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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Do you really need a skincare fridge? | Sali Hughes

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I’ve recently taken delivery of my fourth “skincare fridge”, the first two having been donated to charity and the third used for the storage of mini Cokes. Their intended purpose, of course, is to chill jars and tubes of skincare, theoretically enhancing their absorption and performance, and extending their life. As you will have gathered, I think them pointless and am bemused by their surging popularity. In a triumph of marketing, skincare chillers seem to be succeeding where their predecessors – skincare heaters (which, hilariously, made many of the same claims) – failed.

There’s no earthly reason, unless your home is a Death Valley sweat lodge, why your cleansers, exfoliants, moisturisers and lotions must live in a refrigerator. Yes, there are incidences in which chilled products might be appealing. If eyes are puffy, for example, a chilled gel can refresh and help de-puff. If hot, bothered and knackered, a cold face mist provides an instant psychological boost. When my limbs are particularly dry and itchy, I find the soothing sensation of a cold body cream very welcome. There may be an argument for chilling delicate active ingredients such as vitamin C in face serums, which is notoriously sensitive to light, air and temperature changes, though no meaningful research concludes that a fridge will help retain its stability. But in all cases, there’s no reason to buy a dedicated skincare fridge, when you could just budge up the Hellmann’s and make use of your regular one.

If the idea of an undoubtedly cute skincare fridge still appeals (and each to her own), then the Net-a-Porter version (£130) would be my choice, as it looks smart and is one of the few not got up to look like something from a 1950s American-themed diner.

I try to be positive here, so it feels fair to tell you about a beauty gadget I really do rate. I’ve been using the SimpleHuman desktop beauty mirror for years. A long-sighted specs wearer, I couldn’t work without it. But I’ve recently begun to carry the compact version (£89.95) everywhere. It magnifies by 10 times and has a rechargeable sensor-operated natural light that makes colours show true. It’s pricey, but is easily big enough for home use, as well as for travel and as a handbag essential, and gives those with poor vision a better chance of putting on a neat face. A beauty gadget that perfectly solves a problem, rather than invents one.

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