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The Truth About Refrigerating Your Skincare Products

The Truth About Refrigerating Your Skincare Products

Useful or useless? We weigh in whether the products in your skincare routine can benefit from chilling out in a fridge… or not.

When it comes to making the most of our skincare routines there are many tricks and beauty habits we like to abide by. Using the right amount of product, rather than slathering handfuls on at a time, for example. We’re all over that. Keeping our towels, bed linen and makeup brushes clean. For sure. Not using face wipes every night to cleanse our skin. Never.

However, there’s one ‘trend’ that continues to do the rounds on Instagram and TikTok that we’re just not that into. Skincare fridges. Call us old-fashioned, but we just don’t see the need for buying an extra contraption for keeping our moisturizers cold. We’ve coped pretty well without one up until now, so is it really necessary? We figured, not.

But we’re nothing if not open-minded, so we decided to research this mini phenomenon a little deeper to find out if we’re missing something. Here’s what we found out…

What Is A Skincare Fridge?

Like tiny, shrunken versions of real fridges, skincare fridges are made specifically for storing your beauty swag, and they’re designed to allegedly help preserve the integrity of your products.

Usually around 12-15 inches tall, they come in all colors and prices (some will set you back a good few hundred bucks!), and many of them even have mirrors attached and LED lights inside.

Temperature-wise they usually sit around the 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit mark. And yes, that’s not quite as cold as regular refrigerators that are used for chilling and preserving your food. These run around the mid-30s.

Hands Up, Do They Work?

You’ve all read skincare labels that advise you to keep your products away from heat, humidity and direct sunlight, right? Well, there’s a good reason for this piece of important advice. These elements can cause certain ingredients in your products to separate or melt, ruining your products and giving them the shelf-life of an already-ripe peach.

To help preserve the longevity and efficacy of your skincare products, however, the general advice, is not to keep them in a fridge, but to store them at room temperature, away from windows where sunlight has the potential to screw them up. And if your bathroom or bedroom gets pretty steamy in the summer? Not a biggie. Most skincare brands put their formulations through endless numbers of shelf-life tests to ensure they remain at their very best, even with a few fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

OK, so does that mean skincare fridges are completely pointless if all of your products are perfectly fine stored at room temperature?

Yes… and no.

There are definitely a few benefits of keeping ‘some’ of your skincare products and tools in the fridge. How nice is it to apply a cool helping of after sun on your skin after a day at the beach, for example? And what about a soothing face mask that’s been kept in the fridge? Heaven.

Keeping gel-based products chilled offers a deliciously cooling effect on the skin which can help to soothe redness, calm inflammation and even revitalize tired eyes if you don't do on a daily basis. Now that, we can get on board with, for sure.

So, Which Products Are OK To Be Kept In A Skincare Fridge?

1. Skincare Tools

Things like gua sha stones, ice globes (for obvious reasons!) or jade rollers can feel incredible on the skin when they’ve been stored in a fridge.

2. Eye Gel

Try keeping your Peptide Eye Gel in the fridge to help reduce puffy eyes and calm irritation. Cold temps help reduce blood flow which reduces inflammation and swelling.

3. Facial Toner

Another good one to keep chilled, a cooling mist of toner is great if you live in a hot climate.

4. Vitamin C Serum (well, maybe!)

Some experts believe that because vitamin C is so unstable, it can be very beneficial to keep your vitamin C serum refrigerated – extending its shelf-life and helping it to remain effective for longer. Our Vitamin C Facial Serum, however, uses Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate which is a vitamin C derivative that’s way more stable than the pure stuff. This means that, sorry skincare fridge manufacturers, but we don't need you. 

And Those That Should Never Go Anywhere Near A Fridge?

More importantly than those that can be refrigerated are those that must never be stored at anything colder than room temperature. Warning: it can do more harm than good…

1. Moisturizer

Just like Goldilocks, moisturizer hates being too hot or too cold. It needs to be just right so that any oils or butters don’t separate from the other ingredients.

2. Face & Body Oils

Cold temperatures can cause oils to separate and/or harden which is bad news either way. They’re way better off stored at room temperature and usually come in dark or opaque bottles to protect them from sunlight, anyway.

3. Clay-Based Products

Any cleansers or face masks containing clay will harden and solidify if chilled which makes them an absolute nightmare to apply. Don’t go there. Our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser loves room temperature. Room temperature all the way, baby!

4. And Your Makeup…

…especially liquid foundations and concealers which often contain oils to give them a smooth texture and feel. You’ll ruin all of that if you keep them in a fridge. End of discussion.

Our Final Takeaway

So, should you invest in a skincare fridge or not? Honestly, we’re not going to rush out to waste our money (we’d rather spend it on SPF and new summer sandals, tbh!). However, if you like to use beauty tools to reduce puffiness and redness, or love to keep your eye gel cool to calm down under eye bags, go nuts.

More About This Article

Georgia Gould

Georgia Gould

Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.