Should I Refrigerate My Skin Care Products?
Keep your skin care chilled and fresh with the best beauty fridges, plus learn more about their potential skin health benefits.
It’s not your imagination: a beauty fridge is the latest must-have for skin care and beauty product junkies.
“Images across social media featuring mini fridges packed with skin care and makeup products are more and more abundant,” says Jennifer Herrmann, board-certified dermatologist at Moy, Fincher, and Chipps Facial Plastics &Dermatology in Beverly Hills.
These cute, Instagram-worthy mini fridges allow you to keep both skin care and beauty products at a stable temperature. Not too hot, not too cold—as might happen in your regular fridge—but just right.
“With a proper investment in a beauty fridge, you will find that your products are kept well within the temperature range they should be,” says Savannah St. Jean, a beauty and makeup artist and founder of Savannah Rae Beauty in Miramar Beach, Florida.
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What should you store in your beauty fridge?
Not all products need to be stored in a beauty fridge. In fact, most are actually OK at room temperature.
“The majority of beauty and skin care products that you can purchase at major retailers, and that contain preservatives, will not need to be stored in a beauty fridge,” says St. Jean.
“These products have gone through intensive testing to ensure that they can withstand a multitude of temperatures without the risk of spoiling early,” she says. “But DIY beauty products, or all-natural and organic products are great to store in a beauty fridge because they don’t contain the preservatives needed to go without a cooler temperature.”
Ingredients with a short shelf life
Other products that are good to store in a beauty fridge? There are some formulations that have a relatively short shelf life, and for some of them, refrigeration can help prolong the life, explains Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell in New York City. “Ingredients that fall under the ‘short shelf life’ category include vitamin C, retinol, probiotics, and some combinations of benzoyl peroxide.”
Also, refrigerating skin care products that don’t contain preservatives—sometimes true for “clean” or “natural” products—may help extend the lifespan. “Any skin care product that claims to be soothing, cooling, and anti-inflammatory may be more soothing and cooling if stored in a refrigerator,” says Dr. King.
For example, cooling face masks and anti-itch lotions with menthol may feel more soothing if they are cooled, she explains.
“Some antioxidants like vitamin C can be unstable in extreme heat and light, so a dark refrigerator wouldn’t hurt,” says Dr. Herrmann. “But again, if these products are kept at room temperature in their intended containers—which are often opaque—they should last for their recommended time usage.”
Generally speaking, she says, “skin care products and makeup products, especially, shouldn’t be kept for more than three months, and certainly not years, as bacteria and other microorganisms are introduced by fingers.”
Whether or not you use a beauty fridge, contamination will always be an issue, however. It’s good practice to always use clean hands and spatulas to scoop out any product you plan to use, suggests St. Jean.
What temperature should your beauty fridge be kept at?
The temperature at which you keep your fridge matters when it comes to keeping products from spoiling.
“Many beauty manufacturers recommend that skin care products be stored somewhere between 45 and 50 degrees,” says Dr. King. “This temperature range maintains ideal consistency of products while reducing risk of growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast, and decreasing risk of accelerated deactivation of active ingredients and preservatives.”
Colder temperatures may affect the consistency of some products, adds Dr. King, making them thicker and more difficult to spread.
“Very cold temperatures can permanently alter the texture of some products,” she says.
Which beauty fridge should you buy?
Choosing a beauty fridge is all about personal preference.
“Size really depends on how many products you’re looking to keep in it, and shelves can be handy for organization if you have a lot,” says Dr. Herrmann. “Adjustable temperature is also a nice feature, as it can be set at a moderately cool temperature to prevent any unwanted freezing, and adjusted if need be.”
Based on our dermatologist and beauty expert recommendations, we’ve rounded up the following beauty fridges.
AstroAI Mini Fridge 4 Liter/6 Can AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer for Skincare
You can plug this mini fridge into your wall, or into your car’s 12V socket if you’re taking it on the go. Either way, it keeps contents hot or cold (and it holds onto the chill for hours after it’s turned off). A top handle makes it super portable.
Cooluli Concord Blue 20 Liter Compact Cooler Warmer Mini Fridge
You’re paying a premium for this slightly larger fridge, which has temperature controls on the exterior, so you can adjust how hot or cool the fridge gets without having to open the door. “This fridge is a great choice because you can visibly see the temperature on the LCD screen on the door,” says St. Jean. “It has shelves, as well, to ensure that you can fit all the products you need to inside.”
Uber Appliance Mini Fridge
This mini fridge—available in black, blue, silver, red, and white—can cool things down to 32 degrees F below ambient temperature, or heat contents to 135 degrees F. Keep the shelf in place to help store more, or remove it if you have bigger, taller products. You’ll appreciate how quiet the fan is.
CAYNEL Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer, (4 Liter/6 Can) Portable Compact Personal Fridge
We love the bright pastels and retro look of this four-liter mini fridge. You can feel good about using it, too—thanks to the energy-efficient operating system that’s not only quiet but also environmentally friendly. It comes with a one-year warranty, too, in case you run into any issues. It can be adjusted from 40 degrees F to 145 degrees F.
Gourmia GMF668 Thermoelectric Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer with Bluetooth Speaker
Getting ready for the day is downright fun when you use this mini fridge to store your skin care and beauty regimen. It has a built-in Bluetooth speaker, so you can rock out to your favorite jams while you apply all your products. Adjust it from 32 degrees F below ambient temperature, or heat contents to 135 degrees F. It’s ETL-certified, which means it’s been tested for safety standards, so you’ll know you’re getting a safe product.
Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer (4 Liter/6 Can)
“This four-liter option from Cooluli is very popular,” says Dr. Herrmann. “It comes in a variety of colours, is rather compact, but has shelves as well as storage in the door to hold lots of products well.” Choose from black, white, blue, fuchsia, pink, red, or the spotted “cow” pattern.
Chefman Mini Portable Eraser Board Personal Fridge
You can scribble notes, reminders, quotes, affirmations—whatever!—on the front of this fridge thanks to its dry erase board. And you can flip the switch to go from cooling to heating. Eco-friendly, it has a removable shelf and a large handle, making it easy to travel with.