Shea butter is obtained by extracting a fatty substance from the shea tree. Shea butter is used in skin creams and lotions because of its moisturizing properties. The average shelf life of raw, unrefined shea butter is 12 to 24 months.
To prolong the shelf life, you should store shea butter below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bright light or extended sun exposure can degrade shea butter and shorten its shelf life.
You can add natural preservatives, such as Vitamin E, to the shea butter to make it last longer.
Never buy shea butter that wasn't transported in airtight containers and maintained in a cool, dark environment during transport. The shea butter will probably have a shortened shelf life and might even be rancid.
In addition to the skin moisturizing benefits of shea butter, it has minor sunscreen properties, has been used as a decongestant and anti-inflammatory and can be used for cooking oil or to light lamps.