Like most humans, my skin isn’t perfect. I’m constantly worrying about zits, blackheads, and pustules, and am perpetually on the search for a new treatment or remedy to help prevent my oily skin from breaking out. It is precisely this quest that led me to storing my skincare products in the fridge.
While it sounds a little wacky (and yes, it’s quite bizarre to open up your fridge and reach for a bottle of orange juice only to end up with purifying cleanser), dermatologists and industry professionals actually recommend storing skincare items in cold temperatures. The chilled liquids and creams are said to help de-puff the area around your eyes, as well as refresh and revitalize your skin more than washing up with cold water could. I, more than desperate to find a way to get rid of my acne forever, became rather intrigued . So, like any normal person who has undying hope that their acne will somehow disappear with the right treatment, I tried it out.
Instead of leisurely cleansing and toning my face, I reached for my chilled products straight from the refrigerator for five days, noting any changes along the way. While the immediate results weren't necessarily what I hoped they would be, I certainly observed some small differences that improved my understanding of my own skin and its needs.
I use a lot of different skincare items. When I started this experiment out, I didn't even know if all of my products could fit into a single refrigerator. That being said, I wanted to limit myself to a few key staples, and really focus on those rather than my entire arsenal. I opted for a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, a face mask, and a lip balm.
Despite all the claims out there that support chilled skincare products and all the recommendations I’ve read in magazines and the Internet (where everything is true), I wasn’t optimistic that the sheer temperature of a product could make it work better. I’m all for crazy practices and weird techniques to master a beauty trick or zap a zit in no time. But skincare in the fridge? Not so much.
Nonetheless, I was willing to be proven a cynic as I embarked upon the trial period. Here is what I found, laid out by individual products.
In my experience, cleanser is the hardest product to find when wanting to cater to specific types of skin. It's used to clean our faces of grime and make us feel fresh again. While I love my cleanser, however, I was worried that the cold temperatures it was being stored in would ruin the application experience. And I was right... well, kind of.
The cold temperature of the cleanser didn’t do much but shock my skin every time I used it. I always enjoy the fresh, tingly feeling of a cleanser, but if anything, the too-cold temps interfered with that effect.
I can easily say that toner was the biggest surprise from this experiment. I expected the product to do its own thing, much like it always does. However, the dirt I usually see on my cotton pad after toning wasn’t really there at all.
Warmth and steam tend to help open up your pores, thus allowing toner to pick up any leftover dirt and grime that your cleanser hasn't caught. So, when I swiped on the fridge-temp toner, my pores closed right up — along with the grime inside them. While I liked using the cold toner bottle to de-puff my eyes in the mornings, I didn’t enjoy knowing I left my pores clogged at the end of the day.
Honestly, there wasn’t much of a difference when it came to refrigerating my moisturizer. When I touched the cream, I could barely tell that it had been stored in a fridge for hours. In terms of its effect, everything stayed much the same. I guess you can always count on moisturizer to be dependable, hot or cold.
I love Vaseline because it’s such a simple, classic product that you just can’t go wrong with it. Storing it in the fridge for days ultimately made no difference to its magic either way.
I was most curious to find out how the cold temperatures would affect my face mask, especially since its packaging recommends using warm water with it. More than the other products, this one felt cold. Really cold.
Despite my reservations prior to application, the mask went on smoothly and washed off just as well. My skin felt refreshed but a little tight, which is to be expected from a face mask. I wouldn’t necessarily say the chilling improved or hurt the results of the face mask, but it was fun twist on my weekly routine.
Are The Results Worth The Cold?
It was definitely refreshing to cleanse, tone, and moisturize with chilled skincare products. However, I don’t think the process made a huge difference on my actual skin. Come the morning, I wasn't quite as puffy and red as I might be otherwise, but that was the extent of it. The cold temperature was also a little irritating in the evenings, and made me feel like I was clogging my pores rather than releasing them.
Using chilled products might help those who experience lots of puffiness in the mornings as well as mild irritation around the eyes, nose, or mouth. For me, however, chilled skincare products definitely aren’t the answer to my acne prayers.
After five days, I was pretty glad to finally have the space in my fridge back for what truly belongs in there: Food.
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Images: Melodi Erdogan