If you prefer natural formulations, you may need to put a bit more thought into how you store your skin care. Many natural formulas replace chemical ingredients with delicate bioactive compounds and natural preservatives. This means that if they are stored inadequately you could compromise their shelf life and potency.
You may have heard once or twice that it's better to keep your skin care in the fridge. This doesn't always hold true. You should first understand how and what your products are made out of. This can help you decide where to best store them. Here are some simple guidelines to learn the basics of skin care storage.
Heat and light are your skin care's enemy
Heat and light can change the chemical structures in your products, which affects their efficacy. For this reason, some skin care formulas are packaged in opaque containers. You should take extra care with formulas that contain vitamin C, peptides or retinoids as these are more prone to temperature-caused destabilization.
As a general rule of thumb, you should keep your skin care away from sunny window sills or places like your car, where they are in direct contact with heat and sunlight. If you want to carry some items in your purse, place them in a bag first to protect them from the light.
Why you shouldn't keep your products in the bathroom
While storing your skin care on a bathroom shelf may sound convenient, this is one of the worst environments for it. Your bathroom experiences the greatest fluctuation in heat and humidity levels. This can lead to the break down of key active ingredients in skin care formulas, cosmetics, and even perfumes.
If your products aren’t tightly sealed, they can also get exposed to condensation. This moisture creates a breeding ground for mold and bacteria to grow. So it’s a good idea to keep any products stored in pots, tubs or jars away from the bathroom. When you buy anti-aging products that contain peptides, growth factors, antioxidants, or retinol, make sure they are stored in containers with airtight pumps.
Does your moisturizer belong in the fridge?
When it comes to increasing the life of your products, lower temperatures are generally better. This is because chemical reactions occur faster at higher temperatures. Makeup and moisturizers in particular are more prone to oxidation - a chemical reaction that occurs when oil comes into contact with air.
As a general rule of thumb, you can store most water-based skin care in the fridge. On the other hand, oil-based liquid formulas like serums might turn cloudy. Lower temperatures can cause water and oil to separate, and when this happens there’s a chance that the formula will not return to its original state. It's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your products' ingredients and manufacturing process before moving them to the fridge.
In summary, most skin care and beauty products should be stored at room temperature and in a dark place.