If I’m shelling out even a single dollar of my hard earned paycheck on a skin-care product, you better believe I want that puppy to last as long as humanly possible. While I’ve learned a number of ways to make sure that not even a single drop of my serums go to waste (like being mindful of their expiration dates and using them exactly the right way on my face), I’ve apparently been totally ignoring the longevity needs of my $33 cleanser (don’t @ me—it’s amazing) and storing it in the shower, which according to Women’s Health UK, isn’t so great for my sudser.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I reached out to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski, who told me this is pretty much a surefire way to ensure that your nice skin-care products won’t stay nice—aka as active—for as long as they’re supposed to. “You probably want to avoid storing them in the shower as they might last longer if stored in a dark cool place,” he explains. “Active ingredients like vitamins or enzymes can break down when exposed to warmer temperatures and light. So, these products might be worth storing in a cabinet.” He notes that a change in color or smell will indicate that the ingredients have turned.
Cleansers should be ok to keep in the shower, as should all shampoo in body care products in opaque bottles, but it’s probably your best bet to give your skin-care collection a permanent spot elsewhere instead. “Humidity from the shower may speed up the growth of mold and other unwanted issues and as a result, it’s best to avoid,” says board certified dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD. The best place to put them, in his expert opinion? In the fridge, especially if you’re using all-natural products that have minimal preservatives in them.
Since you’re technically not supposed to be washing your face in the shower anyway because the hot water is known strip your skin barrier of oils, which leads to dryness, irritation and inflammation (“we may love hot showers, but our skin does not,” says board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD), consider this the final straw to get your skin care out of there and into a loving new home near the sink—just to be safe. Or maybe (maybe!) it’s time to whip out that nifty shower caddy you haven’t thought about since college.
Storing your products in there isn’t the only thing a derm wants you to stop doing in the shower: They’re begging you to please, please stop using a loofah in this one spot on your body. Plus, this is exactly the number of minutes you should stay under that water stream for the sake of your skin.
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