Anyone with eyes and an Instagram account has probably noticed a “cool” new trend slowly taking over the beauty space: The Skincare Fridge. The mini fridges, sold by brands like Cooluli and Mint and popularized by beauty editors (Allure’s Michelle Lee) and influencers (the girls of The Glossarray) alike, are supposedly the key to keeping products both preserved and primed for de-puffing. Experts say that skincare fridge products probably aren’t any better off than room-temp products, though — which is why I keep my fridge reserved for skin-healthy superfoods and beauty beverages, instead.
But wait!, you may be thinking. Doesn't refrigeration help extend the shelf life of unstable ingredients, like vitamin C? This is a popular argument, but according to Dr. Aanand Geria, a dermatologist with Geria Dermatology in New Jersey, a lower temperature won’t affect stabilization or significantly impact a product’s lifespan. On the contrary, he notes that oils and serums can solidify when chilled (at which point, they’re pretty much useless). “Other than a few minor benefits, there is little to no scientific reason behind refrigerating skincare products,” the dermatologist tells The Zoe Report.
Those “few minor benefits” include what Dr. Geria calls “the soothing effect:” When certain products, like face mists and sheet masks and jade rollers, are chilled, they can help calm irritation and itchiness. “Also, applying cool products can cause vasoconstriction, which essentially decreases puffiness and is especially helpful around the eye area,” he adds. (There aren’t any studies to back this up, the derm says, but it’s kind of common sense.)
That being said, your regular refrigerator can still be home to a little slice of skincare heaven. Ahead, all the beauty-boosting foods, drinks, and yes, skincare products I store in mine.
Shop My Fridge
I was skeptical when Dirty Lemon announced the "world's first drinkable retinol," but after six weeks of sipping on this blend of antioxidant fruits and "pro retinol esters," I have to admit: My skin looks good. It's definitely worth a shot for anyone whose face is too reactive to handle topical retinol (hi, fellow sensitive-skinned beauty enthusiasts!).
Bottles of Medlie's Coconut Mint with Collagen — which is part smoothie, part collagen supplement — take up a whole shelf of my fridge right now. They're made with collagen peptides, a bioavailable form of collagen that's more easily assimilated into the body than typical collagen. The result? Firmer, younger-looking skin over time.
Dermatologists are just starting to explore the link between gut health and skin health, but many agree that balanced gut bacteria can lead to balanced skin. To amp up the "good bacteria" in my gut — and thus, keep my skin clear — probiotics are an essential part of my routine. Even though Probiogen's don't technically need to be refrigerated, my nutritionist recommended I keep these in there anyway... after all, every capsule *is* filled with millions of living microorganisms.
One of my favorite face masks of all time, LUSH Oatifix, is made with fresh, food-grade ingredients (bananas, oatmeal) that need to be refrigerated. In fact, because of the fridge-factor, the mask is only available in physical LUSH locations. I highly recommend searching Google Maps for a LUSH near you right this second.
I don't just ingest probiotics — I deposit them right onto my face, too. The skin has a microbiome of its very own, teeming with good bacteria to fight off the bad, acne-causing kind; and this spray from Mother Dirt (which needs to be refrigerated, as it's perishable) helps keep my microbiome happy and healthy.