Should you keep lipstick in the refrigerator?

Veuve asks…Since I have a lot of lipstick and it seems to be one of the cosmetics that goes bad relatively quickly, I was wondering if keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer would help it last longer. Or would the moisture/cold do something nasty to the oils or pigments?

The Left Brain responds:

Good question, Veuve. Making your cosmetics last longer is a great way to save money.

Low temp lipstick

When it comes to making cosmetics last longer, lower temperature is generally better. That’s because chemical reactions occur faster at higher temperatures. (A rough rule of thumb is that the rate of any given reaction will double with every 10C increase in temperature.) Lipsticks are prone to oxidation reactions that can turn certain oils rancid and keeping your sticks in the ‘fridge can slow down that process. The only potential problem that may occur is that you may see beads of “sweat” on the stick. These are drops of oil coming out of the wax matrix and rising to the surface of the stick. This is a phenomena known as “syneresis.” If too much of this sweating occurs, the lipstick won’t spread properly on your lips.

By the way, the idea of cooling cosmetics to prolong their shelf life is not a new one. In fact, one enterprising inventor has even patented a refrigerated makeup bag so you can chill on the go. It’s an airtight handbag with a pocket on the top panel where you insert frozen gel packs that keep your lipsticks and other makeup protected from heat.

What do YOU think? Do you refrigerate your cosmetics to protect them? Leave a cool comment for the rest of the Beauty Brains community.