How to Store Your Beauty Products Properly

How to Store Your Beauty Products Properly

Beauty products: everyone has them. From cosmetics and makeup to skin care to any and all little bottles and applicator tools, our beauty products often fill a special place in our self-care routine—and on our counters. If you’re like most of us, you probably have beauty products spanning your counter, shelves, shower, cabinets, and maybe even your purse or backpack. But where is the right place to store these precious supplies, and how? There is no one single answer to these questions, as different products require different optimal storage locations, so let’s break down how and where to store our beauty supplies!

Stand Your Makeup Brushes in a Container

Lauren Kleinman, the co-founder of fan-followed product review company The Quality Edit, has a great organization trick for storing brushes, sponges, exfoliators, and any applicators for your face to protect them from bacteria.

“When it comes to brushes and beauty product applicators, they touch your face on a most likely daily basis so you want to be really cautious about what other surfaces they also touch. It’s incredibly easy for your brushes, sponges, spoolies, etc. to take on bacteria which is then transferred onto your skin when the pores are open and susceptible to bacterial infections (such as right after you’ve washed your face). I recommend you store these tools in an upright container so they can stand up and fan out a bit. This way, they aren’t touching each other and they’re not touching other dirty surfaces such as a countertop or drawer. And of course, don’t forget to regularly wash these products to keep them clean from transferring dirt, old makeup, shedded skin, and other bacteria onto your face,” says Lauren Kleinman, Co-Founder of The Quality Edit.

Keep Chilled Products in the Fridge

The co-founder of the holistic 100 percent vegan skincare company Fit and Glow, Ashwin Sokke, points out that contrary to popular belief, beauty products don’t all need to be stored at room temperature; in fact, some work best (and provide a refreshing boost) when stored in the fridge.

“Not all beauty products were made for optimal use with room temperature! While many of them indeed do best in a cool room temperature environment, and beauty products should never be overheated or exposed to the direct sunlight, some products are actually best cooled. Products like face masks, eye creams, and serums are preserved best in the fridge (plus you get to apply wonderfully cool creams and serums onto your skin!). The same goes for aloe vera and products containing a high percentage of this ingredient. Beauty tools like jade rollers or gua sha stones offer a refreshing cold boost when they’re stored in the fridge. And don’t forget about your icing tools in the freezer; plain old ice cubes or a frozen cucumber are always a go-to for keeping the skin firm and poreless and reducing inflammation,” says Ashwin Sokke, Co-Founder of WOW Skin Science.

Keep Products in a Dry Place

Rachel Roff, the founder and CEO of well-loved beauty brand Urban Skin Rx says to keep your beauty products in an environment free of moisture to keep the bacteria at bay—and to always keep those products tightly sealed!

“Most people like to store their beauty products in the bathroom in order to have them easily on hand by the sink or mirror, but if your bathroom includes a shower, you probably want to rethink storing your beauty products there. Steam from the shower or bathtub can create a moist environment, inviting mold and bacteria to grow on unsealed surfaces. Any open makeup or unsealed containers should not be stored in the bathroom, including beauty tools like sponges or exfoliators because the surface could become the site of contamination and then used on your face. Beauty products store best in dry, non-humid environments, so think of a bedroom, closet, cupboard, etc. instead of a bathroom counter. Products that particularly store well in a cool but not chilled location away from condensation and humidity include fragrances, foundation, mascara, and cosmetic powders—talk about a perfect environment for bacteria to grow!” says Rachel Roff, Founder and CEO of Urban Skin Rx.

Store Products Depending on Their Compositions

Don Frey, the chief innovation officer for clean beauty brand The Honest Company addresses the way different types of products (such as all-natural or vegan products versus regular products) have different compositions, therefore changing their shelf life and the ways they should be stored and used.

“One of the things with The Honest Company is our founder, Jessica Alba, you know, she founded the company looking for healthy solutions for originally moms but also then moms and women as we expanded into beauty products. And so we have this very concerted effort at looking at all the chemicals that we use and packaging that we use—how we can have products that are healthy and sustainable. So it really limits the palette of ingredients that we can use for a lot of things. It gives us the opportunity to take a step back and reexamine what we’re trying to do with the product and kind of reinvent it from scratch as if there hadn’t been something done before.  And so, interestingly enough, when you take that approach, you end up with things that not only are clean, but they’re also differentiated frequently, with better performance and just different characteristics than what other products have on the marketplace,” says Frey.

He also speaks about how beauty products should be stored out of direct sunlight because of the damage the sun can cause due to the harmful UV rays—just like with our skin.

“Sunlight will accelerate the aging of a product by heating it up, which can break down active ingredients,” says Don Frey, Chief Innovation Officer of The Honest Company.

