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Is It Bad to Store Skin Care Products in the Bathroom?

The answer is more complicated than you might think.
November 09, 2022

There’s a good chance many of us store our skin care in the bathroom, especially for the sake of ease and proximity. Let’s face it, storing your skin care in the bathroom has to be better than forgoing all of it entirely and sleeping with makeup on, right? While we will never advise sleeping in your makeup, if you are putting the time, money and effort into your skin care routine, storing it in the bathroom may be doing more harm than you think.


We consulted with Dr. Michelle Henry, board-certified dermatologist and L’Oréal Paris consultant to get her take on the matter. Keep reading to learn what she says about the dos and don’ts of skin care storage and the precautions you can take to keep your products fresh. 

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Is It Bad to Store Skin Care in the Bathroom?

The concerns around storing your skin care in the bathroom pertain to the constant spike in temperature every time you shower and the humid conditions that creates. While much of this depends on your products, their formulations and the packaging, storing your skin care products in the bathroom can potentially impact the formulas in a negative way.

Why Is Storing Your Skin Care in the Bathroom Problematic?

According to Henry, whether or not you should store your skin care in the bathroom truly depends on your bathroom. It’s true that skin care needs to be protected from certain factors that often exist in the bathroom. But as for whether or not it’s terrible to store your skin care collection in your bathroom, there’s no definitive answer because it really depends on the environment. If you have good ventilation and minimal light exposure in your bathroom and you prefer to keep your products in there for convenience, you can. 

“If you have a climate-controlled bathroom and it stays pretty cool, or you have dark vanities to store your products in, then it's not a bad idea to keep your skin care there,” she says. “If you’re someone who doesn't have a well-controlled temperature in their bathroom or doesn't have dark vanities or drawers to store skin care in, then you may want to rethink it.” 

According to Henry, while most products are commercially made with stable and lab-tested packaging, storing your skin care in the bathroom can decrease the shelf-life of your products due to the constant exposure to heat and humidity. Active ingredients such as vitamin C and retinoids are the ones that are going to be the most susceptible to succumbing to the humid conditions. 

If you still have concerns, the best thing to do is to store your skin care in a drawer or vanity. A dark, covered space should suffice against the bathroom’s hot, steamy conditions. If you don’t have drawers or a vanity in your bathroom, you may want to invest in a skin care fridge if you have the real estate, Henry recommends. “It’s not a gimmick, it works and it can improve the longevity of your products.”

As for what products should take priority in your skin care fridge, our top picks include moisturizer and serums. 

Need some recommendations? We love the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift 12% Pure Vitamin C + E + Salicylic Acid Serum, a brightening serum that repairs the most common signs of aging — uneven skin tone, enlarged pores and fine lines. The L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid + 1% Caffeine Eye Serum, hydrates and depuffs the eyes thanks to hyaluronic acid and a metal roller ball applicator — it’s a great way to add some self-care to your routine. And finally, the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Night Serum, 0.3% Pure Retinol, which contains pure retinol to target deep set lines and uneven skin texture.

With all of that said, these products don’t need to be refrigerated to maintain their effectiveness. Rather, storing them in a cool area can help to boost the shelf-life and serves as a nice, cool treat when applied to the skin.

Next: 17 Most Popular Skin Care Ingredients Explained

Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo credit: Alyssa Kaplan

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