Do your cosmetics really deserve their own minifridge?

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The hottest trend in the beauty world is currently very cool: keeping your beautifying products in the fridge — or, to be specific, a mini make-up fridge.

It’s the latest trend on Instagram, where more than 2,200 people have posted pictures of theirs in the past year under the hashtag #skincarefridge.

The U.S.-based Makeup Fridge (£61.55, makeupfridge.com) is a social media star, dinky in pastel pinks, whites and blues — its interior measuring a teeny 5in x 5in x 7in — and billed as the ‘smartest and cutest way to store your cosmetics’. 

While the Cooluli 4L Thermoelectric Mini Beauty Fridge & Warmer (£36.68, shop.nordstrom.com), which has a sweet cow-print design, regularly sells out. (But don’t worry, Argos and Amazon offer plenty of versions, too.)

Having a mini-fridge for cosmetic products is the newest craze on Instagram (file picture)

Having a mini-fridge for cosmetic products is the newest craze on Instagram (file picture)

Certainly, a mini make-up fridge is aesthetically pleasing. It’s also small enough to keep on your dressing table, saving you the vast inconvenience of a trip downstairs.

But a normal kitchen fridge serves perfectly well, too. In fact, given the proliferation of organic, preservative-free skincare and cosmetics, the full-size version might be necessary.

Yet, to justify taking space from the milk, exactly which beauty products do we need to chill, and why? Must all lipstick be frosted? Here, top beauty experts have some surprising answers . . .

FRESH FACE CREAM

Some of us always keep face cream in the fridge, assuming we’re protecting our investment.

But author and skincare entrepreneur Jane Scrivner says: ‘Be careful with storing face creams in the fridge. You want to avoid refrigerating oils or waxes as this will cause crystallisation.’

Experts have said that not all products should be stored in the fridge as it could affect the ingredients (file picture)

Experts have said that not all products should be stored in the fridge as it could affect the ingredients (file picture)

Experts have said that not all products should be stored in the fridge as it could affect the ingredients (file picture)

She advises checking the ingredients list to determine whether there’s oil in the formula. ‘I would always suggest applying oils and waxes at room temperature as they become more viscous the warmer they are and therefore absorb more easily into the skin.’

Jane is also a firm believer in following manufacturers’ guidelines.

‘They’ve spent time and money testing each formula to determine the best way to use them effectively.’

COOLING MISTS AND GELS

The main benefit of refrigerating skincare, says Jane, is the cooling effect it will have on your skin. ‘This will work well with any water-based creams, gels, mists or masks.’

In particular, anyone experiencing hot flushes or who has irritation or high colouring can benefit from storing their face mists in the fridge.

Four of the best skin care fridges 

Makeup Fridge

(£61.55, makeup fridge.com)

This fridge has a removable middle shelf

This fridge has a removable middle shelf

This fridge has a removable middle shelf

This U.S. Instagram favourite can be pre-ordered before May 8. It comes in pink, blue and white and features a removable middle shelf and door shelf.

Cooluli 4L Thermoelectric Mini Beauty Fridge & Warmer

(£36.68, shop.nordstrom.com)

This funky design costs less than £40

This funky design costs less than £40

This funky design costs less than £40

A portable 4 l fridge with cold and hot settings. Comes in chic cow-print and white.

IceQ 4 L Mini Fridge

(£34.99, minifridge.co.uk)

With no middle shelf this fridge is good for bigger products

With no middle shelf this fridge is good for bigger products

With no middle shelf this fridge is good for bigger products

Billed as a ‘stylish make-up fridge’, this pink design is ideal for larger products as there are no shelves inside.

Cristal 6L Blue Mini Travel Fridge

(£39.99, argos.co.uk)

Another mini-fridge on the market is this blue one which also comes in white

Another mini-fridge on the market is this blue one which also comes in white

Another mini-fridge on the market is this blue one which also comes in white

This has a stylish, contemporary design with one divider shelf. It also comes in white.

She says: ‘It will provide an instant cooling and tightening effect. When the mist evaporates from the skin’s surface, it takes heat with it, cooling the skin.

‘Plus, the cool product on warm skin causes vasoconstriction — the blood vessels temporarily narrow, bringing down any high colour.

‘Products containing water have shorter shelf-lives due to the potential of bacteria proliferation, so chilling products with water-based ingredients can lengthen the life of the product, as the cold temperature slows or stops the bacteria from reproducing.’

