Tiny, adorable skin-care fridges have steadily become more and more popular, making their way into every corner of the perfectly curated #skinfluencer feed. The idea is that storing your precious skin-care products in a little fridge like this will keep them cool and therefore extend their shelf life and maybe even offer some extra skin benefits.
While a skin-care fridge may not exactly be an essential beauty purchase, Mary L. Stevenson, M.D., assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, tells SELF that it’s perfectly fine to chill many of your skin-care products—and you might even enjoy the feeling of using them on your face! Here’s what you need to know before splurging on one.Is there any reason to keep your skin-care products chilled?
Well, it may not be the most scientific reason, but many people—including this rosacea-prone writer—find that using chilled skin-care products just feels nice. If you’ve never come inside after a long summer hike and slathered your face in a prechilled aloe face mask—my friend, give it a try. You can even get similar effects from a chilled milk compress, Dr. Stevenson says, which is made by soaking a clean washcloth in whole milk and letting it sit in the fridge. The lipids in the whole milk help soothe an irritated skin barrier, which is also partially composed of lipids, she explains.
Keeping your products chilled might also help preserve the shelf life of some of the ingredients in them, allowing you to use them for a little bit longer, Dr. Stevenson says. Theoretically that could include things like antioxidant serums. But the way those products are packaged will matter much more because those ingredients tend to be sensitive to light and air, she explains. If those products are in an opaque, airless container, that’s already doing most of the work to preserve them.
Remember, though, that skin-care products are generally made to be stored at room temperature, Dr. Stevenson says. Chilling some products might actually change their texture and make them less enjoyable to use. “But it’s generally fine to put most things in the fridge if you want,” she says.
Personally, I get the most out of putting soothing masks and face mists in the fridge, which are the two types of products I reach for when my skin is feeling flushed or irritated. In addition to those, Dr. Stevenson says she likes to use chilled hydrating moisturizers and eye creams, which can help de-puff the eye area even more when cool.
Can you just do all this in you regular, full-size refrigerator? Yes, you totally can, Dr. Stevenson says. There’s really no extra benefit to using one of these small, portable skin-care fridges. But, of course, they are the perfect size for your desk, to keep in the bathroom next to your other products, or to keep your skin-care products separate from the edible contents of your fridge. So, for some people, a separate tiny fridge may make sense—or it might just look nice on the ’gram.
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