A couple of months ago, an Instagram skincare trend stopped me mid-scroll: the skincare mini fridge. Somehow, seemingly overnight, the entire beauty community decided that a dedicated skincare fridge was not only necessary, but positively Insta-worthy. The SMF (Skincare Mini Fridge) was suddenly everywhere: in an article on Into the Gloss, in the affiliate links of The Glossarray, in every new #shelfie I spotted. That’s ridiculous, I scoffed. But the seed of the Skincare Mini Fridge had been planted.
Sure, I did have a collection of products that required refrigeration due to the delicate nature of the ingredients — things like Vitamin C serums, probiotic mists, and fresh LUSH masks — and up until that moment, I’d always just kept them in my regular refrigerator.
But every new SMF in my Instagram feed watered the seed. Slowly, opening up my regular cheese- and vegetable-filled fridge to grab a sheet mask seemed so pedestrian, so gauche, so ew.
Obviously, I needed my own skincare mini fridge. I needed one now.
I ordered this one from Amazon (thanks to The Glossarray’s suggestion) and promptly filled it with all of my chilled products. I stored it in my bathroom, nestled between the toilet and the sink; a little oasis of skincare sophistication. I attempted to take #shelfies with it, and styled it in many different ways to get the perfect shot: closed and angled, open to showcase its contents, close-ups of the chilly jade roller against the clean white plastic. But none of the shots looked as chic as the ones I’d seen on Instagram. Why didn’t my mini-fridge look cool enough?? Maybe I should decorate it with Glossier stickers?!
Not long after my failed photoshoot, the appeal of the SMF wore off. It actually wasn’t more convenient that the RR (Regular Refrigerator, of course); it was tiny and didn’t fit all of my must-keep-cold products, so I still had to go back-and-forth between the SMF and the RR (what a hassle, am I right?).
Also, I did not feel as glamorous as I had anticipated squatting down next to the toilet bowl to retrieve an optimally-chilled Vitamin C serum. Eventually, I migrated my products back to my old, cheesy fridge. It just felt more me.
The situation with the Skincare Mini Fridge is not the first time I’ve been hashtag-influenced by Instagram, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. In my never-ending quest to find products and practices that work for my skin and my body, I’m bound to make a few missteps. (I probably didn’t need that pubic hair oil that was sprinkled all over IG a few months ago — I’m lasered clean — but for some reason, I bought it anyway!)
Every time something like this happens, though, I learn a little bit more about myself; about how to separate the content that’s valuable to me from the content that’s cool to the masses. And that distinction is different for everyone. (If you do have your own SMF and find it useful, more power to you!)
What I’m learning is that, for all of its amazing benefits (connecting people across country borders; exposing us to new points of view), Instagram also encourages a specific kind of consumerism. The kind that says, This face oil will make you pretty and this collagen drink will make you young and this detox tea will make you skinny and you need them all because who you are as you are is not enough.
Which just isn’t true.
Now, when I find myself #influenced, I ask myself a few simple questions in order to justify a purchase.
What makes this product appealing to me, personally?
Will it really bring joy/ease/comfort/beauty into my life?
Would I be just as interested in trying this product if I saw it in a boutique instead of promoted by a social media influencer?
If I’m satisfied with all of my answers, I click “Add to Cart.” If I know I’m bullshitting myself, I don’t.
I can’t really tie up this story with a nice little bow… I guess I just want to tell you that you that you are cool and pretty and worthy, even if you don’t have a mini fridge in your bathroom to hold your probiotic moisturizer.