How do you store your skincare products properly?
Weren’t we all coveting those cute little beauty fridges, which became one of the coolest trends to find its way to Instagram a few years ago? It raised a frenzy of articles raising questions of how best to store your cosmetics - cold or room temperature? The jury is still out about whether cool is always better but we do know that exposing your favourite products to heat or light is not good for them. That’s because the heat can break down active ingredients and accelerate the age of the cream, gel, lotion or water you’ve invested in.
What’s the reason for keeping them in a fridge or in a cool, dry place? It’s all about preservation, stability and the effect they’ll have on your skin on application. Remember though that you can just create a designated spot in the fridge in your kitchen instead of getting a whole new mini appliance just for your cosmetics. Or you can just store your tubes, jars and bottles in a place where the temperature is stable and sits away from direct sunlight, heat conductors and too much steam.
Pop your product in the fridge. If you have sensitive skin or are suffering from redness or swelling, this can be a great beauty hack. The chilled temperature of the potion when you take it out the fridge and apply it on your skin can help soothe inflammation and help shrink pores (have you noticed how they appear bigger when the weather is warmer?). But not everything belongs in there.
Which products are safe below room temperature? You may want to keep ones that you don’t use that often in a fridge, to preserve them for longer. Face mists; facial tools like your gua sha and jade or rose quartz rollers; eye creams; sheet masks; water-based serums, gels and lotions; and products that contain active ingredients like niacinamide, retinols, Vitamin A, C and E can all mostly stand the crispness.
So can natural and organic products that sometimes don’t contain preservatives. It’s important to protect them from oxidation and bacteria and fungal growth that can get triggered every time you open the containers.
And which products shouldn’t go into the fridge? Your facial oils or some oil emulsions. They can thicken and change consistency, making them more difficult to apply. Make sure that products don’t get too cold and freeze. You don’t want to have to thaw them and destabilise the formulation as the temperatures fluctuate.
Did you know that your products always tell you how long they will last after opening, before expiring? You’ll find that info at the bottom of or somewhere on the container. Look out for the symbol of a jar with an open lid and a number with an m (e.g. 6M or 12M) next to it. It signifies the months it will safely keep for.
In general, you should throw out cleansers, exfoliators, eye creams, moisturisers and toners after one year. Serums sometimes have a shorter shelf life. You can tell if a product has expired if it separates, looks lumpy, has a different texture (runnier, grainier, streakier) to when you first used it, has changed colour, and smells bad or has a strange odour.
HOW TO TO STORE YOUR YEARN SKIN PRODUCTS
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For external use only. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use on broken or inflamed skin. Patch test product before use. Discontinue use immediately if any irritation occurs. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of eye contact, rinse immediately with water. Use only as directed. Product may tingle when applied. Once opened use within 6 months. Do not use if expired. Store in cool, dry, dark place.