Raw unrefined Shea butter is a very stable plant fat, so no worries about it going rancid. Just store it in a dry and cool place and your Shea butter can last for years. However, over the years, the nutrients in the Shea butter do start breaking down.
Follow these tips to make sure that your unrefined Shea butter retains its legendary moisturizing properties:
- Store your Shea butter in a cool place, ideally at a temperature between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius (50-68 degrees Fahrenheit).
- While refrigeration can prolong its life, it will harden due to the cold.
- Avoid exposing your Shea butter to hot temperatures or sunlight. For instance, leaving it in your car could cause it to melt!
- Always keep Shea butter covered to prevent exposure to air and contaminants.
- If you’re combining Shea butter with other products, aim to use the mixture within 6 months.
Should Shea Butter Be Kept in the Fridge?
You may be wondering if refrigeration is a good option for storing your Shea butter. While it’s possible, keep in mind that Shea butter hardens in the cold. If you have a large quantity of Shea butter, it might be practical to refrigerate the portion you’re not using daily. However, the key to preserving your Shea butter’s integrity is keeping it away from direct sun and heat. Room temperature around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) is perfectly fine for your everyday supply.
The Golden Rules:
- It’s advisable to use a clean spoon (wooden or otherwise) to scoop out your unrefined Shea butter, rather than using your fingers. This practice helps avoid the introduction of bacteria and contaminants, especially if you’re planning to use the butter over a long period.
- When melting your raw Shea butter, do so gently and avoid overheating it. It’s best to refrain from repeated melting, as this can lead to a loss of nutrients.
- To extend the shelf life of your homemade Shea butter creations, you can add natural preservatives, such as vitamin E. Not only does this prolong its usability, but it also enhances its skin nourishing properties.
In summary, raw Shea butter is an incredibly stable plant fat and can be easily stored at room temperature or in the fridge. If your Shea butter happens to melt and turn grainy when it cools back down too slowly, don’t worry! Fixing grainy Shea butter is a breeze. Check out our post on “How to Fix Grainy Shea Butter” here.
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