When the first-of-its-kind skin-care fridge hit our radar, we were enthralled with its cute and innovative nature. Although a regular refrigerator works just as well for cooling our collection of face masks, serums and moisturizers, the picture-perfect tiny fridge ignited an idea that refrigerating our skin care could amp up its results. While it might seem a bit frivolous, two skin-care professionals say that moving your products from your cabinet to your fridge—whether it’s in your kitchen or in your bathroom—might be worth the extra step.
What it’s all about
“Some people keep their skin-care products in the fridge because they enjoy the way that cool products feel when they are applied and appreciate the calming effects that accompany cooler temperatures,” says Birmingham, AL dermatologist Corey Hartman, MD. “Think about how ice packs are applied to the areas that are treated with injectables and lasers post-procedure. It’s the same concept. The cooling effect helps to reduce inflammation and puffiness.”
Keeping your products cool offers more than skin-calming benefits—it also helps some products last longer. “Some topical skin-care products, like hydroquinone or vitamin C, are notoriously unstable to both temperature extremes and ultraviolet and visible light exposure,” says Dr. Hartman. “Keeping these products in the refrigerator achieves both goals of controlling the temperature and also eliminating the possibility of becoming oxidized when exposed to light.”
Flavia Lanini, founder and CEO of Flavia Lanini Beauty Institute, likes to keep both her vitamin C serum and a face roller on ice as “the coolness will help with lymphatic drainage while giving the skin a firmer result.”
The efficacy debate
“Most skin-care products don’t have to be refrigerated in order to work,” explains Dr. Hartman. “While they’re great for those who prefer a refreshing product application, I advise my patients to store their products in a place that will encourage compliance over effectiveness. The goal is to actually use the product. If you don’t have a skin-care fridge, imagine how hard it would be to go back downstairs every night to get your lightening cream out of the refrigerator in order to apply it consistently,” he adds.
However, Lanini says that if your skin-care routine is filled with natural products, you might need to make more room in your fridge. “With so many brands launching more natural products, which means less chemical preservatives, you must keep an eye on the instructions, which describe how to keep your skin-care favorites active and longer lasting,” she says. “Some labels might instruct you to keep your product in a cool place in order to get the results you’re hoping for.”
For patients with skin irritation, Dr. Hartman and Lanini praise the calming effects of refrigerating your skin care. “If your product is one that should be chilled per the instructions, it will help with reducing inflammation as well as soothing redness that comes alongside many skin conditions,” says Lanini, adding that she often recommends this practice to her clients to “give their skin a boost.”