Move over, salsa and carrot sticks. Lately, it seems like everyone is making room in their refrigerators for their skin care—and, in some cases, even getting mini fridges that are solely dedicated to their go-to products. Sure, slathering on something fresh out of the fridge might feel a little more luxe than something at room temperature, but is there any real benefit to the craze? (Spoiler: the answer is yes. A lot of ’em)
Now, first thing’s first: The whole skin care-in-the-fridge thing isn’t anything new. According to Lana Pinchasov, a dermatology-certified physician’s assistant in New York City, this is an old tactic that’s now making a comeback. “Years ago, there were some acne products that required refrigeration to prevent chemical breakdown, and interestingly enough, patients hated having to refrigerate them,” she tells me. Oh how times have changed. Today’s #shelfies are starting to involve the shelf of the refrigerator…and no one’s complaining about the many perks of the colder products.
While room-temp skin-care products are still doing your complexion plenty of good, there are some items in particular that benefit from being refrigerated. And one of the biggest? Any sort of gel. “I love gel products to help cool, irritated skin. The skin doesn’t always need creams, so gel masks are a great way to maximize hydration without adding a thick layer on top of the skin,” New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, tells me. “Throwing them in the fridge adds an extra cooling and de-puffing effect. The cold restricts the blood vessels, so it instantly reduces puffiness and redness.” Just ask Mandy Moore, who’s a big fan of the method.
“Years ago, there were some acne products that required refrigeration to prevent chemical breakdown, and interestingly enough, patients hated having to refrigerate them.” —Lana Pinchasov, dermatology-certified physician’s assistant
Aside from gels, another skin care product that should be in your fridge is your eye creams to get even more bang for your buck. “As we age, we lose subcutaneous fat, which can mask blueness below the surface of the skin. Additionally, the shadows caused by the hollowness where there was once more fat can also appear to be dark circles,” Dr. Engelman says. “Applying a cold product cools the delicate eye area and makes the underlying blood vessels smaller.”
Those aren’t the only skin-care items to store, though. Pinchasov says keeping clay-based products cold—which can sometimes dry out at room temp—keeps them fresh and usable. “Also, for patients suffering from severe eczema or itching, I’ll often advise them to store their anti-itch creams in the fridge, which helps soothe the skin on application and gives an overall calming effect,” she says. Then there’s those feel-good metal roller balls, too: “This will gently distribute lymphatic build-up from underneath the eyes, alleviating under eye puffiness and dark circles,” Engelman explains. Just keep your thick oil-based products and serums out. “Sometimes they can solidify or change texture, making it more difficult to apply to your face,” Pinchasov says.
Overall, it’s pretty clear that designating a certain area of your fridge for all your skin care goodies is a smart choice. Just make sure your roomie doesn’t accidentally spread any of them on her sandwiches.
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