Salicylic Acid

Should Salicylic Acid Be Refrigerated?

3 Mins read

You’ve likely heard that salicylic acid (SA) should be refrigerated.

But, is it true?

What does SA need to stay fresh? Does it go bad quickly? Will it expire?

There are a lot of misperceptions going around about salicylic acid.

These are questions that could be causing a lot of harm to acne patients who have questions.

Should Salicylic Acid Be Refrigerated?

Yes, you should refrigerate salicylic acid if you’re using it as an acne treatment.

It’s important to keep the product cool because otherwise, it can cause irritation on your skin that could lead to further breakouts.

When Should You Refrigerate Salicylic Acid?

You should refrigerate salicylic acid immediately after opening a new package or tube of product so that its effectiveness is preserved for as long as possible.

If you don’t do this, then the acid will begin to lose its potency over time and won’t be able to treat your acne as well as it should be able to do so.

How to Properly Refrigerate Salicylic Acid

1. Avoid direct sunlight

Salicylic acid is a chemical that reacts with light. This means that you should avoid exposing it to direct sunlight and keep it away from sources of heat.

If you want to store your salicylic acid in the bathroom, make sure that you place it in a cabinet or other dark place.

2. Use a cool place

You should also use a cool place when storing salicylic acid, since this chemical can melt when exposed to high temperatures.

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You can store your salicylic acid in the fridge or freezer if possible, but you should also keep it away from heaters and fireplaces as well.

3. Keep it away from children

Salicylic acid is not safe for children under 12 years old because of the risk of poisoning and overdose.

If you have children in your household who are younger than 12 years old, make sure that they do not have access to any salicylic acid products in their rooms or elsewhere in your home.

And if you have pets at home who are younger than 12 years old, keep them away from all salicylic acid products just as much as possible so they will not accidentally ingest any of these items while playing around in your home or bedroom areas.

4. Don’t mix with other chemicals

Salicylic acid is known as a “reactive” molecule because of its tendency to react with other chemicals in order to form new compounds that may be toxic or less effective at exfoliating skin cells.

That means if you’re using any other products with any kind of active ingredients (like Vitamin C serums or retinol products), make sure they’re stored away from each other so they don’t react.

5. Keep the container tightly closed

Keep your salicylic acid container tightly closed at all times to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the air or spilling out.

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What Is the Best Storage Temperature for Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a very stable chemical that does not require special storage conditions.

Salicylic acid powders and liquids are generally stored in dark bottles at room temperature.

Do not store salicylic acid in the freezer or refrigerator, as this may cause the compound to solidify and become difficult to dissolve.

Is It Okay to Freeze Salicylic Acid?

The answer is no! While freezing does not cause any permanent damage, it could cause irritation or even burns if you freeze salicylic acid on your skin for too long or in too high concentrations.

And if you have sensitive skin, you may experience redness and swelling after applying the frozen treatment.

Can You Store Bottles of Liquid Salicylic Acid in the Medicine Cabinet or on a Shelf?

Yes. Theoretically, it is safe to store bottles of liquid salicylic acid in the medicine cabinet or on a shelf.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the concentration of the acid can be fatal when ingested.

If you have small children or pets in your home, you should keep these bottles out of reach and away from their sight.

If you don’t have small children or pets around, then it makes sense to store these bottles somewhere convenient for you, such as in your medicine cabinet or on a shelf near where you do your beauty routine.

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How Long Will Your Supply of Salicylic Acid Stay Potent?

The answer depends on a couple of things:


How you store your salicylic acid will have an impact. Salicylic acid is very sensitive to light, heat, and moisture.

So if you store it in a dark, cool place with limited air circulation, it will stay potent for longer.


How much salicylic acid you use will also affect its potency.

If you use a small amount of salicylic acid each time, it will last longer than if you use a large amount every time.


The type of salicylic acid product matters too.

A lotion has more water than a cream or gel which means it’ll be less stable than those types of products.

Final Thoughts

So, should you refrigerate your salicylic acid?

Yes, if you want it to be especially effective. Keep it in a cool, dry place, and away from light.

But remember that salicylic acid is a bacteria-resistant acid; it will be fine left out at room temperature.

Just keep it away from heat, including heat coming off of your computer tower or any other appliance which gives off excessive amounts of heat where you might store your serum or pads.