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What not to put in a skincare fridge, according to dermatology experts

You’ve likely seen these buzzy devices on social media, but they’re not suited for storing all your skincare necessities.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 21, 2023 • 9 min read
Medically reviewed by Laura Phelan, NP-C
Skincare Fridge
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 21, 2023 • 9 min read
Medically reviewed by Laura Phelan, NP-C
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Scrolling through TikTok or Instagram, you’ve probably seen a particular amenity popularized by beauty lovers and skincare aficionados alike: the skincare fridge. Simply put, it’s a mini fridge designed to store skincare products and tools like facial rollers to make them more refreshing to use and, in some cases, to increase their longevity. 

But the truth is, many products do just fine sitting in your medicine cabinet or on a cosmetics shelf. In fact, cold temperatures can even negatively impact some products. Ultimately, a skincare fridge isn’t a necessity to have a solid skincare routine, but if you are interested in this amenity, we’re here to explain what you should know about its proper use.

What is a skincare fridge?

A skincare fridge is a small refrigerator typically used for storing certain skincare products in a cooled environment. It’s meant to be placed in the bathroom or bedroom where you normally apply your skincare products. That way, any items you need to keep cool are handy and ready to use when you need them.

Skincare fridges come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. They range in price from about $30 to $100 or more and may have additional features like Bluetooth connectivity and built-in speakers. The main benefit of a skincare fridge is that it gives you the option to store some of your products at temperatures cooler than room temperature. But is it really necessary? We say: nope!

Can I use my regular refrigerator as my skincare fridge?

You can store some of your skincare products in your regular refrigerator, but that option has a couple of drawbacks.

First, there are temperature differences to consider. A regular fridge runs between 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit, while a skincare fridge, on the other hand, typically runs between 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing skincare in a regular fridge may cause separation of the ingredients or harden the texture, making it difficult to spread on the skin.

A skincare fridge is also smaller than a regular fridge. It’s portable, allowing you to put it anywhere. Plus, you can store your skincare products separately from your food, keeping them within reach. Using a skincare fridge avoids over-chilling them and provides for a more efficient morning and evening skincare routine.

The beauty benefits of a skincare fridge

What exactly are the benefits of storing your skincare products at a cooler temperature? Allow us to explain.

Protects products from exposure to sun, heat, and humidity.

You may expose your skincare products to heat, humidity, and sunlight when you keep them in the bathroom, kitchen, or even a bedroom. Exposure to elements like these can damage the ingredients in the product.

On the other hand, keeping them in a skincare fridge protects them from these elements and may help them last longer. According to the FDA, warm temperatures can increase the risk of bacterial growth and ingredient breakdown.¹ Storing some products in a skincare fridge can help prevent these effects.

Extends the life of some products

Some products, in particular, may better maintain their effectiveness when stored at cooler temperatures. A vitamin C serum is a good example. A powerful antioxidant that may help delay the appearance of aging, vitamin C is a fragile ingredient. Some forms of the vitamin lack stability and may lose their effectiveness over time. According to a 2014 study focusing on Vitamin C in juices, vitamin C is “easily degraded during storage.”² The researchers added that storage at a lower temperature could slow the degradation rate.

Products without preservatives may also last longer in a skincare fridge. With consumers calling for more natural ingredients, some manufacturers have completely removed preservatives from their solutions. Because these formulations lack preservative chemicals, they can spoil quickly. Cooler temperatures may help extend their shelf-life.

Creates a cooling effect upon application

Some products, like eye creams, toners, mists, masks, and eye rollers, feel better when chilled. In addition to feeling fabulous, storing these products in your skincare fridge can also help boost their power to reduce puffiness and irritation. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), a cool compress is a good home remedy for under-eye bags.³ You may enjoy the same benefits from a cool eye mask, roller, or gel.

What not to put in a skincare fridge

Though some products benefit from being stored at cooler temperatures, others may be damaged. Let’s look at the products you definitely should keep out of your skincare fridge.

Clay masks

Clay masks can help absorb excess oils and reduce the appearance of pores. They can become hardened when chilled, rendering them nearly impossible to apply. You’ll have to wait for them to warm up, which could take a while.

Most makeup

Many makeup products contain oils that will separate or suffer from texture changes if chilled. These include foundations, concealers, highlighters, and the like. They need to have a smooth texture to provide the effects you’re looking for, so they’re best to store them at average room temperature. Eye shadows, mascaras, compact powders, and bronzers can also become thick and hard in a skincare fridge.

