Should You Refrigerate Your Cosmetics?

Many beauty experts recommend refrigerating cosmetics to help extend their potency. They warn that the heat of regular room temperature can render some of the vital ingredients in these cosmetics ineffective – heat can cause your nail polish to turn more viscous than it should be and change the fragrance of your favorite perfume. Should you buy into these beliefs?

Newsflash – cosmetics and makeup aren’t natural products

Cosmetics aren’t manufactured, transported or stocked at stores at cold temperatures. Manufacturers do know the kind of conditions that their products need to survive for months before they get to the consumer. If they believed that exposure to regular temperatures for extended periods of time had the ability to render their products less effective, they would use cold temperatures. The fact that they don’t should make you think.

Should I refrigerate my makeupRegular supermarket cosmetics are synthetic products – unlike natural products, they can be designed to specifically withstand the effects of time and temperature variations. While you shouldn’t leave your cosmetics in a particularly warm location, regular home temperatures aren’t harmful. You should, though, think about discarding any open and partially used products after three months. Contamination is likely after such long periods.

Organic and natural cosmetics are a different matter. Since they have few preservatives, refrigeration would help. With natural products, you should be particularly careful about discarding them past their expiration date.

Refrigeration can actually make your products icky

The desire to err on the side of caution might move you to try storing your cosmetics in the refrigerator. If it doesn’t always help, it certainly won’t harm your products to cool them, you might reason. While the cold temperatures of refrigeration certainly won’t damage the active ingredients in your cosmetics, they can affect their consistency. At cold temperatures, the oils used in some cosmetics may separate. You may be the left with a puddle of oil at the bottom and icky-looking solids in a separate clump. Your cosmetics will never turn this way when left at room temperature.

Refrigerated cosmetics do feel good, sometimes

Spray-based sunscreen, eye cream and other cosmetics can feel refreshing on the skin when they are cold from refrigerating – particularly in summer. Eye cream, in particular, can even work better when it’s cold. If you have a problem with puffy eyes in the morning, cold eye cream can help reduce inflammation. After a night of poor sleep, cold eye cream can be refreshing. As long as your particular brand of eye cream doesn’t separate at cold temperatures, you can certainly try refrigeration.

Make sure that you can tell the difference between cosmetics and medications

Whether you get your acne medication over-the-counter or by way of prescription, refrigeration is often a good idea. You should look at the instructions on the label – on many formulations, exposure to room temperatures can lead to oxidization. It’s a good rule of thumb to go by whatever the pharmacy does – if they get your product out of the refrigerator when you buy it, it should probably go in the refrigerator when you get it home.

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Author: Alex Marsh

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