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

5 Realistic Beauty Resolutions That You Can Definitely Keep

When it comes to New Year’s beauty resolutions, the ones that are really going to carry on past January are the ones that feel the least restrictive and come with a serious side order of evident benefits to push us into brand new beauty territory. Maybe it’s time you gave up the habits that are impacting both your skin and the environment? Or, perhaps it’s time that you shake up the way you approach makeup and take your eyeliner skill to expert level?

Give up face wipes

Literally, stop now. From here on in, commit to choosing a makeup removing alternative that strays far away from the toxic reality of facial wipes. They might be affordable and easy to use, but their negative impact on the environment has long been documented. Water UK has even stated that 93 per cent of the gunk blocking our sewers is made up of wet wipes, and Marine Conservation found 12 wet wipes on average per 100 metres on UK beaches. Alternatives are now readily available: whether you want to choose reusable Face Halos or opt for a double cleanse and a muslin cloth, there really should be no need for you to ever open a pack again. Plus, if the environmental stats on wipes aren’t enough to dissuade you, consider that they are also bad for your complexion as they don’t probe deep enough to remove makeup entirely, and the scrubbing movements can cause unwanted irritation.

Don’t pick your spots

A beauty mandate we know well and have heard a thousand times, and yet, we all struggle to resist the temptation every time a new blemish pops up to say “hello”. Put down the at-home tools, stay away from your mirror and don’t even think about just quickly scratching away that whitehead. Scarring, further contamination and long-term damage are just some of the reasons we should leave this practice to the professionals. If you simply must remove a blemish, make sure that you pop, and don’t pick at the area. Cleanliness is key from your hands to cleaning the area after the gentle extraction. Picking is a 2021 no.

Try a new trick

Beauty resolutions shouldn’t all be about restriction. The new year can also prove the perfect time to try something new. Why not start with perfecting a new beauty technique, say, each month? By this time next year, you’ll have 12 new tricks in your beauty arsenal and perhaps a whole new perspective on your own routine. Whether you want to perfect a facial massage technique or finally master that cat-eye flick, YouTube is the best place to start, naturally.

Wash your brushes

It’s all well and good stepping out in an expertly executed makeup look that then gets washed away with a precise skincare routine, but, if your tools are dirty then you will find yourself right back at square one. Make the commitment to cleanse your kabuki et al at regular intervals. A routine of washing your brushes and tools with specialist cleansers will not only help your skin by removing impurities but will also give your makeup brushes a greater lifespan.

Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!

As the beauty industry increases its commitment to sustainability, make a concerted effort to do your part too. Much of the packaging your products come in will be comprised of various components that will all have different recycling capabilities. What this means is that you’ll need to invest some time into sorting through the empties and cartons. Or, consider the environment from the point of purchase and opt for brands and products that create with a green agenda and refillable bottles.

VOGUE article

Buzzy Beauty Ingredient of the Moment: Squalane

It seems like every day brings with it a new beauty ingredient we, as a civilization, must know about. (Cue: Eva Longoria over-pronouncing “hy-a-lur-on-ic acid” at us on repeat!) But every now and then, a substance comes along worth really, truly knowing. Hyaluronic acid is certainly one of them — particularly for anyone who favors a hydrated complexion without an oily, slick feel — but what we’re here to focus on right now is a slightly more old-school ingredient enjoying somewhat of a resurgence in the beauty world of late: squalane.

“Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon. It’s a form of squalene oil (which is a natural component of human skin sebum), which means it’s not subject to auto-oxidation, so that makes the shelf-life longer,” explains Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist at Day Dermatology & Aesthetics in New York City. In other words, squalane is a more stable ingredient derived from less-stable squalene, just in case you were about to Google “what is the difference between squalane and squalane?” Got that?

In the past, both ingredients have typically been derived from shark liver oil (like, from actual sharks), but most formulas now rely on cruelty-free, vegan (and much more sustainable!) alternatives made from olive or rice bran oil. It’s these innovative new formulas that have reinvigorated the industry’s interest in squalane, particularly as consumers seek out vegan and cruelty-free products (not to mention dewy, hydrated aesthetics that rely on intense moisture).

Dr. King notes that squalane “has emollient properties which make it a good moisturizer, able to help skin barrier function and prevent loss of hydration that impairs dermal suppleness.” She recommends it for a range of different skin types and concerns, beyond just those associated with moisture. “It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so it can help soothe inflammatory skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and inflammatory acne.”

Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson agrees there are many benefits associated with squalane in skin care: “It is a great product for all skin types to provide moisture; at high enough levels it has anti-wrinkle properties,” she says. She also notes that while many squalane formulas are thick oils and creams, there are also other options for those who don’t want to feel greasy. “It can be made to feel lighter or heavier on the skin depending on what it’s mixed with. It’s a versatile ingredient,” says Wilson, who also notes that there are few risks associated with it on the whole.

Not all experts are fully sold on the ingredient for every skin type, though. “It can be used across almost all skin types, but I am cautious in recommending it to people with acne because it may contribute to breakouts,” notes dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. King also points out that there are times when squalane itself may not be enough, particularly for those coping with severely parched skin. “If the skin is very dry and the environment is very dry, a stronger, heavier occlusive may be needed in addition to or instead of the squalane to lock in the moisture and ensure that hydration is not evaporating from the skin,” she advises.

Fashionista article