Oil-based products

As mentioned above, anything with oil will likely separate in a skincare fridge, negatively affecting the consistency and texture of your product. Look for ingredients like essential oils and deeply moisturizing oils (jojoba, olive). Your moisturizers, serums, and ointments may fall into this category.

Nail polish

Cold temperatures may thicken the solution and make it more difficult to apply.

What products work best in a skincare fridge?

Now that you know what to keep out of the skincare fridge, let’s look at the products that might benefit from cooler temperatures.

  • Toners/mists: These feel great going on cool. When chilled, they may be more effective at reducing inflammation and offering a refreshing feeling.

  • Eye creams/gels: Cooler temperatures can help these products more effectively reduce under eye swelling, puffiness, and dark circles.

  • Water-based serums and moisturizers: These products can feel great on the skin when chilled.

  • Ampoules: These often contain antioxidants and other more fragile ingredients that may last longer if chilled.

  • Vitamin C products: As noted above, cooler temperatures may help vitamin C retain its effectiveness.

  • Certain masks: Moisturizing gel masks and sheet masks may be more refreshing when chilled.

  • Skincare tools: Jade rollers, face globes, gua sha stones, and other tools may better reduce swelling and puffiness when cool.

  • Perfumes: As long as they are not oil-based, perfumes may last longer when chilled. Use only a skincare fridge. A regular refrigerator may be too cold. Leave essential oil-based perfumes in a cool, dark place.

Of course, you can always experiment to see which products benefit most from being chilled. Try one in the fridge for a couple of hours, then take it out and apply it. With time, you’ll learn which items work better at room temperature and which are more effective when chilled. As always, be sure to check your specific product’s instructions for proper use.

Skincare Products

What skincare fridge is best?

If you’re convinced you need to get a skincare fridge, you may be overwhelmed by the options. There are a lot of them out there!

Start by deciding what features are most important. Fridges can vary depending on the following:

Cost: Determine your budget. Skincare fridges can range from the $30 economical fridges to the fancier models, which can exceed $100.

Size: Take a look at the products in your skincare routine. How many do you want to store in the fridge? Sizes range from the smaller end at about 5” x 5” x 8” to the larger end at 10” x 21” x 29”. Consider also the space where you’d like to put the fridge.

Temperature range: How cool do you want to go? Most fridges can go down to about 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Some also have a warming function.

Design: Besides different colors and shapes, these fridges may also come with additional features. Some options include see-through windows, lighted mirrors, interchangeable shelving and drawers, baskets inside the door, carrying handles, and locking door handles.

Connectability: You can find skincare fridges with Bluetooth connectivity and built-in speakers.

Treat your skin to a personalized routine

A skincare fridge can be a fun and beneficial addition to your beauty routine. Though not necessary for most products, it may extend the shelf-life of some and make others more pleasant to apply.

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

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You may enjoy storing our Micellar Makeup Remover in your skincare fridge. It will feel extra cool and refreshing going on. It’s best to keep The Rich Moisturizer out, however, as it has plant-based oils that perform better at room temperature. Check out the rest of our products at The Curology Shop, and for a personalized formula prescribed by one of our licensed Curology dermatology providers, sign up* for Curology today.

FAQs

Do I need a skincare fridge?

Cooler temperatures can slow the deterioration of various products. For that reason, you may enjoy a skincare fridge as it can help some products last longer. Granted, a skincare fridge isn’t an absolute necessity and isn’t appropriate for all products.

Can I put all my skincare products in the fridge?

It’s best to store some products in the fridge and some outside of it—depending on the nature of each product. That’s because some skincare products become damaged when stored at cool temperatures, while the lifespan of others will improve. When in doubt, it’s always best to refer to the product label for storage advice.

What serums should be refrigerated?

Water-based serums with fragile ingredients, like vitamin C, may benefit from being stored at cooler temperatures.⁴ Others containing antioxidants and retinol may also last longer if kept in a fridge depending on the formulation. Eye serums may also help reduce puffiness if they are chilled when you apply them.

• • •

P.S. We did the research, so you don’t have to:

  1. FDA. Are you storing food safely? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021, February 9).

  2. MN Dept. of Health. Keep your food at the appropriate temperatures. (2022, October 4).

  3. FDA. Microbiological safety and cosmetics. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2022, March 4)

  4. Sapei, L. and Hwa, L. Study on the kinetics of vitamin C degradation in fresh strawberry juices. Procedia Chemistry. 2014.

Laura Phelan is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She earned her Masters of Science in Nursing at Benedictine University and went on to get her post-master’s certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of Cincinnati.

*Cancel anytime. Subject to consultation. Results may vary.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Image of Laura Phelan Nurse Practitioner

Laura Phelan, NP-C

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