If you haven’t been living under a rock, you will have seen the skincare fridge trend that has swept through the online skincare community. According to skincare gurus singing the praises of these mini skincare fridges; refrigerating your products will increase their effectiveness. This can be true with some products, but not all! So is a skincare fridge worth it?
Is a skincare fridge really worth the money?
Does a skincare fridge increase product effectiveness?
The answer actually varies product to product! Long story short, it will provide a pleasant cooling sensation with most products but usually won’t create long term benefits. Chilling your skincare does help with preventing bacteria buildup! Pots of moisturizer can start growing bacteria after having fingertips dipped in over and over again especially when they are commonly stored on steamy bathroom countertops. Storing facial creams in the fridge will prevent any opportunity for bacteria to sneak in the mix.
In a review with Shape magazine Howard Sobel, M.D., NYC located dermatologist says:
Keeping skincare cold is not really necessary. There is no difference in the actual properties and benefits.
“It does add an extra calming effect to face masks, moisturizers, and creams, which is especially helpful when treating irritated skin,” says Dr. Sobel. He recommends stashing face masks (“those with cooling ingredients, like mint, feel nice when cold”), eye cream (“it can minimize puffiness for under eye bags”), and moisturizers in the fridge. Cold serums might also help calm inflamed acne bumps, he adds, as well as any formula that contains aloe; when cold, the ingredient can be incredibly soothing.
In a 2017 interview with Allure Elizabeth Tanzi, board-certified dermatologist also agrees that chilling eye products can reap extra benefits.
Tanzi says the only product that’d benefit from cooler temps is a cream or gel formulated to de-puff tired eyes. “The fact that it’s cold helps to vasoconstrict and may help with puffiness,” says Tanzi. “Otherwise, I don’t think there is much difference between room-temperature and cold products.”
The specific ingredients in your products are important to consider, too, says Debra Jaliman, MD, another New York City dermatologist from the same interview.
“Refrigerating products may help extend their shelf life,” she tells us. That includes vitamin C, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide formulas. These ingredients “should not be kept in warm environments,” Dr. Jaliman explains, and refrigerating them could keep them stable longer.
What skincare ingredients benefit from being refrigerated?
Vitamin C and retinoids (vitamin A derivative serums) are sensitive to sunlight and temperature, they can they break down and oxidize faster if not stored in a dark cool location. This is why vitamin C and retinoid serums are typically bottled in dark tinted glass. Storing them in the fridge will boost their shelf life and ensure they don’t break down and stay stable. I’ve made the mistake of leaving Vitamin C serums on a shelf exposed to sunlight; they change color and develop funky scents. Don’t make the same mistake as me! AHA and BHA products are also just as sensitive.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if the product causes sun sensitivity it should be stored somewhere cool and dark and would highly benefit from being stored in a skincare fridge!
What types of skincare products should be kept room temperature?
Oil and fat based products can become cloudy when chilled. Lower temps can cause the oil and water ingredients in the product to separate and become un-useable. Some face masks should also be left out of the fridge. Mud masks will become rock hard when refrigerated so make sure these don’t get mixed into your weekly skincare #shelfie.
Can I just keep skincare products in my normal fridge?
Nope! Have you ever accidentally frozen lettuce in the fridge by storing it in the wrong place? I’m not crying over $2 bucks lost over lettuce but we would have a serious problem if that was one of my prize serums. A product might accidentally freeze if left in the fridge. Mini fridges typically don’t get as cold as a full-fledged fridge and that is for the best! I’d hate to see something like a face mask in a foil pack freeze, that would not be a pretty sight!
Skincare fridge alternative?
I want to get a skincare fridge eventually but haven’t quite gotten there yet. In the meantime, I realized I have a wine cooler that is constantly half full. Instant skincare fridge! I’m going to be posting updates over on Instagram about whether I see a difference in products effectiveness after being chilled. If you’d like to see how that plays out and if you don’t follow my page already you can check it out here @girlchickbetty
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Want to get into the skincare fridge craze? Here are some budget-friendly and highly rated mini fridges: