You might have seen all over Instagram that refrigerating skincare is having a moment. We have been receiving a lot of questions asking if it’s better to refrigerate your products; so here’s our advice after asking numerous product formulators.
Just a disclaimer: Know that skincare products can be complex and what’s written below is just a helpful guideline.The maintenance of your skincare items depend on the individual formulation, so this is not one size fits all.
Why You Might Not Need To
The refrigeration of products can depend on the stability of the formula. Before any product is released to the public, companies are required to conduct tests such as exposing the formula to harsh UV light, varying humidity and temperature levels and will even leave the product open to see how it reacts. These assessments verify that the formula is safe and stable in all kinds of conditions. A majority of skincare products are created to be stored at room temperature (aka. how most customers store their items) without any issues. Unless a brand advises to store its products in a specific condition, keeping skincare products in the fridge isn’t necessary and can even change the consistency or formulation.
Ice Ice Baby
There are, however, some formulas that enjoy a chillier environment:
- Vitamin C: Since it is an active ingredient, it might be best to leave in the fridge. It’s extra important to avoid exposure to UV light when storing it!
- Individually Packaged Ampoules: An ampoule is just a fancy word for a concentrated treatment with a high level of active ingredients. They are typically in small packages and sealed off to cut air-exposure to harness the full benefits of the active ingredient used. Some brands do recommend keeping it in the fridge, but we always recommend asking!
- Water-Based Products: Keeping items like hydrating toners, essences, aloe gel and sheet masks in the fridge can provide a refreshing and cooling effect. We can’t tell you that it’ll make them last longer, but it’ll sure feel greeeaattt!
- Items Containing Natural Extracts: Just like you would keep certain fruits in the fridge; some products that have natural extracts should be stored in lower temperatures. Brands will usually state this on their packaging.
As MOST of your skincare products are built to live in room temperature, they should be kept at room temperature unless stated otherwise by the company.
Sunscreen and Silicone Based Products: These are found to be more stable in room temperature. If it gets too cold, these formulas can harden up in the fridge and might even separate in the bottle.
- Creams With High Oil or Wax Content: In a chillier environment, depending on the kind of oils, waxes and formulating technology used, the products can solidify.
- Formulas with an Unusual Consistency: Products that have a jam, jelly, memory foam or whipped cream-like consistency, also, have a higher chance of being affected by the change in temperature.
The rule of thumb is that storing your skincare products in the refrigerator can 'somewhat' extend the shelf life and stabilize some actives, but most formulas are created to be specifically stored at room temperature. All in all, we don't believe there’s a need to obsess too much about applying another rule to the already complicated realm of skincare.