How to Store Shea Butter?

A complete guide about this product

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on A complete guide about this product

Shea butter is widely popular for its incredible nourishing abilities and deep-moisturizing properties. This is the main reason why this pure substance is used in cosmetics, moreover, this product is able to soothe the unpleasant skin issues like eczema which makes it a helpful remedy.

And, how to store shea butter? Store shea butter in a plastic zipper bag, a tank, or a glass container in a cool place, with a maximum 75 F temperature. Ensure the air is removed, do not store shea butter exposed to heat and light. Store shea butter properly and you will be able to use it for up to 4 years. 

Naturally, people would like to know more about it and about the storage nuances in particular!

What Is Shea Butter?

Let us begin with the simplest task: what is shea butter in fact? Shortly speaking, it is a sort of vegetation fat that is derived from the nut of the African Karite tree. It was commonly known centuries ago and even the famous Cleopatra was fond of this natural remedy!

Even today, this rich, nourishing stuff is still used in the beauty industry to add a moisturizing effect to the creams and other goods.

Nowadays, the market can offer us two types of this goodie: one is unrefined, and another is refined. Most people consider the unrefined product to be better since it is not exposed to the chemicals. It is received mechanically and filtered to remove the particles of nuts which saves all the vitamins and beneficial qualities of it. 

What does shea butter smell like, you might wonder? Well, unrefined shea butter has a slightly smoky smell with nutty notes, and its color is usually varied being of different shades of gold or whiteness. If you ever happened to come across the shea butter that smells bad, it was definitely the spoiled product.

As for the refined alternative, it has a white color and absolutely no scent. However, unlike the pure counterpart, this product undergoes the procedure of exposure to various solvents, whitening agents, and other chemicals that destroys the majority of its natural beneficial powers.

What Is It Meant For?

Even though this substance is often used in African countries for making food, its major area of use in the Western world is beauty products and skin treatment.

  • it is a perfect moisturizer
  • it can solve much skin problems
  • it is widely used in lip balms and body moisturizers
  • this butter makes our skin softer and smoother
  • it relieves the irritation caused by rashes
  • it is a good remedy for treating acne since shea doesn’t clog pores
All About Shea ButterAll About Shea Butter

The unrefined product can even be used as a face moisturizer: simply take a pea-size butter portion, warm it up between your fingers, and apply to the until absorbed. It is very thick so you won’t need to use it frequently to get the result.

And one more thing to consider: unrefined shea butter can even be used on the babies’ skin! Since the goodie is all-natural and chemical-free, it can be safely applied onto the little ones to soothe eczema and other skin issues they often have.

Is It Edible?

People quite often ask whether shea butter that is sold in the US or other developed countries can be ingested. 

In terms of this, we want to warn everyone: indeed, in some African countries, raw shea product is utilized for food-making just like we use vegetable oils or ordinary butter.

However, the shea stuff sold in the US is meant for the external use only thus it must not be eaten!

Shea Butter Shelf Life

Shea butter shelf life depends on whether it is refined, transportation conditions, quality of the harvest. Unrefined shea butter shelf life lasts for 24 months from the date it was packed. Homemade shea butter lasts for 3 months maximum.

Naturally, everyone is now curious about how long this miraculous product can last! How long is shea butter good for if stored at home, you may wonder? 

Well, the shelf life of shea butter hangs upon several factors:

  • whether it is refined or not
  • under what conditions it was transported from the country of origin to where it will be sold
  • how good the harvest initially was (e.g. unrefined one is 100% chemicals-free so each batch can slightly differ from others)

Normally, unrefined substance lasts for about twenty-four months from the day it was manufactured and packaged. Of course, it is highly dependant on the conditions and thermal regime. The refined counterpart has the same duration of storage. 

Apparently, some of you might wonder: what is the shelf life of homemade body butter? Unfortunately, this kind of product will have a way shorter term of use equal to three months at most. 

How to Tell If Your Shea Butter Has Expired?

How to Tell If Your Shea Butter Has Expired
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Does shea butter go bad? Unfortunately, it does even if stocked under the ideal conditions. Several factors can lead to this:

Natural oxidation

It happens when either light or heat affects the butter and its chemical texture changes. The most significant sign of this process is the change of shea butter smell which becomes rancid and acidic. Rancid shea butter must not be used to avoid any skin irritations or allergic reactions to the spoiled product.

