The Real Benefits Of Those Skin-Care Mini Fridges That Are So Trendy Right Now

A well-edited Instagram image holds a curious kind of power. The artful arrangement of products in a flatlay or aesthetically pleasing-ly standing, can influence our decisions, inform our purchases and inspire moments of reflection.

Late last year, when the Skin-Care Mini Fridge (aka SCMF) first started making the odd appearance on my feed, I searched my soul and found the answer to that final question: No. No, I do not NEED it.

But the popularity of the Skin-Care Mini Fridge grew — and the amount of alluringly-styled Instagram shots of said fridges doubled, then tripled — I’m proud to say through, I stood strong with my decision to skip out on the SCMF. I mean, I do have certain beauty products that I keep in my regular-sized fridge, mostly perishable items, like certain refreshing sprays and a few food-grade face masks. I’d been known to occasionally store my jade roller in there, too, because a cool crystal to the face just feels so good, especially in the mornings.

Google searches for “skin-care fridge” have skyrocketed in recent months, and entire companies dedicated to manufacturing these mini fridges have popped up seemingly overnight (Mint FridgeThe Beauty FridgeCosmetics Fridge). But experts say aesthetic appeal — the cool factor, if you will — is pretty much the only reason to indulge in the trend. 

“You do not need to keep skin-care products in the fridge. Keeping them in the fridge does not make them more effective,” Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, a dermatologist with Icecreamwala Dermatology in San Francisco, tells Fashionista. She notes that refrigerating certain ingredients — retinol, benzoyl peroxide — may slightly extend their shelf life, but the amount of extra use you’d get out of the chilled product would be negligible.

“When a company creates a product and brings it to market, they should have already performed stability testing and exposed the formulation to multiple adverse temperature and light conditions over at least a three month period of time so the consumer can feel confident there won’t be any issues,” explains celebrity aesthetician Angela Caglia, who also produces her own line of products. 

Science-minded skin-care lovers may rebut, “Aren’t vitamin C products notoriously unstable, though?” To which Caglia counters, “In terms of vitamin C serum efficacy issues, the real culprit has been exposure to air, or oxidization, and not as much temperature.” What’s more, serums and oils can actually solidify in the fridge, rendering them ineffective.

Chilled products are not without their dermatological charms, though. Dr. Icecreamwala herself stores face masks and aloe-based moisturizers in her fridge, “because it does feel indulgent and soothing to the skin when products are applied cold.” There’s even evidence to suggest that cold skin care helps decrease swelling and redness more quickly than that of the room temp variety.

“When it comes to treating puffiness, you can’t beat it,” Caglia agrees. “I always recommend that my clients store their eye creams, certain masks and rose quartz beauty tools in the fridge.”

The real question, then, is whether your Regular Refrigerator (RR) is worthy of housing such precious products. (Crystals! Aloe! Eye masks!) It’s one that every beauty enthusiast must answer alone — but here, based on my own experience, are some prompts to point you in the right direction.

Are you an influencer? Sure, go ahead, get a dedicated Skin-Care Mini Fridge; it makes for great content. There are options at every size, style and price point.

Do you want to be an influencer? If you can figure out how to make your SCMF look glamorous in photos — which, trust me, is not as easy as you think — go for it. You just might make the Explore page.

Will you try to photograph it at all? For those with a few empty shelves in the fridge and no influential aspirations, I gently suggest skipping the SCMF and stashing your beauty products in the butter compartment.

Do you share your Regular Refrigerator with roommates? There is something worse than being the roommate who aggressively labels their oat milk, and that’s being the roommate who takes up sacred refrigerator space with sheet masks. For the sake of your roomie relationships, invest in a SCMF instead.

Do you have the counter space? Yes, it’s a “mini” fridge, but even the smallest models require a surprising amount of real estate — especially in a shoebox apartment. It may be more efficient to stick with your RR.

