Five years ago, the words "mini fridge" might have conjured images of dirty dorm rooms, dark basements, or a Tinder date's weird kitchen. But, as beauty lovers do best, we gave the mini fridge a makeover. Tiny refrigerators still make us think of six-packs — but now, it's a six-pack of sheet masks.
Skin-care devotees started noticing the the benefits of keeping products cool (more on that below). But since this community is nothing if not extra, we didn't want to stick a beloved moisturizer next to the cookie dough. Instead, skin-care fans are opting for a dedicated skin-care fridge (or #beautyfridge, as Instagram has dubbed the trend.) A fridge typically takes up about one square foot of desk (or vanity or bathroom or under-the-bed) space and will run between $50 and $150.
The whole setup is very photogenic and, if you follow beauty bloggers or even Allure editor-in-chief Michelle Lee, you'll notice how cute they look on Instagram. Plus, very importantly for those of us who have a lot of skin-care products, they also offer a whole new beauty storage space. But what does a skin-care fridge actually do for your routine?
"Generally, but not always, refrigerating products will help extend their shelf life," Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told Allure. "Moreover, the cooling sensation on the skin from applying a refrigerated product may help calm itch and give a more soothing effect than a room-temperature product. This is likely because the cool temperature may calm over-firing nerves that lead to itch and discomfort in the skin."
Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, previously pointed out to Allure that most products won't alter too much in the cold. For Tanzi, the only step of your skin-care routine worth refrigerating is any under-eye cream. "The fact that it's cold helps to vasoconstrict and may help with puffiness," Tanzi explains. "Otherwise, I don't think there is much difference between room-temperature and cold products."
The experts agree that you don't need a skin-care fridge. But if you enjoy life's little luxuries — like an ice-cold jade roller on your puffy, swollen eyes — a skin-care fridge is still a worthy addition to your routine. In fact, Allure editor-in-chief Michelle Lee has multiple fridges both at home and at the office. "I was one of the earliest skin-care fridge fans because we've told people for years to chill sheet masks and rollers for extra cooling and de-puffing action," she says.
Lee's fridge is currently stocked with Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream, Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream, and various and sundry sheet masks, face mists, and beauty tools. As for her favorite fridge, Lee prefers the Cooluli range. "They make really high-quality — and cute — fridges that even come in colors like metallic gold," she says. The new generation of mini fridges is intended for skin-care, but of course, you can still fill it with whatever you're in the mood to keep cool. There are approximately five skin-care fridges scattered around the Allure offices, and lots of them are stocked with snacks.
If you're looking for the cutest way to keep skin-care products cool, here are five of our favorite skin-care fridges to try:
Michelle Lee's go-to fridge features two inner shelves plus a shelf on the door, perfect for tools and sheet masks.
This retro fridge looks like something straight out of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and it comes in a super fun shade of turquoise.
If you want your skin-care fridge to match your real fridge, opt for this adorable Frigidaire. It includes a bottle opener on the side, just in case you choose to store bottles of things other than serum.
This two-shelve fridge comes in mint or coral, and includes a dry erase board for keeping track of all your beauty to-do list.
This classic white fridge goes with any decor, but best of all, you can buy it from Ulta and rack up those rewards points.
More on skin care:
- 7 Common Dry-Skin Mistakes People Make in the Winter
- Tatcha Is Launching a Serum Stick in the New Year
- Reddit User Says $3 Himalaya Nourishing Skin Cream Cleared Up Cystic Acne
Now, watch an Allure editor's nine-step morning skin-care routine in real time:
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Originally Appeared on Allure