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Does Refrigerating Your Skin-Care Products Actually Make a Difference in Your Skin?

Does Refrigerating Your Skin-Care Products Actually Make a Difference in Your Skin? featured image
Yulia Lisitsa / Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but I consider myself pretty easily influenced. Especially in the age of TikTok Shop and Amazon, it’s almost too easy to hop on to a trend if you find it intriguing enough, but that doesn’t always mean its necessary, as we all know too well.

Skin care is one of the most popular markets across social media, with influencers and creators showing off a new “must-have” product or technique on the daily. One such trend that swept the skin-care social media scene (and convinced me to pull out my wallet in the process) was that of skin-care fridges. I’ll admit, I bought one pretty rashly, and found myself wondering after the fact “is this really necessary?” In order to find out whether skin-care fridges are more for aesthetic or necessity, we consulted the experts. Ahead, everything you need to know about refrigerating skin care.

Featured Experts

  • Heidi A. Waldorf, MD is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York
  • Ginger King is a cosmetic chemist and skin-care expert
  • Corey Hartman, MD is a board-certified dermatologist in Birmingham, AL
  • Flavia Lanini is the founder and CEO of Flavia Lanini Beauty Institute

Do you need to refrigerate your skin-care products?

Before we can consider whether or not a dedicated fridge separate from the one you put your groceries in is necessary for your skin care, we have to understand if its even necessary to refrigerate skin care at all. The short answer: No. As Dr. Waldorf explains, “You don’t need to refrigerate cosmeceuticals as they are stability-tested at room temperature, so as long as your bathroom cabinet isn’t excessively hot, everything can be kept there. In fact, lowering the temperature may change the consistency.” King agrees, noting that “while some active ingredients can get darker in elevated temperature so keeping in refrigerator can prevent the product’s color turning, there is no real harm in that, so it really isn’t necessary.”

What are the benefits of refrigerating your skin-care products?

“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 can also help 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.”

What skin-care products benefit most from refrigeration?

While both Dr. Waldorf and King note that there is no need to store most of your skin-care products in a fridge as cosmeceuticals are stable at room temperature, they do agree that there are certain benefits to refrigerating some skin-care products. “For liquid or gel products, being cold can add some extra soothing sensation and help in depuffing,” King notes. Dr. Waldorf agrees, adding that “moisturizers or petroleum jelly are examples of bland products that are soothing when cool, which can be nice, for example, after laser resurfacing.”

“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.”

What skin-care products should you not refrigerate?

On the other side of the spectrum, there are certain products that should not be refrigerated. “For cream products, going in and out of a fridge too much may change the texture to be more like cottage cheese,” King notes. “You also want to avoid refrigerating oils because certain oils can be liquid in the summer and solid, like butter, in the winter, due to the amount of fatty acids in the products.” 

Skin-Care Fridges to Try

If you’re looking to test out refrigerating some of your fridge-compatible skin-care products for adding longevity or cooling and depuffing benefits, here are some skin-care fridges to help get you started.

1 / 3

Cooluli Beauty 12L Mini Fridge ($180)

Keeping products at a cool, steady 50º Fahrenheit, Cooluli’s Beauty Fridge provides optimal storage and temperature control for keeping serums, gels, masks and more cool and fresh for application.

BUY NOW – $180

2 / 3

Vanso Portable Mini Fridge ($50)

Not only does Vanso’s portable mini fridge provide ample storage for your products, it also functions as a cooler and a heater and even features a mirror on the door, making it your one-stop shop for portable, temperature-controlled beauty.

BUY NOW – $50

3 / 3

Beauty Spy Mini Fridge ($99)

Perfect for the beauty lover on-the-go, Beauty Spy’s portable mini fridge weighs in at just under four pounds and works without refrigerants or freon, making it a safe and effective way to keep your products cool no matter where like takes you.

BUY NOW – $99

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