence of oxygen can make your jojoba oil go bad very quickly, so you want the container to be sealed. You never want to reuse the container that your jojoba oil originally came in. You should always transfer it to a new, fresh container. 

Lastly, you’ll want to keep your oil stored somewhere that is dark. Light is an enemy to jojoba oil and can cause it to go rancid faster. Just because jojoba oil is okay when stored at room temperature, that doesn’t mean that you should allow it to sit out on the counter. Instead, you should keep it inside a cupboard or a pantry where it stays dark.

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An Extra Tip

If you really want to get the most out of your jojoba oil’s shelf life, you should mix it with a few drops of Vitamin E or rosemary oil extract. These two products can help your jojoba oil stay fresh for longer and prevent it from going rancid. 

Can You Store Jojoba Oil In The Fridge?

There is not much information about storing jojoba oil in the refrigerator. Most people agree that the cooler temperatures will help to extend the life of the oil, but no one is sure for exactly how long. 

Opened jojoba oil will generally last for about 3 months, so it’s likely that the fridge could extend this lifespan to 6-12 months.

Can You Store Jojoba Oil In The Freezer?

Likewise, there is not much information about storing jojoba oil in the freezer. As with the fridge, it is believed that it can extend the shelf life, but nobody is sure for exactly how long. 

Personally, I don’t think there’s any advantage to storing jojoba oil in the freezer versus storing it in the fridge. They will both produce similar results, but if your oil is frozen, you have to worry about freezer burn and defrosting it.

jojoba oil

How Long Does Jojoba Oil Last?

Some people believe that jojoba will never expire, but this just isn’t true. Jojoba oil does have a shelf life, although it’s significantly longer than that of true oils. 

Most experts agree that jojoba oil can stay fresh for up to 5 years as long as it’s stored properly and the package is unopened. I recommend using the oil within 3 years, if you can, because it begins to lose some of its best qualities the older it gets. 

As I mentioned before, how you store your jojoba oil is of the utmost importance. If you store it properly, it can last for a very long time, but if you don’t store it properly, it will go bad very quickly. 

The most important thing to remember is that the oil needs to be stored in an airtight container away from heat and light. 

Once you open your jojoba oil, the shelf life drops drastically. Even if you store your oil correctly, it will usually expire within 3 months. The exception is if you pay extra for a high-quality oil. These can usually stay fresh for up to 12 months when stored properly.

It is believed that if you store your opened jojoba oil in the fridge or the freezer, the oil will last longer. Jojoba oil doesn’t like heat, so it makes sense that the cooler temperatures would help preserve the oils. 

However, no one seems to know exactly how long the fridge or freezer will extend its shelf life. Since opened jojoba oil generally lasts for about 3 months, my guess would be that the fridge or freezer will extend the shelf life to about 6-12 months. 

It’s also believed that refined jojoba oil will last for longer than unrefined oil. This is because refined oil is processed with heat and chemicals, so it is preserved better. This is one of the reasons why beauty products tend to use refined jojoba oil over unrefined ones. However, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on just how much longer refined jojoba oil will last versus unrefined oil. 

Storage Shelf Life 
Unopened Up to 5 years (3 years recommended)
Opened In Pantry (Lower Quality Oil)Up to 3 months 
Opened In Pantry (High Quality Oil)Up to 12 months
Opened In FridgeLikely 6-12 months 
Opened In Freezer Likely 6-12 months 
Shelf Life Of Jojoba Oil

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Final Words

If you’ve ever wondered if jojoba oil expires, now you know. It certainly does expire, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Of course, jojoba oil does have a significantly longer shelf life than many other true oils, but that doesn’t make it invincible. 

Just remember, if it’s unopened, you should use your jojoba oil within 3 years. If you’ve opened it already, make sure to use it within a few months. If there is any doubt as to whether the oil is still good or not, simply throw it out to be safe.

Know exactly if jojoba is a nut here, if jojoba oil clogs your pores or not here, if you can use it for hyperpigmentation here, its curly hair benefits here, if it’s safe for dogs here or check out more jojoba oil guides here. You can also find how jojoba oil is compared to almond oil here and try these jojoba oil hair mask recipes here.


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