I’m not entirely sure when or where I first heard about skincare fridges. As a cosmetic fanatic with a penchant for the latest science-backed beauty practices, it was only a matter of time before the trend popped into view.
Whether skincare fridges began gracing my feeds organically or by way of targeted ads is neither here nor there. The fact is I want one, and here’s why.
What’s a Skincare Fridge?
A skincare fridge is a fridge—a very small, aesthetically pleasing fridge full of not food but face washes, lotions, and potions. You’ve probably seen a mini-refrigerator, the kinds often seen in dorm rooms, and while you could certainly use one for this purpose, a skincare fridge is usually even tinier than that—like fits-on-your-bathroom-counter tiny.
Aside from providing a place to stash beauty products, what’s the point? The idea is that chilling these items can help them last longer by preserving perishable ingredients. For instance, products with vitamin C, aloe vera, retinoids, and some floral extracts may retain their gusto longer when kept in the crisper.
The concept wasn’t entirely new to me. I’d heard of keeping nail polish in the fridge decades ago. This apparently prevents discoloration and helps it maintain a smooth consistency, though I never actually tried it. I do, however, keep my teeth-whitening gel in the refrigerator because my dentist told me it helps the peroxide stay potent.
Also, the clean beauty craze has resulted in many companies removing parabens, phthalates, and other synthetic preservatives from their products. (After researching the topic, I personally think that it’s unnecessary, as they haven’t been shown to be harmful, and they actually help prevent bacteria and mold growth). So, theoretically, keeping preservative-free or otherwise perishable cosmetics in a skincare fridge might ensure they remain effective and safe to use.
There’s something else too. Applying chilled products to your skin helps reduce puffiness and inflammation. It can also constrict blood vessels, which creates a tighter, firmer complexion—at least temporarily.
Besides cleansers, creams, and serums, some people like to keep their face masks and jade rollers in the fridge. While some items might benefit from refrigeration more than others, you don’t really have to worry about ruining any that don’t necessarily need to be in there. One exception is oils, which can solidify in colder temps.
Do I Need a Skincare Fridge?
I can admit it’s tough to prove that refrigerating skincare products is necessary. After all, I’ve gone this long without doing it and things are basically fine. And as far as I can tell, while they might last longer and feel nice on my skin, the formulas themselves don’t actually become more effective when cold.
So, no, I don’t need a skincare fridge.
I Want One
But maybe needing one isn’t what matters here. Self-care is often about fulfilling needs, but it can also be about treating oneself, no?
To be honest, my real need is for a better organizational solution for my cosmetics. One reason I like the idea of a skincare fridge is that I imagine all my products lined up on the shelves, orderly and easily accessible. There are undoubtedly other options for organizing my bathroom, but when it comes down to it, I think I’d just enjoy it.
But Where Would I Put It?
Then again, I’m not entirely sure I have the available counter space. Yes, this is a very tiny fridge we’re talking about, but I generally like to keep surfaces open and bare if I can help it.
Even the smallest skincare fridges take up almost an entire cubic foot of space. Not only that, but it would need to be plugged into an outlet—presumably one of the outlets my husband and I use almost daily for hair-styling tools and electric toothbrushes.
I suppose I could get around to getting a real vanity table and put it there. But would I then be toting products from the fridge to my bathroom every time I use them? That wouldn’t work—I’d definitely become lazy and begin leaving them on the counter. And anyway, I’m not even confident the itty-bitty fridge could house all the products from my morning and night routines.
Skincare fridges are undeniably chic and alluring. And yet, unless you have a giant bathroom like the custom one I’d build in my master suite if I won the lottery, it’s probably not the most practical purchase. But I guess that was never the point, was it?