Storing your skincare: should we chill on the mini fridges?

Skincare is constantly evolving, with new trends popping up on our feeds monthly. It’s no surprise we’re rethinking skincare storage – but what is a beauty fridge, anyway?

Keeping it cool

You may have noticed the skincare-fridge frenzy on your Instagram feeds. For the uninitiated, you read that right tiny coolers made especially for storing skincare. So, what’s the point of it? Is it as cute as it sounds? (Yep). Do we all absolutely need to be investing in one? (Maybe not). 

The idea is that a chilled environment keeps ingredients stabilised and optimises the lifespan of products, as well as making the cooled formulas extra refreshing for the skin. Rather than housing products in your kitchen fridge, surrounded with bacteria from a variety of foods, a separate skincare fridge ensures your products are kept unpolluted.

For some products, keeping cool is necessary ingredients like live bacteria called probiotics, for example, should be kept in the shade. Some products – such as vitamin C serums – are destabilised by light and heat, so a dedicated fridge prevents any ‘accidentally-left-on-the-windowsill’ shaped mishaps. And while mists and natural toners don’t necessarily need refrigerating, chilling your favourite spray before use can feel especially soothing on inflamed or irritated skin. 

However, dermatologists agree that while refrigerating some products won’t hurt, it’s rarely necessary. Light and heat sensitive formulas come in opaque containers to counteract this, so they will be okay in any cool, dark space. Refrigeration can even render some products useless oils and some natural serums will solidify or separate if the temperature is too low. As for longevity, most of your skincare will have an expiry of around 6-12 months after opening, so you’re unlikely to reap the benefits of extended shelf-life.

So, as a rule of thumb if the packaging doesn’t say so, it doesn’t need chilling. Resoundingly, at a time where we should all be as conscious as possible about our consumption, running an extra appliance should be done only if you have the product to warrant it!

The cosmetic cupboard commandments

  • Avoid areas which are subject to high humidity your products will be better off on your bedroom dresser than in your steamy bathroom cabinet.
  • Keep products out of sunlight, as light and warmth will cause the potency of ingredients to decline at a much faster rate – so dodge any shelves near radiators or windows.
  • If you want to try keeping your skincare chilled, you can store most vitamin C serums, spray toners and depuffing eye masks in sealed sandwich bags in a clean corner of your fridge.

All in all, if you’ve been using a shelf, cupboard or desk in an airy area away from warmth and sunlight, you’re probably just fine to continue as you are. And if you’re still enticed by the idea of having your own tiny pastel-coloured fridge full of skincare luxuries? Go ahead. We won’t judge.

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