How Long Does It Take for Shea Butter to Work?

Using shea butter can heal acne scars, reduce the appearance of bruises, soften the skin, and more. If you’re new to using this miracle treatment, you’re probably curious about how long it takes to be effective. Daily applications lead to undeniable benefits you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

Shea butter takes four days to clear nasal congestion, three months to soothe and soften skin, and up to six months to eliminate or reduce scars. You should leave shea butter applied for eight hours daily. It can go bad after about 12 months, so ensure you use it enough to keep it from going rancid.

 In this post, I’ll discuss a detailed timeline of how long it takes for shea butter to work, what you can expect from long-term usage, and how often you need to use it to receive all of the benefits. I’ll also show you tips to prevent it from going rancid too quickly.

All natural Shea Butter, raw Shea Butter

How Quickly Does Shea Butter Work?

Unfortunately, you can’t expect instant or overnight results when using new treatments. Natural solutions usually take a bit longer than chemical-packed ones because they’re not intended to dry out the skin. Shea butter works on a long but very effective timeline. Let’s dive into what you can expect in the first few weeks of using it below.

  • Shea butter can clear nasal passages in as little as four days. Public Health explains shea butter has been proven to work in less than a week for hay fever and similar congestive health issues. You’ll notice results within a few days of using it, but long-term usage can negate these problems altogether.
  • It’s been known to show short-term benefits as quickly as 30 seconds after the initial application. Once you start using shea butter regularly, it works to soothe your congestion, open your breathing passageways, and make it much easier to get back to your life without feeling clogged up.
  • For the best results, it’s advisable to use shea butter daily. If you’ve never tried it, these timelines are accurate. However, those who’ve used shea butter every day for many weeks, months, or years will get rid of rough skin patches, congestion, and acne much quicker because it’s also used as a preventative.
  • Some people’s skin is more absorbent and reactive to shea butter. Although these estimates are based on numerous studies, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different. You can’t expect the same results as friends or family members since your skin might be lighter, darker, softer, or tougher.
  • Visible improvements take longer than softening and hydration. You’ll feel your skin become much healthier relatively quickly. That being said, some of the benefits take a bit longer to take effect. Don’t feel discouraged if your skin isn’t glowing, soft, and scar-free after a couple of weeks of using shea butter.

As you can see, there are more than enough perks to make shea butter worth using. Even if you only try it for a handful of days, you’ll notice your skin feels better, and it’s a bit easier to breathe (for those with congestion issues). If you want to know some of the effects you can expect after several months of using shea butter, read on.

What Are the Long-Term Benefits of Shea Butter?

Most of shea butter’s impressive benefits show up after a month or two of using it. While you might not notice immediate changes for some skin conditions, the long-term effects are undeniable.

So, what will shea butter do for your skin after a few months?

  • Your skin should start to feel softer in about three months. Softening your skin requires plenty of nutrients, repetition, hydration (from the shea butter and your diet), and more. With persistence, you can ensure you’ll have much better results in about a quarter of a year (some people take a little shorter or longer to see the effects).
  • Glowing or radiant skin tones can improve in a matter of weeks. Once your skin has all of its natural oils returned and balanced, it’ll look healthy and vibrant. This lively appearance makes your skin look more energized and smoothens discolorations from acne, dryness, and other skin conditions.
  • Dark spots and scars may take up to half of a year. According to the Derm Report, you shouldn’t expect stubborn skin darkening or imbalanced colors and scar tissue to go away until four to six months of continuous use. This might seem like a long time, but it takes a while for the shea butter to penetrate the skin and return it to a healthy state.
  • Shea butter provides a healthier treatment, but it takes longer than inorganic solutions. If you’re not noticing results after one or two applications, don’t worry; Natural topical treatments aren’t as quick because they don’t dry the skin. Short-term drying from chemicals fight acne right away but can lead to all sorts of skin problems.
  • Redness and itching can be treated for short-term and long-term skin conditions. Whether you have these issues caused by alcoholic-based treatments or a genetic skin problem, shea butter is a proven way to fight it. You’ll notice the cooling sensation immediately and dryness prevention after some months.

Shea butter is an excellent choice for instant and long-term skin goals. If you want the healthy, firm, soft feeling combined with anti-aging and anti-scarring properties, look no further. These timelines show you how long you’ll have to wait to get the results you see and hear about from people who’ve been enjoying it.

How Many Times a Day Should You Apply Shea Butter?

Now that you know shea butter can help you achieve healthier, brighter skin, you’re probably wondering how often you’re supposed to use it. Contrary to popular belief, more isn’t always better. You don’t need to coat your skin in shea butter around the clock to reap the benefits. Remember that your skin needs time to breathe and produce natural oils.

Use Shea Butter Daily for Visible Improvements

Shea butter can be used every day. Make sure you apply it when your face (or wherever else you use it) is clean and free of debris. Bacteria and oil gather on your skin, so it’s important to wipe it away to create a clean slate to apply the shea butter. If you want the previously mentioned results, daily or every other day applications are necessary.

Keep It On Your Skin for 8 to 8.5 Hours

Shea butter soaks into your skin, but you shouldn’t wipe it off or take a shower until it’s sat there for a while. Many people find it easy to forget, so they wash their face without thinking about the fact that they just removed their shea butter.

If you’re worried you might not remember it’s there, consider applying the shea butter every night before you go to sleep. Wash it off in the more, and you’ll be good to go!

Test a Small Area With Shea Butter Beforehand

Although shea butter works with all skin types, it’s crucial to know whether or not you might experience a reaction. Raw shea butter is very healthy, so it’s unlikely you’ll notice any issues. Always read the ingredients of shea butter solutions bought at stores or online. Nothing beats homemade whipped shea butter!

Follow these three suggestions for using shea butter will ensure you get the optimal outcome. The most important thing is to not wash it off for the eight-hour time limit. Once you’ve reached this time frame, wash your skin with warm water. It’ll open your pores and allow your skin to produce its natural oils.

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Does Shea Butter Go Bad?

Although shea butter boasts dozens of incredible health benefits, it’s not everlasting. Better Shea Butter states most shea butter lasts up to 24 months before it goes bad. Some shea butter only lasts about 12 months, so we recommend checking the expiration date before purchasing and storing the shea butter.

Here’s how you can get the most out of it:

  1. Make sure your shea butter is stored in an airtight container. If you’re making DIY whipped shea butter, store it in mason jars to keep it sealed.
  2. Don’t let it get too humid. Moisture can dampen and ruin your shea butter’s consistency, making it much harder to apply.
  3. Fluctuating temperatures or extremely low or high temperatures can make your shea butter rancid. We suggest keeping it away from light sources, candles, and so on.

Your shea butter might separate, especially if it has many additives (essential oils, carrier oils, rosewater, etc.). This process is natural, so don’t worry about it. Also, it has a low melting point. Rancid shea butter often smells sour and pungent.


Shea butter might take a handful of months to work, but many people report that it’s well worth the wait. Continuous use yields countless benefits ranging from clear, soft skin to relieved and reduced scars. Keeping your shea butter in an airtight, room temperature container will increase its shelf life and effectiveness.

1 comment

Veda Burns

Hello Ms. Lloyd.
I’m using all natural Shea butter directly from Africa. Will research to determine if NATURALLYTRIBALSKINCARE SELLS PRODUCTS.

I’m a women in my mid sixties who gently cares for my complexion, and many ask what I use for my skin care. I also use hyaluronic acids and squalene.

Can you recommend products to decrease or improve the smile lines on my face?

Thank you,


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