Anyone who follows a lot of beauty accounts on Instagram is probably familiar with the #minifridgeshelfie: an adorably tiny fridge curated with ‘gram-worthy skincare essentials. It’s probably millennial pink, and chances are it contains some candy-colored Drunk Elephant bottles, a sheet mask or two, and an artfully posed jade roller. If, like me, you spend way too much time and money thinking about skincare, a mini fridge devoted to your most precious serums and creams is the ultimate luxury.
But do you actually need one? The short answer: Probably not. Keeping skincare cold “is not really necessary,” says Howard Sobel, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist. “There is no difference in the actual properties and benefits.”
But if you tend to use formulas with a shorter shelf life (more on that later), enjoy the feeling of something cold on your face (who doesn’t?), and, crucially, have extra space in your bathroom, a mini fridge devoted to skincare might be worth having.
Popping certain products in the fridge could deliver some bonus perks. “[It] does add an extra calming effect to face masks, moisturizers, and creams, which is especially helpful when treating irritated skin,” says Dr. Sobel.
He recommends stashing face masks (“those with cooling ingredients, like mint, feel nice when cold”), eye cream (“it can minimize puffiness for under eye bags”), and moisturizers in the fridge. Cold serums might also help calm inflamed acne bumps, he adds, as well as any formula that contains aloe; when cold, the ingredient can be incredibly soothing.
Better kept at room temperature? Your makeup. “It doesn’t really make a difference in the application or effectiveness,” he says.
The specific ingredients in your products are important to consider, too, says Debra Jaliman, MD, another New York City dermatologist and author of Skin Rules.
“Refrigerating products may help extend their shelf life,” she tells us. That includes vitamin C, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide formulas. These ingredients “should not be kept in warm environments,” Dr. Jaliman explains, and refrigerating them could keep them stable longer.
Ready to become a beauty fridge convert? The brand you most often see on Instagram is Cooluli; their 4-, 10-, and 15-liter mini fridges come in an array of fun colors (we love this black-and-white one) with prices starting at $49 on Amazon.
Another good choice is the Chefman Mini Fridge, $39 on Amazon; it has a little handle on top, making it easy to move around your house. Because it’s so portable, this fridge also gets rave reviews from moms who use it to store baby bottles.
If you prefer to gaze upon your Drunk Elephant bottles at all times, we also love this retro-inspired Uber Appliance mini fridge. It’s slightly more expensive ($78 on Amazon) but has a glass door so you can see the contents, plus some seriously cool color options.
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