Does Shea Butter Expire? Everything you Need to Know!

Does Shea Butter Expire? Everything you Need to Know!

Does shea butter expire? Yes, shea butter expires. It has a shelf life of 24 months to 37 months. It depends on which type of shea butter you have refined or unrefined. Also, it may get rotten before the expiry date if it comes in content with water, or high temperature.

Shea butter is one of my favorite skincare ingredients. To be very very honest! I really like its properties. It soothes, softens, and moisturizes skin while also being simple to use. I usually have some Shea butter on hand in case I run out of my favorite skincare product.

But obviously, you are not here to know the benefits of Shea butter. You must be the one who was using it on hair or skin at one time but then posted it to the back of the shelf and forgot about it, right?  

Now the scene is you are wondering if it is okay to use or has expired, no? 

Well, don’t worry I will resolve your query and tell you whether shea butter will expire or not. So keep scrolling and read till the end!

Shea Butter And It’s Expiry

Shea Butter And Its

If you are wondering, does shea butter expire so the straightforward answer is,  YES! Shea butter expires. Even though shea butter is beneficial for many areas of the body, it does so well and magics full things but it does have an end. 

In fact, every item has an expiry date, even if it has a prolonged shelf life it must expire at some point. 

As per Vince Spinnato, author of My Pursuit of Beauty;

“The majority of natively produced, non-synthesized components, such as extracts or blends from berries, trees, and flowers, will spoil faster than synthetic substances. Most items contain preservatives to keep them fresher for extended periods of time, however, even preservatives lose their effectiveness with time.”

So, don’t be sad because this is the nature of products and the same goes with shea butter. 

The reason behind the expiration of Shea butter is it includes fats and oils which can cause it to go rotten, which means lipids and oils break down when exposed to air light or motion. As a result, Shea butter becomes completely rancid and smells and tastes terrible, and numerous of its advantages just fly in the air.

Jim Hammer, founder of Mixsolutions says;

“Natural oils and butters can oxidize and develop changes in odor and appearance pretty quickly if not formulated with an effective antioxidant” 

Types Of Shea Butter And Their Shelf Life 

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Okay Smooth All Natural,100% Pure UnrefinedOkay Smooth All Natural,100% Pure Unrefined
  • Yellow Smooth Shea Butter for all hair textures and skin types - Great for moisturizing, reducing inflammation, skin smoothing, wrinkle reduction, eczema, blemishes, wound healing, sunburn, dermatitis
  • Nourish, replenish, moisturize, and heal your hair and skin with this emollient-rich beauty product
  • Vitamins A & E, which keep the skin in optimal health but also protect it from being damaged by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays - Vitamin E also soothes dry skin and improves the skin’s elasticity
  • Formulated from 100% Pure Raw African Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)
  • This African Shea Butter is ALL Natural and Pure - Imported from Ghana, Africa - Safe for the entire family
  • Skin type: acne prone,mature
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OKAY | African Shea Butter | RefinedOKAY | African Shea Butter | Refined
  • White Ivory Smooth Shea Butter for all hair textures and skin types - Great for moisturizing, reducing inflammation, skin smoothing, wrinkle reduction, eczema, blemishes, wound healing, sunburn, dermatitis
  • Nourish, replenish, moisturize, and heal your hair and skin with this emollient rich beauty product
  • Helps keep the skin in optimal health but also protect it from being damaged by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays | Also soothes dry skin and improves the skin’s elasticity
  • Formulated from 100% Pure Raw African Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)
  • This African Shea Butter is ALL Natural and Pure - Imported from Ghana, Africa - Safe for the entire family
  • Helps to heal dry scalp, skin cracks, soften tough skin on feet, helps to even skin tone, helps treat and prevent stretch marks
  • Shea butter can be used to seal in hair moisture, helps to reduce frizz, prevent breakage, protect hair from sun and heat damage.
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1. Refined Shea Butter

Refined Shea butter is produced using intense temperature and solid, which removes many of Shea butter’s nutrients and advantages. It also eliminates color and any fragrance. However, the refined shea butter shelf’s life is 34 months.

2. Unrefined Shea Butter

The raw or unrefined Shea butter is generated by the procedure when no chemicals are used to manufacture the Shea butter. This is the best Shea butter since it has the most nutrients and advantages.

Unrefined shea butter has an average shelf life of around 24 months from the date of manufacturing and packaging. This is an estimate of the shelf life, which is modified by storage and temperature. As unrefined Shea butter is raw and 100% organic and contains no preservatives each harvest or batch may produce somewhat different shea quality.

How To Tell Shea Butter Is Bad?

