Here's Why Dermatologists Say You Should Be Using a Skincare Fridge
Unless you're a big beauty enthusiast, the idea of buying a mini-fridge devoted exclusively to skincare products probably sounds downright silly. Yet an increasing number of retailers are selling downsized fridges marketed specifically as beauty refrigerators. I'll explain: There is a reason (or reasons) why people are shelling out $100+ just to cool their serums.
The concept of cold skincare has actually been sweeping the scene for quite some time (see: ice facials). Beyond the aesthetics, chilling your skincare products can actually benefit your skin. First, the obvious: It's a sensorial dream. In addition to jolting your skin awake, "the cold temperature dulls any sensations of pain, itching, or tenderness," explains Ife Rodney, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Eternal Dermatology in Columbia, Md.
Although it's not necessary if you're storing your beauty products correctly (i.e., room temperature and away from direct sunlight), refrigerating certain beauty products can also help increase their shelf life, says Dr. Rodney. "Some skincare formulas are degraded or inactivated by heat—I recommend refrigerating all-natural, plant-based skincare products as these go bad more quickly," she says. "However, this does NOT mean that it's OK to use any products past the expiration date on the label."
And the biggest plus to refrigeration? It can help with irritation. "Applying cold skincare can help to vasoconstrict blood vessels and can minimize swelling of inflamed skin, especially for people who are sensitive, dry, or rosacea-prone," says Christine C. Kim, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles, Calif. "This is why we apply ice after in-office procedures and instruct patients to continue to do so at home." Dr. Rodney notes that refrigerating your skincare won't increase the strength or efficacy of the active ingredients, but it will provide a more soothing experience when the products are applied.
Dr. Kim adds that the undereye area especially can benefit from chilled skincare products because the area has visible periorbital veins (also referred to as spider veins) that are often visible under the skin. She recommends chilling an eye cream that already includes a depuffing agent, like Yes To Avocado Fragrance Free Daily Eye Cream ($13; target.com), which includes caffeine in addition to other hydrating ingredients for ultra-awake eyes.
But be warned! "Unnecessary refrigeration can sometimes change the formula, consistency, and effectiveness of skincare products," says Stuart Kaplan, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Kaplan MD. "If your fridge is too cold, certain oils like vitamin C can solidify in the fridge, preventing you from using them altogether." He gives the green light to chilling toners, sheet masks, gel products, and beauty tools (like rollers), all of which won't break down when chilled.
So what's the benefit of using a skincare fridge compared to a normal kitchen fridge? Well, not much. The biggest benefit of skincare fridges is that they offer a private spot to cool your beauty without having food odors thrown into the mix. That, and they're much smaller than the average refrigerator, meaning you can store them on your work desk or vanity as subtle decor.
If you're OK with the idea of storing your stash of creams next to your condiments, Dr. Kaplan says you can go right ahead. "I'd just recommend getting a small plastic container that holds whatever skincare you want to keep cold before tossing it in the fridge."
Convinced yet? You just might be after seeing these adorable (and affordable) skincare fridges below.
1 Flawless Finishing Touch Mini Beauty Fridge
The space apportioning of this fridge is perfect—it even has a side basket for storing sheet masks, rollers, or ice packs. Users love how it fits so much without taking up that much room.
2 Beauty Spy Mini Fridge
This compact blue mini fridge includes a top handle that makes it easy to tote around with you. The temperature can be set to a cool 46° to 55°F, which derms say is the perfect medium for chilling—not freezing—your liquid products.
3 Teami Blends Luxe Skincare Fridge
This cutesy pink fridge comes with more than ample storage space, plus an LED beauty light and front glass panel. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate those gorgeous rose gold accents?
4 Vanity Planet Fria Mini Beauty Refrigerator
This smart design (which also comes in pink) features a clear window front that displays all your favorites in plain sight, along with interchangeable custom shelves that easily allow you to accommodate taller bottles.
5 Chefman Mirrored Beauty Fridge With LED Lighting
Who needs a makeup mirror when you have a mirrored skincare fridge? Not only does this 2-in-1 beauty fridge moonlight as a LED makeup mirror (perfect for smaller vanities that can't fit both), it can also switch from cooling to heating at the flip of a switch. After cooling your sheet mask, use the heat function to keep moist towels warm for a relaxing spa experience.