Mini Fridges for Skincare: Brilliant or BS?

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If you follow any beauty influencers on social media, you probably would have noticed the flurry of “shelfies” (a photo of a shelf of skincare or makeup, for those unaware) that take place inside a mini fridge.

#minifridgeshelfie #skincareshelfie

Basically, storing many skincare products in a mini refrigerator has become very popular. The most popular fridge, the Cooluli Mini Fridge, has almost 3000 reviews on Amazon and the reviews are full of skincare shelfies.

Of course being a skincare lady myself I was intrigued. I had heard about keeping some products in your regular refrigerator, but I really loved the idea of having a cute, tiny fridge dedicated solely to skincare.

But I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just being taken over by the Instagram worthiness of these mini fridges, I needed to know more.

Are they really beneficial, or are they an over-hyped Instagram trend?

Let’s see what I found.

If you do a quick internet search, there are two main claims surrounding the “benefits” of refrigerating some skincare products.

  1. It helps preserve/extend the shelf life of some products
  2. It feels good to put cold products on your skin (can also help with reducing puffiness and redness) 


The second claim is a lot easier to believe. I often toss some sheet masks in the fridge during the summer and they most definitely feel amazing on my skin on a hot day.


We also know that cold compresses are often recommend to reduce skin inflammation, so personally I believe in claim #2.

Claim #1 seems a bit more difficult to prove.

Most of the products in our skincare routines are formulated to be stable in room temperature conditions.

However, I wonder how much this would change for someone living in an extremely hot climate, perhaps it could be enough to affect a product’s lifespan and effectiveness?

We do know for a fact that there are some products which are very sensitive to sunlight and heat, too much exposure to either could easily render the product les effective.

The common ingredients are:

  • vitamin C (high risk for oxidation)
  • retinols
  • benzoyl peroxide

Most of the above ingredients often play a very crucial role in a skincare routine. I personally would not want to risk my retinol or vitamin C products losing any of their efficiency.

From what I can gather from my research, the above products are excellent candidates for refrigeration. Others might only be benefiting from becoming cold (thus reducing redness, puffiness) but whether or not their shelf life is actually extended seems fairly debatable.

So what products would do well in a skincare mini fridge?

  • nail polishes (can keep the color from separating)
  • vitamin C, retinols, and benzyol peroxide
  • sheet masks (great for reducing redness/puffiness)
  • water-based products (like toners, essences)

What should you not put in a skincare mini fridge?

  • sunscreens (they are designed to be most stable at room temperature)
  • silicone-based products (for fear of separation)
  • products with high oil content (might solidify too quickly)

While it seems most products would be fine in a skincare mini fridge, some do run the risk of separation, which would alter their consistency. So just be careful about what you do/do not refrigerate.


General verdict?

I actually think keeping some of your skincare cool might be a good idea. Especially for users of vitamin c, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide. Even if you just want the cooling effect from your products it’s probably still a good enough reason!

Are they expensive?

Most of the skincare mini fridges available on Amazon actually aren’t too pricey. The Cooluli Mini Fridge currently retails for $44.99 USD on Amazon.

The Cooluli Mini Fridge

This fridge seems to be the most popular choice by far. It claims to be ultra-quiet, energy efficient, and light-weight (it has a handle on top too). There are almost 3000 reviews to read through and with 4/5 stars currently it seems to be a good choice.

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