How To Tell Shea Butter Is Bad

Do you ever wake up one day and notice that your shea butter has a strange odor? Well, that’s an alarming sign. But that’s not only the thing, there are some other indications of rancid shea butter.

1. Smell

I can’t explain that specific fragrance of your expired shea butter but when it gets rancid you will feel that it doesn’t smell right. 

If you notice any strange odors that are in the distinct smoky nutty scent of shea butter, it’s possible that your Shea butter has gone bad. As the shea butter smell is so obvious, you can expect to smell it. When figuring out the rancid Shea butter, you are seeking a vinegar or rotten food smell but that may not happen. 

In this case, I suggest going with your gut feeling. If the thought of a smoky fragrance makes you feel doubtful, toss out your shea butter.

2. Color

Many people claim that as shea butter transforms from yellow to white, it loses its effectiveness or goes rancid, but I’ve never observed this.

 I believe those people purchased the bright yellow shea butter blended with the extract of the Borututu tree (a natural colorant that gives it that appealing brilliant yellow color), and after a while, the extract begins to fade away, giving the shea butter’s normal off-white hue. So, I don’t think color plays the part in rancid shea butter, do you?

3. Texture

Shea butter has a very nice soft texture. However, when it goes bad it turns to a more waxy or watery texture. Feel the consistency of this stuff, and if it becomes weird, this is a negative sign. Throw it out right away.

The Right Way To Store Shea Butter

The Right Way To Store Shea Butter

Shea butter can rot when exposed to light, air, and moisture, so keep your shea butter in a cool, dry place.

Most importantly, keep your shea butter in an airtight jar. As long as it is airtight, it can fulfill its shelf life to the end.

To extend the life of your shea butter, keep it in a dark, dry, and cold pantry. Shea butter should be kept at temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you live in a hotter environment, put it in the freezer. 

When the weather changes and it is usually hot there, you may put it in the freezer, but it is not recommended to store it in the freezer if the weather is normal.

I keep my shea butter in the freezer because it’s so warm here. When the weather’s hot and I need something cool on my face, I keep my shea butter in the freezer.

How To Keep Shea Butter From Spoiling 

  • Always choose raw shea butter when buying shea butter at the market or grocery store.
  • Don’t get the refined ones if you can’t maintain them properly.
  • Prevent direct sunlight and high temperature content by storing in a cool, dry area.
  • Use an ultraviolet glass jar or a container with a sealed cover.

What To Do With Rancid Shea Butter? 

You should not spread rancid oils and oxidized fats everywhere around your skin and hair. It’s not only the bad odor; it’s also the product’s nutritional quality! 

When something becomes rancid or rotten, it no longer serves its original restorative purpose. Since oxidation creates a complete irreversible alteration in the base oil molecules, it has the opposite impact on your body.

So, rather than massaging it to your wrinkles, you’ll only be encouraged more by applying rancid shea butter.

If a huge amount of shea butter goes rotten, you must be grieving about such a waste, but don’t worry, you could still use it, just not on your skin. Use it to shine leather and polish any woodwork things you have in the house – it makes sense to keep!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you know if shea butter expired?

Shea butter has a specific shelf life. If you buy it from a well-known store (refined or unrefined) it should have an expiry date on the label. However, you can identify by its smell, and texture if your shea butter is expired or not. The smell will no longer be smokey and the texture will be watery.

How long is shea butter good for?

Most shea butter may survive up to 24 months before going rancid. Some shea butter only has a shelf life of around a year. It’s better to check the expiration date even before buying.

Can bacteria grow in shea butter?

As per study, it is confirmed the existence of five fungal and three species of bacteria as pollutants. However, make sure your hands are clean and germ-free before dipping them into the butter. This will prevent the spread of microbes, reducing the shea butter shelf life.

Should shea butter be refrigerated?

It is not mandatory to keep shea butter in the refrigerator. However, if you live in the warmer regions I would recommend you to keep it in the freezer as extreme temperatures can make shea butter bad.

How should shea butter smell?

Shea butter has a nutty and smokey BBQ type smell.

Now, It’s Your Turn! 

Shea butter is a wonderful material in particular; without the need for a question, I have used it as a natural remedy and anti-inflammation agent. 

Remember that not all shea butter is made equal. The manufacturer and origin has a vital effect on the quality and longevity of your shea butter. It is advisable to buy from a reliable firm that sells high-quality shea butter so that you may have and utilize it for many years. 

However, it does not mean it will not expire, it will definitely come to an end. But yes, if you keep it in good condition you can save it from getting rotten before the expiry date. 

Don’t just leave your shea butter on your shelf. Make the most of it!

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