A few years ago, there were rumblings in the beauty community about the temperamental ways of vitamin C serums and how they can lose their effectiveness if exposed to warmer temperatures or light. Phrases like “ingredient efficacy” and “actives” turned casual product users into skin care scientists as we skeptically rifled through our bathroom shelves to see which products had become ineffective.
Afraid that my own $78 vitamin C serum had gone bad, I took the advice of beauty influencers and dermatologists on YouTube and popped my serums in the fridge next to jars of pickles and condiments.
Marisa Garshick, a leading board certified dermatologist in New York, told me that this wasn’t such a bad idea.
“For ingredients like vitamin C which is known to be unstable, and can oxidize when exposed to light, heat and air, a skin care fridge may be helpful,” Garshick said. “Additionally, some prescription skin care products may also be recommended to keep in the refrigerator. Products that are preservative-free can also be placed in the refrigerator to help prevent bacterial overgrowth.”
According to author and board-certified dermatologist Marie Jhin, it’s not just vitamin C that can benefit from being stored at lower temperatures.
“Green tea [also] works better if it is refrigerated. Acne medications such as benzoyl peroxide or clindamycin will work better and the cold helps to decrease inflammation,” Jhin said.
Storing products like sunscreens and retinols at a lower temperature can help extend their shelf life and prevent premature expiration, Jhin added. And Garshick said chilled hyaluronic acid serums may be able to reduce redness.
You can even store your skin care tools in the fridge. Facial devices such as jade rollers and gua shas, as well as under-eye patches and masks, may provide additional soothing and de-puffing benefits, Garshick added.
“Often, eye creams can benefit from being refrigerated because when the product is cool, it offers an additional de-puffing benefit which can help to reduce under eye swelling which is a common concern. This also applies to eye masks and face masks which are often intended to calm and soothe the skin. The cooling benefit can be particularly soothing for many other facial products, particularly moisturizers,” Garshick said.
Now, a mini-fridge just for your skin care might seem next-level extra for many people, but there are benefits beyond just the cooler temperatures. Rather than having to trek to the kitchen fridge for your products, keeping them closer to where you apply them will ensure you use them daily.
“Another perk of a skin care refrigerator is that as opposed to your kitchen refrigerator, which gets opened multiple times per day, exposing the products to more light and air, a skin care refrigerator is limited in how often it needs to be opened,” Garshick added.
If you’re serious about your skin care and want the luxury of a designated skin care fridge conveniently at arms’ reach, keep reading to see some different options that can fit in your bathroom or bedroom.
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A compact option perfect for small spaces
Using energy-efficient technology and an ultra-quiet semi-conductor operation, the Cooluli mini fridge can keep contents at temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 149 degrees Fahrenheit (which you probably wouldn’t do with your skin care, but could be handy for some beverages). It measures just a little over 10 inches tall and has a 4-liter capacity, making this the most compact option, perfect for smaller spaces. It also has multiple power cord options for location flexibility.
Get it from Amazon for $49.
A 5-liter portable option with a built-in LED light
This easy-to-transport fridge by FaceTory has a 5-liter capacity and a door organizer to keep sheet masks in place. It also has a real-time temperature display to regulate the internal cooling of your products, which can go as low as 50-degrees.
Get it from Amazon for $85.21.
An thermo-electric option with built in LED light mirror
This skin care fridge by Frigidaire has a 10-liter capacity and can reach temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When switched to the warming function, can get up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The dual shelf can be removed to create more space for larger products, and the LED light mirror on the front of the door allows you to conveniently apply your skin care or makeup products straight from the fridge.
Get it from Amazon for $68.35.
A large capacity multi-compartment option
If you have a lot of products or facial tools to keep cool, this 12-liter capacity option from Teami might be your best bet. Users claim that it’s durable and longer-lasting than other skin care fridges, and it maintains a constant ideal temperature of between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside, there are three different shelves, a pull-out drawer and an adjustable two-shelf organizer on the inside of the door, perfect for holding sheet masks and under eye patches.
Get it from Amazon for $149.99.