Most of us have found ourselves at one time or another skimming the fridge for some late night snacking — what about some late night masking? Makeup fridges are apparently the coolest and most extra trend chilling the skin care community. Even search interest in makeup and beauty fridges has steadily grown over the past 12 months, proving it’s the buzzworthy appliance we all supposedly need on our vanity table.
But is there any science behind why you would store some beauty products in a fridge? The answer is complicated, according to Joshua Ross, celebrity aesthetician and founder of SkinLab.
Basically, anything with antioxidants — i.e., your fancy vitamin C serum — could be extremely unstable when exposed to heat and light, so they might last longer when refrigerated. Some of the more popular antioxidants in skin care products are ingredients like vitamin C, retinols and vitamin A, vitamin E and niacinamide, and they work to prevent the oxidation of skin cells, which over time leads to damaged skin and signs of aging.
“Keeping certain products in the fridge helps to keep them stable, increase efficacy, [and] helps with preservation (just like food), so they stay efficacious longer, and of course the soothing anti-inflammatory benefits a cooling effect can provide,” Ross told HuffPost. “Particularly with expensive products that you aren’t using frequently, it’s great to pop them in the fridge to extend the shelf life.”
That said, most beauty and skin care products have preservatives in them to maximize their longevity and effectiveness. Still, keeping them chilled won’t hurt most products in your beauty cabinet, and in some cases can even improve their application. Plus, certain organic and natural cosmetics lack preservatives altogether, so it’s worth refrigerating them to try and extend their shelf life.
The products you’ll want to keep away from your mini fridge? Oil-based ones, which Ross warns can change texture if refrigerated.
“Facial oils should definitely not go in the fridge as they work best at room temperature,” Ross says. “When oils are exposed to cold they will solidify and thicken.”
Instead, stick to storing your sheet masks, face mists, eye creams, antioxidant serums, jade rollers and other puffiness-reducing products in the fridge for a refreshing routine. Research also shows that some fragrances, nail polishes and certain topical medications can be kept in a cool environment away from sunlight to make them last.
Small enough to fit on a vanity or countertop, mini beauty fridges are the perfect size for storing daily beauty products. They come in a wide range of colors (most notably a millennial pink model), and are reasonably priced from about $50 to $100. Some even have little shelves for storing petite products, jade rollers and sheet masks. One style in particular, the Cooluli Mini Fridge, has a 4.5-star rating and more than 2,500 reviews on Amazon and is perhaps the most popular style across beauty Instagram feeds.
It’s not hard to see why these little fridges have taken off. When you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on meticulously purchased beauty products, you don’t exactly want to store them next to your thawing chicken breast and bottles of ketchup and mayo.
If a beauty fridge sounds completely unnecessary, we totally get it. But, we’re also of the belief that skin care is a form of self care, so if migrating your #shelfie to a fridge in order to spark joy and sustain a self-care beauty routine is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
Take a look below at the eight best mini makeup fridges you can buy on Amazon that you probably don’t need, but definitely want. And, if you want more of our editor-sourced products and reviews, sign up for HuffPost’s sales and deals newsletter.
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