What's with the beauty fridges all over Instagram?

Instagram is a mecca for all things beauty, including upcoming launches, new releases, latest trends, and reviews. Oh, and also mini fridges as it turns out. These have been a thing for storing skincare and cosmetic products for awhile in South Korea, and only recently have become more popular in the US -- including on the Instagram feeds of beauty influencers.

So why would you ever chill a cosmetic product, and which products in particular should be stored this way?

Depending on room temperature and a product’s composition, refrigeration can keep bacteria and fungus at bay and prolong the its lifespan. Most people keep their skincare and cosmetic collections in the bathroom, generally out of convenience. However, that convenience can come at a significant cost. The frequent heat and steam of a bathroom -- or even a bedroom, if products are left in a room that gets a lot of light -- can cause melting, separation, discoloration or rancid smells. Moreover, humidity can accelerate bacteria formation, and especially with creams that need to be massaged onto your face, contamination can occur quickly.

So what products can stay out of the fridge and on your counter? Definite room temperature products include facial oils, especially coconut and olive that have high freezing points, and wax or silicone-based formulas.

On the other hand, fully organic or natural products that don’t have preservatives benefit from being chilled since they have shorter lifespans and are more prone to separation or curdling.  Creams, mists and water-based toners, retinoids and products with vitamin E can also all benefit from staying in cooler temperatures. And in the case of a cream or spray, an added bonus is the soothing feeling these can have on the skin, especially when treating conditions such as rosacea, rashes, burns or inflammation.

Ok, all good to know, but what are the options for actually refrigerating your beauty products? A kitchen fridge will work perfectly fine, at least in terms of the chill factor. However, special care must be taken to keep these products separate these from the food and drink that is also stored there. In addition, keeping cosmetics in a kitchen can be a lot less convenient than having them next to you where you normally apply your makeup.  

For these reasons, a reasonably priced portable fridge that can be parked anywhere is an attractive alternative for many people. One option includes standard mini-fridges like the highly-rated EdgeStar which, at 1.1 cubic feet, can accommodate a generous collection of skincare and cosmetics products. Amazon lists the EdgeStar as well as a slew of similar choices.

As an alternative, there are newer designs that have been created specifically for storing cosmetics. These include relatively small, inexpensive units like the Housmile 3 Liter Cosmetics Fridge at Walmart. They also include much more sophisticated -- and expensive -- digital models offered by South Korean company AMEX Mishell, which are noise-free for bedroom use and include LED lighting. And if you have several thousand dollars to dish out, there’s the luxurious b7 by Biszet at the very high end of the market, featuring multiple climate zones, frosted glass shelves and doors, and solid stainless steel construction.

As of this writing, the selection of cosmetic-specific fridges is still somewhat sparse in the United States, but we fully expect this to change in the time ahead as buyer demand continues to grow.

Stay in touch and we’ll continue to update!


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