Skincare fridges—by now, you’ve probably seen them all over Instagram. They’re definitely cute, but does refrigerating your products really provide any benefit to your skin? Will it make your products last longer? Here are my thoughts on this trend.
Should I Put My Skincare Products in the Fridge?
The short answer is, there is absolutely no need to refrigerate your products unless they aren’t properly preserved or are poorly stabilized. The vast majority of skincare products are formulated to be stored at room temperature. Cosmetic chemists have put a lot of time and effort into creating sophisticated preservative systems so that our products a) don’t go bad and b) remain safe for us to use.
If a product does need to be refrigerated, it will be because a brand doesn’t use preservatives or emulsifiers (which means a product won’t last more than a few weeks). In this case, products should already be refrigerated at the store when you purchase them. This is because the cold will help increase the stability of the product, which will increase the shelf-life of the product. If you’re concerned about the shelf-life of your products, learn how to tell if your skincare products are expired.
Products With Probiotics
Another reason a product may need to be refrigerated is if it includes probiotics (live bacteria). More and more companies are seeking ways to successfully incorporate probiotics into their products. This is tricky, however, because preservative systems are specifically designed to discourage any kind of bacterial growth in our products. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a type of preservative that can distinguish between “good” and “bad” bacteria. This means that, for now, skincare products that include probiotics can’t really include preservatives.
Will Chilling My Products Harm Them?
No harm will be done to your products if you refrigerate them. That said, if you choose to refrigerate something, it’s worth being consistent. Leaving a product out sometimes and chilling it others will lead to big temperature fluctuations. This could potentially have a negative effect. Speaking of negative effects, you may have also wondered how heat might affect your products. Learn whether skincare products will go bad if left in the heat.
What to Keep in a Skincare Fridge
So, given all this, is there any point in having a skincare fridge? Well, don’t go throwing yours out just yet! While a skincare fridge definitely isn’t necessary, it has the potential to enhance your skincare experience in a few ways.
Eye Cream or Eye Patches
One type of product that could benefit from being chilled is eye creams and/or patches. Refrigerating them can help alleviate puffiness around the eyes since cold temperatures reduce swelling. This is probably the one instance in which a skincare fridge could make your skincare product more effective. Learn more about why your eyes might be puffy and what you can do about it.
My favorite eye cream to keep chilled is Vitamin C Eye Brightener. This no-sting, brightening cream is already formulated to reduce puffiness, so adding that chill factor can turn it up a notch.
Gel Masques and Other Water-Based Products
Keep masques with a gel-like texture in the fridge for an even better experience. Not only do cool temperatures feel great on the skin, but they can also help alleviate redness and irritation by shrinking the blood vessels in your skin.
The reason I recommend keeping gel masques in the fridge is that they tend to be water-based. This is preferable since chilling something water-based isn’t likely to affect the texture of the product. While keeping something cream-based in a skincare fridge won’t harm the formula, it could make the texture a little less desirable. Other water-based products you could chill for a bit of a cooling effect include toners and sheet masks.
If you don’t have a skincare fridge, there’s no reason to rush out and buy one. Skincare products are, by and large, carefully formulated to remain stable at room temperature. That said, if you’d really like to chill your skincare products, it won’t harm them. Just make sure you’re consistent about chilling a product as constantly fluctuating temperatures could potentially have a negative impact. Keeping your products in a skincare fridge won’t make them more effective, but the cool temperatures can definitely feel pleasant on the skin and may even be somewhat beneficial for conditions like redness and puffy eyes.
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”