Do you have access to a conveniently placed outlet? In my colleague’s case, their SCMF didn’t fit on their bathroom countertop, and the only available outlet was next to the toilet. Then, it might not feel as chic as anticipated, squatting down next to the porcelain bowl to retrieve an optimally-chilled eye cream.

Eventually, after months of SCMF “research”, I decided to stick with my choice of storing my products in my Regular Refrigerator. There’s more space, it’s easier to organize and I’m not sidetracked by the urge to snap a #shelfie every time I reach for my jade roller. (Although I have to say: My butter compartment’s never looked better.)

FASHIONISTA article

What Do Jade Rollers Do for Your Skin, Anyway?

Jade rollers aren’t a recent skincare innovation. They’ve been a staple in Chinese skincare routines since the 7th century, and are believed to have healing and protective properties. The handheld massagers are usually dual-ended with two jade stone heads that are ran across the face, which can de-puff skin and boost circulation.

How Does a Jade Roller Benefit Your Skin?

Jade rollers are believed to boost blood circulation, reduce swelling, and can help products penetrate deeper into the skin. Basically, they’re supposed to be a quick, easy cure for daily skincare struggles like dark under-eye circles and puffiness. The increase in circulation can also help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. A jade roller can be used at room temperature or chilled in the fridge.

“The pressure and cold of the roller helps to improve circulation and increase lymphatic drainage,” Dr. Sperling (InStyle) explains. “They also can help to temporarily improve puffiness or help to rub in topical creams.”

On top of the skincare benefits, jade stones are said to be calming, so using one can potentially improve your mood. (Yes, really!) “You are also getting the benefits of jade as well,” says Vargas (InStyle). “It is a traditional stone that soothes the mind and releases negative thoughts.”

How Do Jade Rollers Work?

After cleaning your skin and applying whatever skincare products you typically use, Vargas (InStyle) says, “You want to roll your face in an outward motion.” Light pressure can work to drain lymphatic fluids, while light to medium pressure can help products penetrate deeper and boost blood flow. “The movements help increase blood circulation and collagen production to maintain a youthful glow serving as a sort of mini facial on the daily,” she explains.

For a firming effect, Park (InStyle) recommends starting with the cheekbones, and moving outwards. “Then, go against the jaw line to create more contour and definition,” she says. “Afterwards, move the roller down the back of your ears toward the clavicle, allowing the excess fluids to drain down to the lymphatic system.”

What Skincare Products Work With Jade Rollers?

A serum or face oil and a jade roller are a winning combo. These products will help the facial massager glide against your face, plus the tool can help their active ingredients get deeper into your skin.

As for what ingredients to use, there’s options. “I like to use firming peptides and work around areas with fine lines and wrinkles,” says Vargas (InStyle). “Plant-based stem cells are also beneficial when using a roller. Also, a hydrating serum is key since we all need hydration. You can also use brightening oils as well.”

When Should You Use a Jade Roller?

The beauty of this ritual is that it’s a great addition to any morning or nighttime skincare routine. In the a.m., a chilled jade roller can made sleepy, puffy eyes look refreshed, while in the p.m., the facial massaging tool is great for calming inflammation in the skin.

Do Jade Rollers Have Any Side Effects?

Jade rollers are safe to use every day, and for every skin type. But Dr. Sperling (InStyle) does note that they can spread bacteria and infection if they aren’t properly cleaned. Jade rollers also won’t help with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or rosacea.

Is There a Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Jade Rollers?

It all depends on personal preference, but a cheap option won’t be made with a quality stone. “I would personally invest in a high quality jade roller, because you’re paying the price for a good quality stone,” says Park (InStyle). “Also, you’re investing in a beautiful piece that will allow you to use it daily as a ritual!”

OK, now that you know the deal with jade rollers, what do the before and afters of using one look like? Check out #jaderollers on Instagram to find out.

The Best Jade Rollers at Every Price Point

Have you used jade rollers before? Are you inspired to do so now? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!