Water contamination

Can shea butter mold? It can. Unrefined butter must be protected from the external moisture, otherwise, since having no preservatives, it will start developing mold. 

How can you tell if shea butter has gone bad? Simply check it: if any traces of mold appeared or the unpleasant acidic smell can be sensed, the product has already become spoiled.

In case shea butter turned white, it means that oxidation happened. The product may still be usable as a moisturizer but consider that it already lost some of its beneficial elements. 

Shea Butter Storage

Shea Butter Storage
Photo by Christin Hume

Even though this stuff is pretty durable and, if kept correctly under the ideal conditions, it can easily stay usable for up to four years, it is still essential to ensure we stock it properly.

Learning how to store shea butter is not high science, but still, we need to learn about it in detail.

  1. For shea butter storage, feel free to make use of one of the following types of packaging: it can be either a plastic zipper packet or a tank with the tight lid. Glass containers are also fine if they have tight caps or corks. 
  2. Always ensure the air is removed from the tank since it is the major cause of spoilage.
  3. Leave it in a pantry hidden from heat and light. It must be a cool place since warmth is not a good environment for this substance.
  4. Consider that 75 F is the highest point at which this stuff can be stocked. If you live in the area with the hotter climate, we would recommend replacing the shea butter into the fridge.

If not doing this, the butter will be repeatedly melting and solidifying which will lead to the grainy texture.

These instructions on how to store raw shea butter are very simple to memorize and use, so we are sure nobody will have issues with keeping this beneficial product safe to its longest.

Can You Freeze Shea Butter?

Can You Freeze Shea Butter
Photo by Bundo Kim

Since cold can help to keep the shea goodies safer, we are sure somebody might wonder whether it can be frosted.

There is no clear answer to this since, as we already mentioned above, this substance only need a cool spot to stay good. Exposing it to frost is not necessary at all.

But those who tried this method assure that the frosting camera will not decay the unrefined shea butter.

So can you freeze shea butter? Yes, you can freeze shea butter but freezing shea butter is not necessary since putting it into a cool place to preserve its qualities is already enough. Frosting shea butter doesn’t impact the quality of the unrefined shea butter and it is OK to be used.

Benefits Of Using It

Shea butter is a well-known remedy for dry skin and various external irritations. However, it would be too simple to make use of such beneficial stuff for curing the skin only!

Due to the vitamins and other elements it contains, shea butter has way more areas of use:

Go for it when your locks need help

Shea is a good scalp conditioner, volumizer, moisturizer, and curls definer. It can also be helpful for alleviating dandruff and fighting the frizz.

Anti-wrinkles remedy

It is said that regular application of the fines shea butter will decrease wrinkles after six weeks of use. 

Fade the stretch marks away

Fade the stretch marks away
Photo by Brittany Neale

Before going to the clinic to apply laser on yourself, why not try some shea instead? People swear that it helps to make those marks less visible.

Fix the cracked heels

If your skin on the heels is too sensitive and dries fast, get rid of those painful cracks by applying raw shea. Simply apply a rich amount of butter onto them and sleep with the cotton socks on.

Anti-itching remedy

Tired of constant itching caused by the insects’ bites? Shea butter might be your savior! Since it is anti-inflammatory, it will relieve the itching and swelling of the nastiest bites.

Nasal drops substitution

Well, actually, both drops and sprays. Shea butter appeared to be an effective nasal congestion remedy: simply apply two to four grams of it onto the internal surface of the nostrils, and you can breathe freely for up to eight hours!

We explained how to store unrefined shea butter and shared the basic signs of bad shea butter with you. Since now everyone is aware of how to stock and apply it and informed about the most common ways of using this substance (not only for the skin, by the way!), we are sure that you will enjoy using this natural product.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Why is my shea butter not whipping?

Perhaps, because it is not cooled enough. Try to put it to the freezer for 10 min and then try again.

⭐ How do you know if shea butter is real?

The real product has an ivory or yellowish-golden shade and the smoky, nutty scent.

⭐ How do you keep shea butter soft?

Add one teaspoon of coconut oil to prevent it from hardening.

⭐ Does shea butter grow hair?

No, it only makes them smoother and better moisturized.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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