Expert Tips for Refrigerating Your Beauty Products

Expert Tips for Refrigerating Your Beauty Products
Photo: Getty Images

Refrigerators keep our food fresh, but could the same be said for our beauty products? There are a plethora of reasons to store our precious cargo in cooler space. The most common are when warmer temps, brought on by indoor heat during the winter or lack of air conditioning in the summer, cause hair and makeup formulas to break down.

Leaving our mascara next to our milk definitely takes some getting used to, but the pros far outweigh the cons. And since we’re in the dead of winter and your heat is likely on blast, you’ve probably already contemplated making room on your refrigerator shelves. Ahead, several pros share everything you should know about keeping your beauty products cool year-round.

MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Acids in Skin Care

Why Refrigerate?

Let’s start with the good stuff. According to Julie Fredrickson, CEO and Founder of Stowaway Cosmetics, keeping makeup in a cool, dry place without excessive sunlight is a great way to prevent product breakdown; especially cream or water-based ones.

“I’ve been known to store BB cream, concealer, and lipsticks in my fridge,” she says. “If you have an oil-based product though, be careful as coconut oil will go solid on you. Stowaway’s Creaseless Concealer has coconut oil in it and if I keep it in the fridge too long, it takes extra warm up time in my hands to spread evenly.”

Fredrickson also adds that you should be careful about taking things in and out of the fridge a lot, since constant changes in temperature can be rough on formulation. With that being said, the refrigerator is best for products that don’t get a ton of use.

If you’re using natural skin care products, the benefits are even greater. According to Tina Hedges, founder of LOLI Beauty, preservative-free finds kept in a fridge can better ward off bacteria and prolong shelf life.

“With LOLI, we are waterless (we never use plain water as an ingredient) and for our toners or floral waters, we add organic grape alcohol — moonshine! — that’s ingestible,” she says. “Even so, it’s definitely a wise decision to place hydrosols or floral waters in the refrigerator if you want to keep them for more than 3 months, which we don’t advise as products should be fresh like food.”

To that same-point, do-it-yourself products, like face masks made with food ingredients, should always be refrigerated and discarded after three to five days. Hedges says, “Our rule of thumb is ‘would you eat or drink a smoothie you made a week ago, even if you kept it refrigerated?'”

“Fruits oxidize when exposed to oxygen, and yogurt or other fermented products like kombucha turn rancid once they are expose to air and heat.  If a non-natural skincare product with tons of preservatives are left in the heat, chances are nothing will happen — but that is still not a guarantee since the product may have been previously contaminated with the consumer dripping dirty or wet fingers into the lotion.”

Overall, heat will change the structure and composition of ingredients, so it would be wise to start moving some things into your refrigerator. Ahead are more ways to keep your go-to products in tip-top shape.

MORE: 17 Foods That Are Proven to Tackle Period Symptoms

Eyeliner: Create a more precise line along the eyes by placing your eye pencil in the ice box for 20 minutes before use. That way, it can be sharpened to a precision tip, says Petra Strand, founder of Pixi by Petra.

Eye Cream: Bonnie Ndoci, an esthetician and owner of Facials by Bonnie tells all of her patients to keep their eye creams in the refrigerator. Doing so enhances their potency and effectiveness and cold temperatures will typically aid in reducing puffiness. Always remember: Cold constricts and heat expands. Apply that rule to beauty products and you’ll see the added benefit when chilled!

MORE: 5 DIY Body Scrubs Recipes For Every Skin Care Need

Perfume: Many of us get into the habit of keeping our perfume on our bathroom vanity – putting it in direct contact with the steam, heat, and humidity from our shower and  heat tools! Air, heat and light are all not friends of perfume. If you store the perfume in the fridge, you’ll protect the scent for much longer!

Anything with Vitamin C: If any of your products contain vitamin C, refrigerate them. Blue Mercury CEO Marla Malcolm Beck says vitamin C targets dull skin to create a radiant complexion, promoting skin elasticity and protecting the skin from environmental stressors. Refrigerating this type of treatment serum, such as M-61 Vitablast C,  will keep the vitamins from breaking down or oxygenizing, which would potentially change the formula.

Nail Polish: Anyone who has ever had to deal with thick, melted nail polish knows how dangerous heat can be to the product’s properties. Keeping your favorite shade in the fridge will keep itfresh and easy to apply for much longer!

MORE: You Have to See the Beauty Refreshers That Are Hiding in your Fridge

Moisturizers: Anyone who has red skin (erythema or rosacea) should chill all moisturizers, including those with SPF and Titanium Dioxide. According to esthetician Scott-Vincent Borba. doing so will help calm the skin instantly when applied. It’s like having a cold compress on the skin.

Put your toner in the fridge for a refreshing skin treat, especially in the summer. This precious jolt of a chill will awaken the senses, tighten pores, and refresh makeup, says Allison Tray of Tres Belle Spa in Brooklyn, New York.

For an extra cooling and soothing effect, put masks in the refrigerator one hour prior to use, says celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau.

Lipstick: Over time, heat is going to cause that lipstick to break down and melt. If you have a very favorite shade you want to stock up on, keeping it chilled is the best possible way to make sure it goes the distance.