Should You Freeze Your Beauty Blender? A Makeup Artist Weighs In
I'm generally a fan of finger-painting my makeup, but when it comes to applying complexion products—like foundation or concealer—a beauty sponge is the holy grail. These plush little applicators can offer a dewy, seamless finish, elevating your look with every bounce and swipe. (Just don't forget to clean them regularly.)
Some people—namely, beauty fans on TikTok—swear a frozen beauty sponge can level up your makeup and leave you with extra-silky, velvety skin. Seems suspect but intriguing nonetheless—we had to probe an expert for her thoughts.
Should you freeze your beauty sponge?
It sounds nice in theory: You're essentially giving your beauty sponge some skin-soothing properties, transforming it into a facial-roller/beauty-sponge hybrid that can calm your skin and blend your makeup.
But according to makeup artist Jenny Patinkin, it's mostly hype. "As a makeup artist and someone who makes sponges, I personally think this hack is a bit silly," she says. First, "The ice can melt while you're applying, which can impact the texture and pigments in your foundation," she continues. "Makeup is formulated to be room temperature, and any deviation can have an impact on how it goes on." Since oil and water do not play nice (and most makeup is oil-based), you may wind up with a goopy, patchy application when the sponge starts to thaw.
Plus, says Patinkin, a frozen beauty sponge might not lend a natural-looking finish, if that's the look you're hoping for. "Foundation works better when it melds with your skin via a slight increase in body heat, which won't happen if you're using a frozen tool."
Don't you just love it when a foundation or concealer melts into your skin with a soft press of your fingertips? A frozen sponge takes away that warmth, so the product might not fuse to your natural skin texture as easily, which can make it appear cakey.
On that note: "A firm sponge doesn't blend in sheer layers the way a soft sponge does, so you may end up with heavier and less even coverage," Patinkin adds. You see, the tiny pores are what give a beauty sponge that silky payoff. "Every time the sponge bounces on your skin, it deposits just a little more makeup and softens the look in a very controlled way," Patinkin explains. When those pores fill up with ice, they can't absorb the makeup—which can lead to over-application.
A better tip.
Listen, we get it: A frozen sponge feels lovely on the skin, and who doesn't want to streamline their beauty routine? But according to Patinkin, you'll be better off using a chilled facial roller before applying your makeup. Yes, it adds an extra step, but beauty sponges (and complexion products, for that matter) do their best work at room temperature.
But if you are going to test this trick, make sure to squeeze out all of the excess water in the sponge before stashing it in the freezer. That way, you minimize the amount of ice lodged in the pores and avoid over-applying your makeup. (If you do end up going overboard on the pigment, here's a hack to lift the excess product.)
It seems freezing your beauty sponge can do more harm than good for your makeup. Everyone's experience is different, so who knows—you may find success and consider it your newest go-to trick. In that case, carry on! But given how frozen sponges cannot absorb makeup too well and make it more difficult to melt the product into the skin, Patinkin says the freezer trick isn't necessary.
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.