Once home to midnight snacks and ice-cold drinks, the mini fridge is gradually being taken over by skin-care products. Being in possession of a dedicated skincare fridge is a craze that shows no signs of abating. Most recently, the mini gadgets enjoyed viral fame on TikTok, where the hashtag has had 83.3 million views (and counting). Just tap to discover an endless stream of videos featuring proud owners and their chilled #shelfies, laden with temperature-controlled products.
But a skincare fridge has a purpose beyond the social media brag. The idea is that it helps to keep unstable ingredients like retinol, benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C (which break down when exposed to light or heat), as cool—and therefore stable—as possible.
“Many skincare products benefit from being kept in the fridge,” says Clinicbe founder and aesthetic doctor, Dr Barbara Kubicka. “Specifically, natural products and those that contain few preservatives. The cold helps ingredients stay potent for longer—especially antioxidants, growth factors and peptides—as well as extending their shelf life.” When a skincare label instructs you to keep your product in a “cool, dark place,” a skincare fridge instantly ticks both boxes.
Its other use is as a dedicated place to cool skincare products. In the same vein as skin icing, keeping serums, eye creams and sheet masks (to name a few), below room temperature can help de-puff, boost circulation and take down redness and inflammation—all while feeling ultra-refreshing on the skin. Not to mention the fact that seeing your skincare neatly stored in a nifty little fridge is just plain satisfying.
Newby Hands, global beauty director at Net-a-Porter, is just one of the beauty fridge’s biggest fans. “As we know, anything cold helps de-puff and firm up the skin, so using it to store sheet masks, eye creams, some serums and tools, like my Gua Sha and face rollers, makes real sense,” she says. “Using something cool on the skin first thing in the morning and, especially, to revive your face at the end of the day and before going out is wonderful.”
Hands and her team at Net-a-Porter noticed an uptick in demand for the devices, not least after a surge in popularity for ice globes, so the e-tailer decided to launch possibly the chicest version on the market. At US $160, it comes in the NAP trademark monochrome shades and is as sleek as a fridge gets. “There’s something quite special about having a dedicated mini fridge for your skincare,” says Hands. “Especially when it compactly stores your products and looks this chic.”
So, are they worth it? Well, while they aren’t strictly necessary to keep your skincare effective (skincare products go through a rigorous testing process before hitting the shelves to ensure they work properly, fridge or no fridge), beauty devotees will always get their money’s worth from a skincare fridge. Creams and serums inarguably feel better than ever post-refrigeration. And if it helps remedy even one day of puffiness? It has to be worth it.
Originally published on Vogue.com