Does Shea Butter expire? How To Check If It’s Gone Bad?

Shea butter is a natural, edible fat used for centuries in cooking, skincare, and hair care. If you have found your long-lost shea butter jar from behind your wardrobe which you made using the butter churner, you’ll be eager to know if it’s expired or not. Another question may be hitting your mind: How long does shea butter last? 

do shea butter expire

Shea butter, if refined, can stay safe for 4 years from the date of manufacture, and if not refined can stay healthy for up to 2 years. But there are several crucial factors on which the life of shea butter depends.

So in the blog post, we will take a closer look at those factors and the answers to the most asked question: Does shea butter go bad? We’ll also learn some tips to increase the shelf life of your butter.

Let’s get started.

How Long Does Shea Butter Last?

Several essential things can tell how long your shea butter will last. Let’s discuss all of these factors in detail.

  1. Refined or Unrefined Butter

    Usually, refined shea butter has a longer life than non-refined one. This is because unrefined butter has all of the nutrients and minerals present in it whereas refined one is processed and nutrients are extracted from it so that it can stay longer. 

  2. Storage

    Your method of storing shea butter is another crucial factor to count on while discussing the life of your shea butter. If you have put your refined butter in a cool and dry place, it will last longer than usual. Meanwhile, if it’s randomly placed anywhere, then it will go bad earlier.

  3. Temperature

    Usually, refrigerated butter is apt to have a longer life than those placed at room temperature. While those placed in contact with any kind of light or heat coming from the sun or stove can go bad sooner. So it is always advised to put your jars in refrigerators after using them.

  4. Opened and Sealed Jar

    If you have opened your shea butter jar and used it moderately, chances are that bacteria will start growing inside due to moisture, and your butter will not last long. But if your jar is not opened yet and is placed in a cool and dry place, it can stay longer for up to many years.

  5. Quality

    All shea butter is not created equally, so the creation process is also a significant factor when talking about its life. High-quality shea butter often lasts more than poor-quality butter. So it is always advised to buy it from a reliable company.

Do Shea Butter Expire?

As every rise has a fall, shea butter can also go bad and expire. The main reason is that it is incorporated with some oils and fats that start decomposing after a specific time. With this decomposition, your butter may get discolored and smell bad. 

So, ideally, you should count the expiry date from the date of manufacture and stop using the product afterward.

3 Major Signs to Check if your Butter has Gone Bad

There are some apparently noticeable signs that will tell you that your shea butter is no more. Let’s dive deeper into them.

1. Foul Smell

Foul-smelling shea butter can never be something healthy enough to use. Due to Rancid acid, shea butter starts smelling like vinegar, and we suggest not to use it ever again.

2. Discoloration

If your shea butter has turned off whitish and seems discolored, it is also another sign that it has expired. It’s time to show it the path of your garbage box.

3. Texture change

If the texture of shea butter has changed and it has turned into a liquid substance, then you must dispose of it immediately.

Proven Tips to Make your Shea butter Stay Longer

Here are some incredible tips you can follow to increase the shelf life of shea butter.

  1. Always store your butter in a cool, dry place that is not in direct contact with sunlight and direct heat. You can also place it in the refrigerator for even better results.
  2. Always wash your hands before putting them into the jar to take out your butter. This way, you can resist the spread of microbes such as bacteria.
  3. Use air-tight jars with ultraviolet glass to store butter to increase the shelf life.
  4. You can try storing your butter in multiple smaller portions rather than storing it all in one container. 
  5. Lastly, always buy good quality butter from the market and never compromise on quality for mere bucks. 

Concluding Thoughts

We must conclude by saying that shea butter is a fantastic product that is edible and can be used as a cosmetic. It has room for increased shelf life if stored and used correctly. So never miss out on following any tips and enjoy using shea butter for up to several years.

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