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Whether you remember your mom soothing tired skin with ice cubes and cold creams or even if you've never considered using the family fridge for moisturizers and nail polishes, the refrigerator and freezer can be seen as an important beauty tool. But is this an urban legend?
TODAY.com spoke with the experts to find out which beauty products actual benefit from some chill time in the ice box.
Products that have natural and organic ingredients lack certain preservatives to keep it fresh longer. And a colder temperature could increase the lifespan of the vitamins and nutrients that you apply to your skin, explained plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Fiorillo. “It is important to note the ingredients before you refrigerate. Keeping ingredients cool in the fridge or freezer could extend the life of natural ingredients skin-boosting elements,” Fiorillo said.
“Facial mists can help provide more soothing and calming benefits, especially if you’re spraying it on dry, inflamed skin. Plus, it feels more refreshing spraying cold mists instead of hot mists,” said Michelle Ornstein, licensed aesthetician and founder of Enessa Skincare.
Try: Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer, $25, Birchbox.com
Eye creams and serums
“Keeping my eye serum and line refiner for under the eye super cold (in the fridge, freezer or on ice) make it that much more powerful at reducing puffiness and boosting circulation under the eye area to reflect a well-rested appearance. The cooling effect feels pretty amazing too!” said Tessa McCullough, makeup artist at Boston’s G2O Spa & Salon.
Try: Dermelect Line Correction Eye Gel, $34, Dermelect.com
Cristina Samuels, co-founder and co-creator of MODE cosmetics, said the best thing you can do for your lipsticks is keep them cold — and the colder the better. "Freezing your lipstick locks in all its freshness and helps prevent the beneficial and delicate natural oils and extracts from going rancid, helping extend its shelf life," she said.
"Remember, heat is lipstick's enemy. I have advised women for years to store their extra lipsticks in the freezer and just pop one out the night before or a couple hours before you plan on using it, [allow] it to come to room temperature and your lipstick is ready!" she explained.
For nail polish, the purpose of refrigerating can be less about the temperature and more protecting it from outside factors.
“I can remember opening the refrigerator at my grandmother's house as a child only to find bottles and bottles of nail polish. The reason? Most nail polish comes in clear, glass bottles, which can enhance the effects of sunlight," said Ami Shvartzman, director of education for Osmosis Skincare. "Leaving nail polish in an area where it is subject to light and/or heat can change the texture and even the color of the product in the bottle.”
Have you ever noticed that your favorite mascara can develop a strange aroma when you've been using it for too long? “This is because mascara (and essentially all cosmetic products) have a shelf life; liquid cosmetics tend to have a shorter shelf life," Shvartzman explained. "Placing your mascara in a colder environment (like a refrigerator) can enhance its life and keep it safe for your eyes longer.”
Fragrance is another great product for the fridge, says McCullough. “When kept cool, the notes of the scent will stay true as air, heat and light can deteriorate the scent. Plus, it makes for a refreshing spritz on a hot summer day!” McCullough said.
Toner, moisturizer, serums, masks
“It’s a fact that cold temperatures shrink capillaries and stimulate drainage to reduce puffiness. Toners, serums, moisturizers and gel-based masks do well in the fridge," said celebrity aethestician Renee Rouleau. "Not only does this help preserve product, but the cooled-down temperatures of the product helps reduce redness by constricting capillaries.”
Try: Earth Therapeutics Soothing Beauty Mask, $7.50, Drugstore.com