Should You Keep Your Beauty Products In The Fridge? 6 Items That May Need Some Chill
While chilling beauty products is by no means a new phenomenon, mini skin care fridges are having a major moment. Aside from looking adorable, those fridges can allow you to keep your products cool without seeing them next to your oat milk or faintly smelling like leftover takeout. Which raises the question: Should we be chilling our beauty products at all? And if so, which ones?
The answer isn't so clear-cut: While a few products could benefit from a little chill, you don't really need to refrigerate any of them. It might prolong the shelf life if the product is sensitive to light, temperature, and air, but it won't make the ingredients any more potent than they already are. The main reason people chill their products is because of the lovely cooling sensation (which is valid!).
That said, if you are going to stash your beauty products in the fridge, we've asked the experts which items can benefit most. Here's what they say should stay cool:
Vitamin C serums
Vitamin C, despite all its antioxidant benefits, is notoriously unstable: When exposed to air and light, this active ingredient can oxidize and turn brown rather quickly. "Consider keeping it in the fridge to maintain more stability and effectiveness," says board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD.
Again, it's not completely necessary, especially because many products are already formulated to be shelf-stable. Check the packaging: If it's in an opaque, airless container (as it should be), storing your serum in a room temp, dark place will suit you just fine.
Green tea moisturizers
Got green tea? Whether it's in a moisturizer, serum, or hydrating spray, refrigerating those caffeinated products works twofold. Green tea, as it turns out, has the ability to constrict blood vessels in our skin (a process known as vasoconstriction), which can reduce redness and under-eye discoloration. Add a cooling sensation to the mix, and the product becomes an extra-special vasoconstrictor: "A cooler temperature also helps to constrict tiny blood vessels in our face, the same way that applying ice water to a burned area lessens redness and discomfort," says Ciraldo.
These masks—think hydrating, quenching formulas—already have a cooling effect on the skin, and placing them in the fridge can enhance their calming effect and help soothe inflamed skin. "It gives a cooling experience post-workout to lower the skin's internal temperature to reduce visible redness," says celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. Toss a mask in the fridge right before an at-home HIIT session, and you'll revel in the cooling sensation post-sweat.
Chilling your masks is also a great tip for post-treatment relief: "It's especially beneficial after a laser treatment and will help inflammation and calm down redness due to the cool temperature," says celebrity medical esthetician Celeste Rodrigues. Just make sure the mask is chilled, not frigid: A too-cold sensation can shock the skin and actually cause extra redness, even broken capillaries.
Similar to a cold jelly mask, a face mist has the same appeal. The cooling sensation is pretty soothing for inflamed skin (whether it be post-workout or post-treatment), and can calm any redness or flare-ups you've got. Even for conditions like rosacea, notes Ciraldo, a chilled spritz can not only be a refreshing relief but a remedy itself for the redness. "You'll have a more refreshing and effective experience on application," she says.
Just be sure to seal in any face mist with an occlusive agent like a cream or oil to seal in the moisture; chilled or not, face mists can evaporate and leave your skin even drier than it was before.
Aloe vera gel
"Even though we should always protect our skin with sunscreen, sometimes sunburns happen. I like to have a cool aloe in the fridge just in case," says Rodrigues. The cooling sensation might not be what helps the sunburn subside exactly (you'll have aloe's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to thank for that), but it feels pretty ahhh-inducing nonetheless.
Gua shas, jade rollers, or under-eye wands
Those with a strict gua sha game know it well: Those de-puffing tools tend to feel better on your face when cold. Especially in the mornings, when your face may be more swollen than usual, a chilled facial tool can help you carve those cheekbones.
The under-eye area, in particular, can benefit from that cooling sensation; the area is most vulnerable to puffiness and signs of aging, which is why Rodrigues keeps her under-eye wands in a mini-fridge for a refreshing under-eye treatment. Aside from the skin care benefits, it's a nice sensation: "There hasn't been one client who hasn't commented on how amazing it feels," she adds.
But again, just as how you wouldn't want to splash your face with frigid water, you don't want to roll an icy facial tool on your skin—a too-cold stone can shock the skin and cause even more redness.
In the case of refrigerated skin care, you don't necessarily need a nifty beauty fridge to get the most out of your products. They may look pretty sitting on those mini-shelves, but chilling them won't exactly make the ingredients more potent. As long as you keep your easily oxidized ingredients out of the light and replace them regularly, you should be just fine.
That said, it definitely can't hurt. As a general rule, refrigerate the products that are already super hydrating and cooling: Adding a little chill might make the experience more enjoyable—even a little more spa-grade, if that's what you're after.
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Jamie Schneider is the 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.