How to Store Shea Butter! Can It Be Stored for a Long Time?

When it comes to this luxurious and multipurpose Shea butter, an intriguing question pops up -  how to store Shea butter? And it's safe to guess that that's the reason you're here! 

Although Shea butter comes in different forms (refined, raw, unbleached, bleached, etc.), the best type of Shea butter is the one with a Grade A cinnamic acid content. 

Ride with me as we tackle this issue of how to store Shea butter perfectly!
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Due to its numerous enriching benefit, the luxurious Shea Butter is one essential and natural moisturizer that is sought after. It contains sixty percent of fat to make it highly emollient, which makes it ideally used as a body butter, lip balm, hair nourisher, or as a natural eye cream. 

How to store Shea butter is quite an issue, believe me. Thi is because of its buttery constituents that not only makes it thick and solid but also makes it vulnerable to heat and high temperature. 

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is an enriching superfood for the skin. It comes from the Shea tree fruit and offers the skin mild UV protection as well as other essential nutrients and fatty acids for the production of collagen in the skin. 

It is best used externally and can be used on babies and kids with no adverse effects.

Shea Butter Shelf Life

The typical shelf life of Shea butter amounts to approximately two years or 24 months from the dates of manufacturing or packaging. This is decided by two things; the storage and the temperature. These two must be kept in mind. 

Shea butter, when unrefined, is manufactured with no added preservatives or chemicals and 100% natural, so there's no need to expect differentiation in the color, texture, or smell. 

However, transportation and storage, as well as temperature control can affect how long Shea butter lasts for. Nonetheless, the average shelf life for refined Shea butter is two years (24 months), as it makes it not only safe for use but also makes it efficient in nourishing and moisturizing your skin.
Shea Butter Storage

Shea Butter Storage – and should you put it in the fridge?

Now, to the order of the day, storing Shea butter. The first thing you need to know about storing Shea butter is this - it has to be kept in a cool, dark place!

Shea butter can be stored in the following containers:

Ziplock plastic bag - This helps keep the air out and can be used several times. Once you need it, just unzip the bag, scoop out the quantity you need and zip it up. 

Plastic container with a lid - This is lighter and can be placed anywhere. It is also a suitable container as it does not break easily. 

Glass container with a lid - This is more sturdy and insulating. Easy for scooping out and placing back on the shelf. 

The only time the refrigerator is recommended is if you want your Shea butter hard as a rock, but we would advise against this as it will result in your Shea butter having grainy flakes (I'm sure you don't want that too). 

Although it is advisable to consider storing your Shea butter in the fridge when the temperature around the house reaches 75°F.
Benefits of Shea Butter

Benefits of Shea Butter

Shea Butter has quite a lot of benefits to offer to your skin because of the properties it contains, from oleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, collagen, to fatty acids, and natural vitamins.

  • It helps nourish and moisturize the skin due to its concentration of fatty acids and natural vitamins. When applied on dry skin for some time, it can rejuvenate the skin and give it the nutrient it needs.
  • It helps retain and protect the natural oils of the skin.
  • Due to its cinnamic acid amidst other properties, Shea butter helps reduce inflammation of the skin and is known to treat acne.
  • It also helps one avoid skin mutation.
  • It helps soften the skin and strengthen it.
  • It helps reduce the number of wrinkles on the skin.
  • It helps smooth out the skin and prevent it from drying out.
How To Tell If Your Shea Butter Has Expired

How to tell if your Shea Butter has Expired

To tell if your Shea butter has gone bad or has expired, the first thing you'll notice is the smell. Expired Shea butter smells rancid and is not good to be used anymore. This is not to be mistaken with it smelling smokey. 

A smokey smelling Shea butter means that it is the real deal. It is raw, pure, and ready to be used in any capacity. 

Rancid, on the other hand, is a smell that you cannot mistake. If you've smelt rotten eggs or food that has gone bad, you'll easily pick up this smell. 

