shea butter spoil

Does Shea Butter Go Bad?

Shea butter has an impressive stand among organic ingredients working wonders for the skin due to the extensive fatty acid and antioxidants constituents. Additionally, it is also used as one of the prosperous and most tried face creams or moisturisers.

Shea Butter is the fat that comes from the nuts of the shea tree. Traditionally, parts of the shea tree were famous for their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

However, it also relives from the health issues like ulcers, nasal congestion and, unsurprisingly, skin problems.

does shea butter spoil

These days shea butter is more valued for its skincare benefits. It boosts skin texture by making it soft and hydrating it.

In addition, the content of several fatty acids- lineoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acid improves the natural skin barrier. Shea butter also protects the skin from skin damages caused by environmental damages.

The most significant feature of shea butter is anti-inflammatory and soothes skin problems. Today, it is often included in products that help heal inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

In addition, the few antioxidants like vitamin A and E and many others found in green tea contribute to being an anti-ageing agent. Besides these powerhouse properties, shea butter is also known for its anti-fungal property.

Shea butter is readily available in the market. But if you want to get the best of the shea butter, you should purchase it in raw, unrefined form.

To be noted, the more shea butter is processed, the more its excellent all-natural properties are diluted.

But how long does shea butter last for application? Does shea butter go bad?

The fact is explained below.

Does shea butter go bad?

It can be tricky as most packaging companies come up with expiry dates. But it is because they use multiple other ingredients. Those ingredients give the shea butter a timeframe to be used within.

Generally, raw shea butter becomes stale 24 months after being manufactured. However, refined shea butter can last significantly longer but lacks its natural benefits from raw shea butter. It can last up to 37+ months.

Moreover, the topical mixtures containing expired shea butter will remain void of natural vitamins. As a result, it also lacks the powerful moisturising properties you expect from shea butter. As a result, rancid butter could end up harming your skin.

It is best to use the raw shea butter than those refined. But not storing shea butter can cause it to expire at a much faster rate. Meaning, if you take proper care of shea butter, you rarely have to worry about it expiring on you before you finish it.

shea butter spoil

How to Preserve Shea Butter For A Longer Time? 

Therefore, to keep your shea butter from going stale, there are a few tips you should follow to extend the life of your shea butter as long as possible.

They are:

Clean your hands before using shea butter

As your hands have germs and bacteria lingering at your fingertips. Cleaning hands beforehand can help prevent germs from being left in the Shea Butter containers. It allows bacteria’s to cultivate and cause your butter to go wrong.

Handle Shea Butter with dry hands

It is a must if you want your shea butter to last longer. However, as many of us has this habit of applying moisturiser right after a bath, make sure you dry your hands appropriately before using the Shea Butter.

When we place our wet hands directly into our shea butter, we invite bacteria and mould festering on our butter.

Store Shea Butter in the Refrigerator

Shea Butter must be kept in the refrigerator if you belong to a region where the temperature exceeds 28.9 Degree Celsius (75F). It is because the temperature often fluctuates between day and night, and the butter may melt and solidify continuously. This continuous process may cause the Shea butter to develop an unpleasant grainy texture. Moreover, excessive heat may also lead your shea butter to expiry date faster.

Use glass jar

Using plastic jars can be harmful sometimes, as accidentally exposing the plastic jar to excessive heat may cause the chemicals to leach into your butter. As already mentioned, exposure to excessive heat can reduce the shelf life of the butter. Furthermore, any chemical substance that makes its way to the butter from the plastic will be absorbed by your skin.

Buy quality shea butter

It is best to search for the jar of quality shea butter than those with excessively refined shea butter, which has its qualities stripped off. The condition it is kept under does indeed play a role for shea butter to last longer, but the quality of butter may also contribute to this factor.


Shea butter does become stale, and there is no getting around that. But if handled properly, it can last for a long time. So, you must store it in an appropriate condition when you are looking to buy shea butter to get the best out of it!

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