Are there actually any benefits to keeping our beauty stash chilled? We ask the pros
Who could have guessed that the next buzzy beauty trend doing the rounds would be...a fridge? Not your bog standard white goods, however, but cutesy pastel mini fridges bursting with sheet masks, serums, face mists and moisturisers, all kept consistently chilled in order to supposedly preserve their ingredients and keep them active and effective for longer.
If you’ve been lining up your nail varnish in your fridge door for decades you may wonder why it’s not practical just to bang your lotions next to your lettuce too, but then that wouldn’t go big on the ‘gram and you probably don’t want your retinol cosying up to your raw chicken breasts. A sterile, segregated skincare and makeup situation may make more sense, but back to the ‘do we need to refrigerate our beauty loot at all’ question - here’s what the pros in the know had to say…
It can preserve probiotics
As with dietary probiotics , live bacteria and probiotics within your skincare could maintain stability and potency if kept in the fridge vs. a steamy environment according to founder of the Esho Clinic and award-winning cosmetic doctor Dr Tijion Esho. Skincare expert for Instash Jordan Maynard points out that “some organic formulations and handmade products from retailers such as Lush have stipulated that products should be kept in the fridge for years.” Unless they’re brimming with good bacteria, however, there’s no need to succumb to the micro fridge frenzy...
...but not a lot else
Dr Esho settles the skincare preservation issue neatly:
“There is no real reason to keep skincare products in a fridge. Most of the products we use contain preservatives and those that don’t generally display a clear expiry date on the packaging.”
There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that products that have been refrigerated last for longer or work more effectively than those that haven’t, although aesthetic facialist Debbie Thomas underlines that there are definitely places that we shouldn’t be keeping our precious skincare investments:
“You don’t need to go so far as keeping your skincare in the fridge, but storing products at a constant temperature and preventing them becoming very warm will help them to maintain their beneficial ingredients for longer. Never keep makeup or skincare on a sunny windowsill, in a hot and steamy bathroom or near radiators as excessive heat could degrade the active ingredients.”
This especially applies to heat and light sensitive vitamin C and retinol , but as Jordan highlights, if the product in question wasn’t in a fridge when you bought it, it probably doesn’t need to be kept on ice for the foreseeable. Also, keeping facial oils in the fridge could result in a change in texture leaving your much-loved tincture lumpy and difficult to work into skin. That said, you can’t deny that a chilly jade roller feels good on a hangover...
It can reduce inflammation and puffiness
GTG columnist Madeleine Spencer favours keeping a jade roller in the fridge to stimulate circulation, reduce puffiness and generally enhance the all-round chill factor. Ditto eye creams and gel formulas, and Dr Esho does concede than refrigerated products can have a soothing effect for reactive skin:
“Applying a cooled product can be pleasing particularly in conditions where patients have inflamed skin.”
Keeping a hydrating mist, gentle moisturiser or aftersun in the fridge can have a calming effect if you suffer from rosacea or have caught the sun but it’s by no means a must - it’s more about the feel that the function and it definitely doesn’t necessitate an entire fridge, not least because...
It eats electricity
This is Dr Esho’s most significant concern as far the skincare fridge fad goes:
“I feel that a skincare fridge would represent a needless waste of energy - we have to remember that these fridges, while small, can use a huge amount of electricity and increase the impact of our own personal footprint on climate change.”
Which brings us neatly to...
...and also your money
Buying a beauty fridge in the first place will set you back at least £30, but that’s before you’ve figured in the drain on the monthly bills. By all means go there if you so please, but we’ll give Dr Esho the final word:
“Personally, I wouldn’t buy one. I can see the appeal in terms of a gimmick but if you’re seeking an added benefit to your skincare regime I feel that many would be wasting their money.”
Time will tell as to whether this is a craze that’ll go cold…