When you buy Shea butter at the store or are shopping for it online you’ll see that different brands package their Shea butter in different ways. There’s everything from plastic tubs and re-sealable bags to glass jars and aluminum tins. And while there’s no one right kind of container or storage system to use for your Shea butter, there are definitely more ideal kinds. Following are some of our recommendations, do’s, don’ts, pros and cons for how, and in what, you store your Shea.

Plastic: Plastic has its perks. It’s easy to find, you can put it in the recycling when you’re done and it costs less. It’s also light, you typically don’t have to worry about it breaking and you can choose to use amber or blue colored plastic if you want to protect your Shea butter from light (hint hint: you do). On the down side, plastic tends to leach into the things it’s holding, whether it’s water or a plant lipid like Shea butter. This can become really problematic if the smell of the plastic starts to get into the product, and for this reason plastic is probably the least ideal material to store your Shea butter in.

Aluminum: Aluminum has a couple of the same perks as plastic: it’s light and you don’t have to worry about it breaking. Additionally, it doesn’t really have a smell either and does a great job of keeping the Shea butter fresh. It also has a nice, kind of sleek and even edgy look to it, which can be fun as well. And it protects the Shea from light, which helps prevent it from going rancid. However, Aluminum containers can dent, so care must be taken if you don’t want that to happen. And they could be potentially harmful for anyone with an aluminum allergy.

Glass: Glass is by far the cleanest material to work with in terms of leaching and allergies. It does a great job of keeping the product inside fresh, and dark colored amber or blue glass can be used to keep light out as well, which is great. However it is a little heavier than aluminum or plastic, and can break if dropped or hit hard enough, so care must naturally be taken to avoid this. Glass also has the sleekest look and small little glass jars make for cute and fun gifts.