How to Take Care Of Your Skincare Products

Preserving your skincare items requires a little more than a spot on your bathroom shelf… Here’s a quick guide to where those serums, toners, creams can do their best.

You’ve spent months — nay, years! — and countless dollars perfecting your skincare routine and finally, you’ve found the combination of products that make your skin sing and glow and all that other good stuff. You’ve discovered your perfect lipstick, the liquid eyeliner you can actually apply, the nail polish that makes you feel like a champ. So I’m guessing you’d like to make sure it all lasts as long as possible and continues to do its job, which means the fact that you’re storing it all in your bathroom medicine cabinet is…less than ideal.

That’s right. Your trusty — and steamy — bathroom storage is actually doing more harm than good when it comes to keeping your skincare and makeup as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Not only is your bathroom likely full of bacteria that can infiltrate your products (and skin), heat, steam and sunlight can impact the way your skincare and makeup looks, feels, smells and works. So what’s a gal to do? Keep everything in the bathroom and pretend you never read this? Build a temperature-controlled wing on your house? Curl into a ball and never wash your face again? Not quite.


Serums + Oils

Oil-based products tend to separate when they’re too cold (like that salad dressing you’ve kept in your fridge for too long), rendering them useless. And since serums and oils are probably the skincare product you’ve spent the most money on, you want to keep ‘em one hundred percent as long as possible. Opt for a room temp, dry spot out of direct sunlight and make sure to close the lid tightly as soon as you’re done so as not to let in too much oxygen every time you use it. 

Moisturizers + Creams

Similar to serums and oils, moisturizers and creams are best stored in dry, room temperature spots. That said, storing your eye cream in the fridge can have a wonderful de-puffing effect.

Toners + Mists

Water-based products like toners and mists are safe pretty much anywhere but keeping them in the fridge is a nice touch, particularly if you’ve got reactive or red skin: the cooling effect of a chilled mist may help to de-puff and sooth irritation.


  • Dry: As long as you keep moisture out of the container, you can store a dry mask anywhere. Maybe don’t keep it in the shower? Otherwise, you’re good.
  • Wet: Sheet masks will be happy anywhere, but keeping them in the fridge will extend their shelf life a bit and add a soothing, cooling component when you apply ’em. Clay masks can also be kept in the fridge, but it’s not necessary if storing them away from excessive heat and moisture.


Scents and perfumes are the results of incredibly specific chemical formulations and when they’re exposed to light and heat, those chemical structures break down, completely changing the smell of the product. So…fridge. 

Makeup Brushes + Tools

Go ahead and store your makeup brushes anywhere you want. That said, don’t neglect them. When it comes to tools (brushes, sponges, etc.) it’s more about how frequently you clean them: if you use it every day, wash it every week and let it dry completely. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a breeding ground for bacteria that will then end up on your face. 


  • Liquid: Mascara, foundation, lip stain…room temp. When something is in liquid form, it has an expiration date. These products are more susceptible to bacteria and oxygenation as soon as they’re opened, so while refrigeration can help prolong the shelf life, if the product gets too cold, it can freeze. Too warm? The product can separate and get greasy. So your best bet is in your bedroom, not the bathroom.
  • Powder: Wherever you want (within reason). As long as you keep it dry, powder makeup should last for a long time.
  • Cream: Creamy makeup like lipstick should be fine at room temperature, but if you only use a shade sparingly or it’s being discontinued, stick it in the fridge — chilling will help stop the chemical breakdown and preserve the shade.

Nail Polish

You know when you pull out a nail polish bottle you haven’t used in a few months and it’s all gloopy and not exactly the shade you remember? Not great. Exposure to light and heat can cause polish to thicken and even change the color. Storing it in the fridge will keep it thin and paintable, and preserve the color.

All Beauty + Wellness here.


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Great tips! I didn’t know that serums and oils separate. Will be more careful with them from now on. I’m lucky it doesn’t really get cold here in Hong Kong!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog