Can You Keep Beauty Products in the Fridge

Can You Keep Beauty Products in the Fridge

Some people really like keeping their beauty products in the fridge. Carly Cardellino,’s beauty editor, swears by it (her grandma gave her that advice, which isusually 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

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.”

 Quick Warning

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. 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.


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