Should I Keep My Beauty Products in the Fridge?
- TinaLv 71 month ago
Some people really like keeping their beauty products in the fridge. Carly Cardellino, Cosmopolitan.com's beauty editor, swears by it (her grandma gave her that advice, which is usually a pretty solid reason). The common belief is that keeping cosmetics cool can prolong their shelf lives.
But does it work? Not really, according to most of the experts we spoke with. Instead, they advise being cautious about refrigerating your beauty essentials and to do it only for certain things. Our own Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) Beauty Lab is definitely not keen on the idea. Here's what the experts said about different types of products.
"Cosmetics are meant to be stored at room temperature," says David C. Steinberg, founder of Steinberg & Associates, a consulting company for the personal care industry. If you're keeping your lipstick and blush in the fridge, you're doing it at your own risk, he says, especially since a lot of makeup hasn't been tested for whether it can withstand cold temperatures and then return to normal.
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Moisturizers, lotions, and eye creams
"You could keep lotions in there, but summer is the only time that makes sense," says GHRI Senior Product Analyst Mary Clarke. "The only other thing I sometimes keep in the fridge is eye cream. When I feel like my eyes are puffy, it's nice to have cold eye cream on them." Cosmetic chemist Susan Raffy agrees: "Moisturizers, eye creams, treatment serums, and toners are all cosmetic products that might have a nice sensory feel or cooling effect if they are stored in the refrigerator."
Keeping your creams chilled could even help take away puffiness and boost circulation to the skin, according to Dr. Susan Smith Jones, president of L.A. consulting firm Health Unlimited. "If there's room, it's good to have a mini refrigerator in the bathroom to keep lotions and creams."
It's best to store your nail polish at room temperature, rather than in the fridge. Yes, chilling your polish can prolong its shelf life but there's a catch: "With cold temperatures in the fridge, the viscosity of the polish will increase, which might prolong the stability of the polish over time so it doesn't phase-separate," says Dr. Birnur K. Aral, GHRI Director of Health, Beauty, and Environmental Sciences. You can fix this "phase separation" (clumpiness) by shaking the polish, but you'll still have to wait till the polish reaches room temperature again for it to spread evenly on your nail.
For the longest shelf life, Raffy suggests storing your scents at moderate room temperature below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Steinberg adds that a fragrance, if refrigerated, can actually lose some of its smell.
Natural hair products
With food products that double as beauty treatments, you have a little more leeway (just do not use them for both purposes). "Extra-virgin olive oil makes a great hair mask, and should always be kept in the refrigerator so it won't go rancid," says Smith Jones. "Coconut oil is great for the skin and hair, too, and you can keep it in the refrigerator and use as a conditioner or hair mask."
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1. Refrigeration does not equal preservation.
"Consumers should not confuse refrigeration with preservation," says Raffy. "If a cosmetic product does not contain preservatives, it is still unlikely to have a very long shelf life." And be aware that refrigeration doesn't completely kill off bacteria — it just slows them down. If a product gets contaminated, you also might not be able to see the bacteria, but it's still harmful to your eyes and skin.
2. Keep your kids safe.
If you keep any beauty or personal care products in the fridge, "Make sure your children don't get to them," says Steinberg, adding that this can be tricky since cosmetics don't have childproof openings. And if you are going to do it, he thinks your best bet is to "buy a separate refrigerator and put a lock on it." We say: If you keep anything that's not food in your fridge, make sure it's well-sealed, not only for safety, but for sanitary purposes.
- 1 month ago
You don't have to, and I don't think you should.
- Anonymous1 month ago
Only if they become too soft for use when they're stored someplace more convenient.
When I lived in southern Arizona without air conditioning (we had an evaporative cooler that could drop the temperature about 20 degrees, but it wasn't always enough), I kept lipstick in the fridge.
Since then, I've never noticed a product not performing as it should due to heat--although I've had problems with one brand of mascara smelling swampy before it's gone. Keeping it cold might stop the mold it may be harboring, but I'm not going downstairs to get it every time I do my eyes. I just tossed it and bought another brand.