No matter your field or profession, there’s bound to be specific questions and concerns that show up over and over again. Virtually everyone has an FAQ list, and in the world of Shea butter skincare it’s no different. Every day, we see some of the same questions over and over again and we thought it was time to put them all together for your convenience. We hope you can find the answers you’ve been looking for.

Question: Is raw Shea butter better than refined?

Answer: In a word, yes, raw Shea butter is the better choice. This is because the refinement process takes out many of the things that are actually beneficial in Shea butter. 

While some people want to use refined Shea butter for its odor-less quality and light color, we feel that it’s just not worth using a much less effective skincare ingredient in the name of color and smell. Keep your Shea butter raw for the best skincare results.

Question: What should Shea butter smell like?

Answer: Different batches of Shea butter will have slightly different scents, but overall the smell of your Shea butter should not be too strong or overwhelming.Typically a high quality raw Shea butter will have a mild, nutty aroma that is not overpowering. It should not smell sharp or “off” in any way; if it does, it’s no longer good to use.

Question: My Shea butter is past the expiration date. What do I do?

Answer: While we can’t speak for other brands, from our experience with our Shea butter,  if well taken care of (meaning kept out of direct sun light and free from water build up inside the container) our Shea butter can last years and still be perfectly fit to use. We are required by law to print an expiration date on all our products, but unlike some food items, for example, if it has gone beyond the printed use by date, it doesn’t necessarily mean that product has gone bad. Pay attention to the smell and look of the Shea butter. As long as it smells fine and looks the same, you are good to go.

Question: Why is some Shea butter white and other batches are yellow?

Answer: One of the interesting things about Shea butter is that it can literally vary from tree to tree.

Some Shea butters are thicker, others a bit more smooth, some a more cream color while others have a slight yellow tinge. However, the batches of Shea butter you see for sale that are a very deep and brightly pigmented yellow are actually colored that way with plant pigments that have been added into the Shea. There are no therapeutic benefits to this, it is simply for aesthetic reasons.