Should you refrigerate your skincare?

There’s a lot of buzz around keeping skincare and other beauty products refrigerated, but is there actually any real advantage to doing so?

Popularised on social media, cute and compact beauty fridges are used to store everything from sheet masks and moisturisers to eye creams and cryotherapy face tools.

But is the process just another step we must observe if we’re diligent in our skincare routine, or is it simply a waste of time (and electricity)?

Should skincare be refrigerated?

According to dermatologist Dr Katherine Armour, refrigerating skincare is a very clever gimmick that has the potential to do more harm than good.

“The majority of over-the-counter skincare products have been meticulously tested and formulated in labs to be stored and used in room temperature conditions,” Dr Armour says.

“As someone who makes skincare, one of the final steps in labs is to ensure the product is stable and that any actives used are still active at room temperature, which is between 15 and 20 degrees.”

The problem with refrigerating skincare, according to Dr Armour, is the potential to cause ingredient separation in addition to reducing the effectiveness of formulations not designed to be heated or cooled.

Dr Armour says the exception is compounded skincare containing fresh ingredients that lack preservatives, and products that directly state the need to be refrigerated.

The impact of temperature impact on skincare is not unique to beauty fridges either.

“People tend to store skincare in their bathroom, but a hot, steamy shower can also hinder its effectiveness, so it’s important to store skincare in a dry place in the bathroom, use a bathroom fan when showering or store your products elsewhere,” Dr Armour says.

Can I refrigerate my beauty tools?

Refrigerating skincare tools such as facial rollers and masks are a little different to skincare products because their effectiveness aren’t impacted by a change in temperature.

While Murrumbeena dermatologist Dr Ryan De Cruz doesn’t encourage refrigerating skincare products unless specifically instructed to do so, he says there’s no harm in refrigerating skincare tools if people find it helps soothe their skin.

“Refrigerating skincare tools like jade rollers can temporarily reduce inflammation and some people find the process soothing,” Dr De Cruz says.

“But there’s no scientific evidence or studies to support the idea that cold compress and facial massaging has any lasting impact or benefit to the skin.

“For this reason, I think there’s no harm in refrigerating skincare tools if you find the process therapeutic, but be aware there’s no evidence to support its effectiveness.”

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.