Today, skin care is more than just an investment in your epidermis, it’s also become a new way to show off a collection of highly-coveted, obsession-worthy goodies. Who needs Louboutins and Louis when you have La Mer and Lixir Skin? So, the #shelfie was born, staged photos that display beautiful bottles of the latest skin care collectables—sometimes grouped by color, sometimes type, but always finely curated—in an aspirational shot that makes you want to stock your medicine cabinet with at least 12 new launches from your favorite brands.
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Now, enter the mini-fridge, a cute Polly Pocket-like accessory that instantly levels-up any #shelfie game. They’re tiny, come in millennial-approved pastel shades and provide cooling storage for your face tools (like quartz rollers, cold spoons or cryo sticks) and creams while doubling as a #shelfie staging site. But what exactly do they do for your products? Before you add one to your holiday wishlist, we asked our dermatologist friends to give their two cents on the benefits of a”beauty fridge.”
While most of the doctors we asked say putting your expensive creams in the fridge won’t extend their shelf life, some did see an overall benefit. New York dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD says to go ahead and put your eye creams on ice: “Eye creams are great when refrigerated—cooling helps vasoconstrict the area—so it helps lessens bags.” Morristown, NJ dermatologist Avnee Shah, MD and West Orange, NJ dermatologist Rachael Hartman, MD both agree that the biggest benefit of refrigerating your skin care is the cooling aspect. “If you tend to be dry and itchy, refrigerating your moisturizer prior to application can have a soothing effect,” says Dr. Shah. “It also makes anti-inflammatory creams more effective,” adds Dr. Hartman.
Lake Forest, IL, dermatologist Heather Downes, MD, says the fridge is the best place for prescribed topicals like acne buster clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide gel, “and the other one I always keep refrigerated is hydroquinone,” she says. New York dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD says there are certain products she prefers to always keep cool: “I personally keep my sheet masks in the refrigerator, right next to my wine bottles. I do it more for the cooling feel which is more refreshing than any skin advantages it might offer.”
So, the jury is out. While it might not magically extend the life of your $40, $80 or $120 creams and lotions, you can still put an adorable mini-fridge on your beauty tool wish list as it adds that extra touch to your self-care routine.