Can Shea Butter Go Bad? Why Your Butter May Have Mold On It

Shea butter has been a part of the cosmetic industry for centuries. It’s packed with plenty of fatty acids and vitamins that benefit the skin to a great extent.

But how long does shea butter last?

Why Shea Butter Goes Bad?

Shea butter is one of the best moisturizers that you can use to make your skin glow.

But did you know that shea butter can go bad?

All the shea butter will eventually mold into an impure form. We are not exaggerating!

Molding of shea butter happens when you do not store it properly.

Unrefined shea butter has a shelf life of around 24 months. With this, we mean 24 months from its manufacturing date.

However, so long shelf life can be achieved only if the shea butter is stored the right way.

Can Shea Butter Go Bad?

Shea butter can last you a very long time if you use it in the right way. Most people think that shea butter can spoil very soon if you don’t store it in a clean and hygienic way.

To store the shea butter properly, you can use a plastic (food-grade plastic) or glass airtight container, or a ziplock bag. It is very important to use containers that don’t allow air and moisture to come in.

But the most important thing you should know when storing shea butter is to store shea butter away from direct sunlight and heat. And don’t worry, you can store your shea butter in the refrigerator.

But can shea butter actually go bad? Shea butter is available in different grades. The cheapest grade has a very short shelf life of just 1-2 years. If you use this shea butter, then you can still use it after that,

The other grade of shea butter is known as the virgin grade. This is the highest grade of shea butter available on the market and lasts for almost five years on the shelf. So, shea butter is shelf-stable and cannot spoil.

But did you know that there is a way it can turn moldy?

Can Shea Butter Get Moldy?

Can shea butter grow mold

Shea butter can become moldy because it’s also made up of bacteria and the moisture in the air will cause it to get slimy and make it smell bad.

And the only thing that can help it is to bleach the fabric and then gently squeeze out the shea butter from the fabric.

You can keep shea butter on the shelf for years and never have to worry about the lifespan. However, you can’t store the shea butter in a closed container with air access or need a heating, as it can become moldy and potentially poisonous.

How To Tell If Shea Butter Has Gone Bad?

Shea butter is made with the oil that comes from the nut’s root (hence the name). It is mainly extracted from the dried milk of the nuts. The sap of this nut is a rich source of Vitamin E. It can be used for around two years to nourish and moisturize your skin. 

However, organic unrefined shea butter is mostly made in Ghana and it has to go all the way to you. 

So, how to tell if your shea butter has gone bad?

Put it simply, your shea butter shouldn’t stink and it should never have a rancid scent. 

If your shea butter smells rancid, you would know. It smells like olive oil, old car oil, or vinegar.


Natural shea butter products are hugely popular these days. However, with such popularity, there are questions about storing and expiration dates.

The shelf life of shea butter can vary depending on the quality and type of the product. The quality of the shea butter doesn’t change when the product is manufactured and it only gets weaker with age.

All you need to do is keep your favorite shea butter moisturizing your face throughout the day and it will keep looking fresh.

Shea butter comes in various kinds of finishes, such as powders and milk, and is available in different formulations, such as it comes in different weights, oils, or liquified into a paste.

The oils in the products also determine the quality and shelf life.