Don't try to dwell on it; just dispose of it quickly. It is not of any benefit to you. 
Use of Shea Butter

Use of Shea Butter 

Arguably one of the most versatile natural moisturizers, Shea butter, is used daily in various forms. From acting as healing balms and lip balms to lotion bars. Alone or mixed with other ingredients, Shea butter could be used as one of the following;

  • As a lotion bar stick.
  • As a skin moisture replenisher.
  • As a natural moisturizer.
  • As a healing salve to keep off stretch marks during pregnancy.
  • As a natural beauty cream
  • To remove wrinkles under the eye and bags under the eye.
  • As a lip balm.
  • As a massage butter or oil when heated.
  • As an addition to other homemade lotions.
  • As a healing salve on scars.
  • As a sub protector
  • As a natural care products for babies.
  • As organic hair food.
  • As a supplement for lip balms. 

These are just a few of the uses of Shea butter in and around the house.

How long does refined shea butter last?

As versatile as Shea butter is, it is also very resilient. If stored properly (refined or raw), it can last for four years. Despite this fact, refined Shea butter has a shelf life of 2 years (24 months) from the production date to keep things safe. Storing Shea butter with all of the tips mentioned above might see it extending that date.

What color should my Shea Butter be?

The color of the unrefined Shea Butter relies on Shea nuts used. The color of shea butter varies from white to yellow just like rich butter. So the color varies.

You are not able to detect the authentic or quality shea butter colors. It is very hard and greasy and never be green.

Most of them have creamy color. Shea butter is highly refined pure and fresh and may contain no healing power intact up to the process of refining.

Can you freeze shea butter + can shea butter be refrigerated

Shea Butter is kept or stored in various ways in different containers. One can keep it from a zip lock plastic bag to a plastic container having a lid, to a container or glass.

Can You Freeze Shea Butter

The brand comes sealed in food grade plastic that is kept inside a resealable kraft bag. As you use the Shea butter, you normally scoop some out of the plastic wrap and then loosely close the plastic bag. After that keep it back in the craft bag and finally seat it.

For an alternative option, you may take it out of the plastic bag and keep it in 1 or more container if you like so. Plastic containers are better, and they do not break easily like glass though glass containers are more strong and insulating.

Keep the shea butter in a container for proper storage. You may keep them in a pantry which will keep it away from the direct heat. Do not keep them on a table under direct sunlight, near to the stove or close to the heating element.

If the temperature reaches up to 75 F, Shea butter may begin to soften up and melts it when the temperature goes up. When you get the temperature is more than 75F in your area, keep the Shea butter in the fridge to avoid more melting and solidifying since it leads to grainy shea butter.

Unpurified Shea butter storage, as well as shelf life, is normally learned. Be strict with our stored procedures and be sure, your shea butter will remain fresh for a long time.

Melt/ Melting SHEA BUTTER the RIGHT Way Video

How to Store Shea Butter FAQs

Can you freeze Shea butter? 

Yes, you can. When your room temperature is higher than 75°F, it is suggested that you place it in the fridge. 

Does Shea butter go bad? 

Yes, it does. Especially when it has surpassed its expiry date or hasn't been stored properly. So, the key is to store it properly in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. 

What does shea butter smell like? 

Unrefined Shea butter has a characterized smell of being burnt or smokey, while the refined Shea butter has a nuttier smell. All in all, you're bound to get a nutty, smokey, or burnt smell. 

Is Shea Butter Edible?

It is mostly edible for the skin but not for ingestion as it has not met up to the FDA standards, although it is used in food preparation in some African countries. 

Does It Clog Pores?

No, it doesn't. Shea butter is one of the few all-natural 100% fat butter that does not clog the skin pores. It, on the other hand, helps reduce skin irritation and treat acne.


Shea butter is an amazing skin moisturizer that has a lot of enriching benefits to render to your skin and hair. It is also very vulnerable to heat and high temperatures. If not stored well enough in a cool and dry place, it could end up going bad and developing a rancid smell. 

Now, you know how to store Shea butter; by storing it in a cool and dark place, as well as in any of the following containers; a plastic bag, a zip lock bag, a plastic container, or a glass container. With an average shelf life of 24 months, you don't have to worry about your Shea butter turning bad anytime soon.

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