Cupboards, Drawers, and Shelves Keep Products Safe

The CEO and co-founder of dental care company Flossy, Miles Beckett, reminds that the safest place for your beauty and self-care products is in a cupboard or drawer, but to make sure you’re giving thought to the potential risks of storing your products in any given place in order to keep them safe.

“Beauty products like cosmetics, and anything in bottles or containers are actually quite fragile, so when you are considering storage options, you should take this into consideration. Don’t place your products anywhere they are at risk of falling, being bumped, or breaking in any way. There’s nothing sadder than knocking over and cracking that bottle of expensive serum your face loves! In order to avoid a scenario like this, you just need to be thoughtful about where and how you store items. They are safest in a drawer or cupboard or shelf, as long as they won’t be bumping into each other when you open and close the drawer, or at risk of falling from up high. Don’t stack products in a precarious way, and make sure everything is tightly re-sealed after use,” says Miles Beckett, CEO and Co-Founder of Flossy.

Store by Shelf Life

Gia Marie Juroskym, the Director of Communications for innovative product company for the smoothest skin ever, RoseSkinCo., recommends you store your beauty products by shelf life in order to avoid throwing out a forgotten but expired product.

“If you’re anything like me, you are guilty of over-buying beauty products like makeup or skincare and forgetting to use them on time; then you’re faced with a dilemma because you want to use the product now that you’ve remembered you have it but you know the expiry date has passed. The only thing to do is toss it because you never want to use spoiled products on your skin or the sensitive regions of your face. To prevent this kind of situation, I’m now careful to only buy what I know I’m ready to use and I store my products according to their shelf life. That means arranging the newest or longest lasting items behind those I'm racing against the clock to use. Sticky notes also work in a pinch if you have difficulty remembering when a product’s time will be up. I would say products’ expiry dates aren’t a rigid science, but in truth you really do need to throw out toiletries when they’re past their prime,” says Gia Marie Jurosky, Director of Communications of RoseSkinCo..

Keep Products in a Cool, Shady Place

Dr. Harshna Bijlani, Vogue magazine’s ‘Skin Expert of the Year’ and medical head of The AgeLess Clinic,  clarifies the importance of storing your beauty products in environments with the correct temperature for each product to ensure a lasting shelf life.

“All makeup products and tools should be stored in a designated cool and dry place, away from moisture. That means you definitely should not store your makeup in the bathroom. Instead, maintain a vanity kit or a drawer for your makeup products to make sure they’re not contaminated with bacteria from other products or due to high humidity. When you see a white-ish residue on lipsticks or have difficulty in applying them, or spot the formulas of other products separating (when the water/oil separated from the powder), that’s the time to trash the product.

“I personally think it’s great to have skincare stored in a designated temperature-controlled environment like a mini skincare fridge. Keeping the products outside, especially in the bathroom (as people often tend to do), can cause fungal growth because of humidity and high temperatures,” says Dr. Harshna Bijlani, Medical Head of The AgeLess Clinic.

Pay Attention to Expiry Dates

The CEO of tattoo anesthetic brand HUSH, Ubaldo Perez, points out the importance of paying attention to expiry dates, as well as some of the tell-tale signs of a spoiled product. It’s better to play it safe when it comes to products that touch your skin.

“Those expiry dates on your beauty products mean something after all. You might not have noticed them before but they’re usually on the bottom of products indicating an image of an open container and a number of months. It’s important to track these expiry dates by noting when you first opened the product and when it should no longer be used. The shelf lives of products vary based on the type of beauty product and the ingredients, but if your makeup or skin care product causes you to question it, when in doubt it’s time to say goodbye.

“Some indicators of an expired product include clumps, thinned or runny liquid, a changed smell, or an adjustment to the original color. You never want to put products exhibiting these kinds of signs on your skin because they could lead to irritation, inflammation, and breakouts. However, sometimes it’s not easy to tell when a product is expired, in which case you might go on using that product long after its best-before date; this can be especially damaging for delicate areas like sensitive skin or the eyes. You can find a breakdown of the shelf life of every kind of beauty product online. It is a good idea to keep a copy of this on hand and consult it regularly for your products. When you open a new product, you could also make note of the expiry date on a sticker placed on the container,” says Ubaldo Perez, CEO of Hush.


Most of us highly value our beauty products and even invest money into our self-care routines, so we want to ensure we are doing two important things: keeping our products safe through proper storage methods, and receiving the optimal benefits from each product by storing it in its ideal environment. And don’t forget to watch for those pesky expiry dates, because as much as we hate to think of potentially throwing out beauty products before they are empty, you don’t want to use spoiled toiletries on your skin; they can be a source of bacteria as well as lead to irritation. Happy organizing!