One of my first memory of a skincare regime is my Mum’s Hazeline Snow moisturiser. She used to it in the refrigerator, in one of those holders that are meant for eggs, and made me fetch it for her. Before this, I thought that everything you put in the refrigerator has to be edible, so this is incredibly strange to me. Mum explains that this keeps the moisturiser fresh and also, the cooling formula feels really luxurious on the skin.

Related: What my mum taught me about beauty

When I visited my teenage cousin as a pre-teen, I realised that she does the same. In fact, she keeps her perfume, nail polishes, toner, masks in the fridge too. “They don’t spoil as fast when they’re in the fridge”, she explained as she showed off her collection of products, all tucked at the back of the fridge, in front of the cheese, yogurt and peanut butter.

Are they right?

Generally yes…

Most beauty products are perishables. This means that there is a shelf life to them and they can turn “bad”. This is why most products have preservatives in them to keep them for a few years. And it’s “unfortunate” that we live in Singapore, where it’s hot, bright and moist – best conditions for perishables to perish.

fancl mutenka whitening

Now, especially if you’re using a product that is free from preservatives (e.g. Fancl products are made without any preservatives), keeping them the fridge, which is a cool and dry environment will keep it fresh for longer (you learn that in science lessons!), as compared to leaving it out in the hot and humid environment of Singapore.

Products like your mascara, for instance, also have “shelf life” because of how it can dry out, no thanks to heat. And when stored in a cold and dry environment of the fridge, it decreases its rate of drying because the formula becomes less volatile.

Another product that you may want to keep in the fridge would be those fortified with vitamins A and C. these are unstable when it comes in touch with heat and light. My Kiehl’s Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate, for instance, an eye cream that’s very rich in vitamin C, starts turning yellow when I leave it on my usual vanity desk. But leaving it in my fridge keeps it in its original state for longer, and what’s more the cooling formula seems to help with reducing puffiness on the eyes, the same way metallic rolling balls on eye care products do.

kiehl's line reducing eye brightening concentrate

However, do note that most products are tested and their packages well thought about before they launch into the market. In other words, they’re designed to be able to do well at room temperature.  There’s no stopping you from putting products in the fridge, just because you like it, though. Masks, toners and moisturisers tend to feel “good” on the skin when they’re cooled, so feel free to do it, if it makes you enjoy your regime better.

Related: How to be a money-saving beauty junkie

There are exceptions…

Water-based products generally do well in a fridge, but we can’t say the same for oil or wax-based formulas. Products like hair oils, liquid foundations, silicone primers may end up with a weird consistency if you put it in the fridge and they solidify as a result. You’re probably better off leaving them at room temperature, at a dry area that’s away from direct sunlight.

You could always check with the beauty advisor regarding storage, and sometimes, the labels give you specific instructions on how to do so. While the rule says that oil products are not good for storing in the fridge, I’ve been told by the beauty advisor at VMV Hypoallergenics that it is okay to store the Know-It-Oil in the fridge. You use it as a paste when it’s solid and as a lotion when it’s liquid.