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We’ve all seen them at department stores, on Instagram, or even in our favorite influencer’s bathroom: tiny, cute refrigerators made especially for your beloved skincare products. And with them, swarms of people raving about how cooling their products helps boost circulation, refresh their skin, and leave them ready for the day.
But is there anything to the craze, or is it all good marketing and (extra cold) snake oil? Here’s everything we know.
One of the biggest claims is that refrigerating skincare products will help them soak into the skin or become more potent and effective. This is basically a total myth.
While there’s no denying that the products may feel better on your skin, the reality is that there’s virtually no effect on their efficacy. The one exception? Creams or gels that are meant to de-puff tired eyes. For these products, the cold will actually help constrict the blood vessels and decrease inflammation in the area. Translation? Faster de-puffing and clearer eyes.
Yes, there are many products that can benefit from going in the fridge, like vitamin C, retinoids, or products with live-active cultures (more on this later). That said, there are some products that definitely have no place in the chiller. This includes oil-based products and clay masks. Why?
Oil-based products, for one, usually have both water and oil ingredients. The cold can cloud these formulas and make these components separate, rendering the products essentially useless. Clay masks, on the other hand, can get way too hard -- and it’ll be impossible to spread over your skin.
While refrigerating skincare can’t make your products more effective, it canextend their product shelf life. This is especially true for:
Think about the conditions in your bathroom: it’s hot, it’s bright, and there’s usually bacteria floating around in there from….bathroom activities. Well, this is notthe ideal environment for your skincare, and it can affect the appearance, texture, smell, and effectiveness of your products.
Keeping your products in a cool, dry place, on the other hand, can discourage bacterial growth and maximize shelf life.
Placing anything in the refrigerator will physically cool it. Well, cold can calm redness, itchiness, or dryness on the skin. This can make refrigerated products more soothing when applied directly to the skin. This is especially true for people fighting:
In short, refrigerating your skincare isn’t a holy grail, but it can’t hurt for the majority of your products -- and it can definitely make your bathroom feel fancy. So if you’re thinking about buying that pastel pink mini fridge, now might be the time to add it to your Christmas list.