Suddenly I understand why my precious face cream, stored in the bathroom cabinet, began one day to smell of mildew. It had a rosewater base, so I was pushing my luck keeping it, un-chilled, beyond its recommended PAO (period after opening) date. Plus I jam my finger in the pot daily, introducing yet more bacteria (and, worse, moisture).

However, if you do move your water-based creams to the fridge, don’t become complacent.

Jane adds: ‘This works best for products you don’t use regularly, as the bacteria production will start as soon as the product heats up, so it’s not a long-term solution for extending the life of your daily skincare products.’

I shall henceforth accord my face cream the same respect as a roast chicken.

NIPPY NAIL POLISH

It may be time to rescue your nail polish from its sunlit spot on your bedroom shelf. Nail and beauty expert Leighton Denny, whose clients include Kate Moss, Penelope Cruz and Adele, says: ‘High and inconsistent temperatures can activate some nail polishes’ solvents, which give your polish that horrible thick, melted-cheese consistency.

‘Keeping it in a cool, dark place, such as a fridge, will keep the formula easy to apply.’ He adds: ‘Refrigerating your polish will stop the formula ageing prematurely and keep it consistent.

‘Consider it as you would your food — the fresher the product, the more beneficial the results.’

But do check the ingredients. While organic products usually have a shorter use-by date, Leighton adds that ‘many modern polishes contain preservatives that keep the formula consistent in high temperatures’.

ICE-COLD FACE ROLLER

Beauty expert and broadcaster Alison Young says go ahead and chill your rollers.

‘If you suffer from puffy eyes or general facial puffiness, then using a refrigerated facial roller can be really beneficial in de-puffing and waking up the skin,’ she says.

The coldness will provide an instant tightening, firming effect.

‘Puffiness is caused by a build-up of fluid, so you need to do more than simply apply cold products. You need to encourage the movement of fluid along the lymphatic drainage system, and this is where your roller will be particularly beneficial.’

Gloriously, the fridge can also turn cutlery into beauty aids (and the freezer also has its uses).

‘If you don’t own a facial roller and suffer from puffy eyes — or if you have a bad hangover — you can use ice cubes wrapped in gauze or refrigerated spoons,’ says Alison.

FROSTED LIPSTICK

Bad news for Seventies fans — frosted lipstick is not making a comeback. Alison Young says: ‘Don’t refrigerate your lipstick. All good lipsticks apply and blend best at room temperature.

‘Plus, if your lipstick contains wax or oil, which most do, an extended period in a cold temperature can cause the formula to crystallise.’

In fact, you should save the fridge only for your double cream, not your cream blusher.

Alison adds: ‘I wouldn’t suggest putting your make-up in the fridge as most formulas work better when warmed up with your hands.

‘Cream blushers, foundations and concealers all blend into the skin better when they’re warm, so if you refrigerate your make-up, you’re creating more work for yourself.’

CHILL, IT’S NATURAL

There’s much ado about preservative-free products, but Alison Young says: ‘Almost every product will contain some sort of preservative to ensure a decent shelf life.

‘Even 100 per cent natural products will use natural preservatives, such as essential oils or vitamin E, so you don’t need to worry about refrigerating them unless they are unregulated — meaning, created by you or someone you know.’

Expert Alison Young said cream products will not do so well in the fridge as most formulas work better when warmed up with your hands (file picture)

Expert Alison Young said cream products will not do so well in the fridge as most formulas work better when warmed up with your hands (file picture)

Expert Alison Young said cream products will not do so well in the fridge as most formulas work better when warmed up with your hands (file picture)

Live probiotic skincare (formulated to nurture and restore healthy bacteria naturally living on our skin) is another matter. Jane Scrivner says: ‘Probiotics should be in the fridge if there are live cultures present.’

But don’t stress, stay cool: ‘All of this information should be stated in the manufacturers’ guidelines on the packaging, making it easier for you!’ adds Jane.

So will a fridge, mini or otherwise, preserve my products beyond the PAO? Sadly, the consensus is probably not. Leighton Denny advises that we ‘make note of when organic and all-natural products are opened, and use within the recommended date — whether you store them in a tiny fridge or not’.

Alison Young says: ‘Store your products in a fridge if you want, but it isn’t going to lengthen the usability time of the product.’

A great way to preserve your beauty arsenal is to apply common sense. ‘If you’re concerned with the longevity of your products, store them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight,’ she says. ‘And make sure you don’t place them near a radiator.’

alisonyoungbeauty.com, janescrivner.com, ld-boutique.com



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