Can Hand Lotion Freeze?

Manufacturers say that some skin care products can be refrigerated. You may have heard of this. So, are you thinking of putting your hand lotion in the freezer just in case it has a meltdown in the summer heat? Or, are you wondering if you can freeze your runny hand lotion? Don't fret! We asked beauty experts and they reassured us with the following answer.

Yes, lotion can partially freeze! You can put your hand lotion in the freezer but it doesn't mean it will freeze solid. The oils and other ingredients won't let the lotion become solid. Lotions primarily contain up to 80% water. Once the water starts to freeze, the lotion will congeal. The other components in the lotion react differently to freezing temperatures. Freezing the lotion doesn't deactivate the active ingredients in it.

The ingredients in your hand lotion will determine what happens to it in the freezer. Have we piqued your interest? Continue browsing further to see what happens to your not-so-frozen hand lotion.


cropped view of woman holding hand cream isolated on pink with copy space, Can Hand Lotion Freeze?

How hand lotion components freeze

Most hand and body lotions are oil in water emulsions. This means that when the lotion is put in the freezer, the contents will separate. Your hand lotion has several components. Each of these constituents might or might not freeze.

Placing the hand lotion in the freezer helps it last longer. It'll still be in good condition when thawed. The texture won't be the same. It may become wetter and go bad faster.


Water is a component that is always prominent. Your lotion has 70%- 80% water. Skincare products use water because it's free of toxins. A higher percentage of water makes the hand lotion runny.

Water forms emulsions in the hand lotion. These emulsions help form the lotion when they combined with carrier oils and butter. Water also acts as a solvent for different agents in the lotion. Due to its properties, water is the first component to freeze.

Water will crystallize and separate from the other components. This will make the lotion clumpy. Remember, the runnier your lotion is, the faster it will freeze.

oils and butters

Oils in hand lotions are cold-pressed. They are stable at room temperature. Cold-pressed oils maintain their qualities and aromas. Oils don't freeze when you put them in the freezer. Cold temperature keep the oils from going rancid

Butters are gotten by applying heat and solidify at room temperature. The high-fat content in them doesn't allow butter to freeze. Freezing and thawing them could make them go rancid due to temperature changes. Butters store well at room temperature.


Hand lotions contain natural or chemical emulsifiers. An emulsifier helps mix oils and water. It blends two unblendable liquids. Let's not forget that this binding agent also stabilizes the lotion.

Emulsifiers, such as beeswax, lecithin, or silky emulsifying wax, Cetearyl alcohol, can freeze. They no longer stay stable and can't hold the water and oil together in the lotion.


Moisturizers such as aloe vera and flower water, contribute to the water percentage in the hand lotion. There are other types of moisturizers that can be added, which help amplify the hydrating effects of the lotion.

Moisturizers, in lotions, help keep our bodies moisturized. The moisturizers freeze as they are water-based. They don't lose their properties.


There are other active components in a lotion that aren't deactivated when you freeze your lotion. They don't freeze or change. For example, Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and emollients prevent moisture loss in lotions. These constituents remain active even in the freezer.

Scents and aromas in the lotion keep well in cold temperatures. Freezing doesn't alter them. The scents in lotions are mild. However, they don't evaporate.

Glycerin, glycols, polyols have a low freezing point. They could partially freeze after a long while. By trapping moisture, their oil layer prevents the lotion from freezing.

Note: Make sure you know the contents of your hand lotion before putting it in the freezer.

where to place your hand lotion

It's a good idea to have a designated area in your fridge or freezer for your products. Don't place your lotions all over the place. Wipe the tube or jar clean before putting it in the freezer. Put your hand lotion in a Ziploc bag or container.

This is to avoid contaminating any food in the freezer. You could store your lotions in the door of the fridge. There, it's less likely to get in contact with food.

What happens to lotion when it freezes?

Close-up of woman using moisturizing cream for clean and soft skin, holding cream jar in hands

As mentioned above, the lotion becomes clumpy and separates. Your lotion will no longer have a smooth consistency. It will be difficult to apply to the body. When lotion separates, it becomes moldy or goes off easily.

Can you freeze homemade lotion?

Yes, you can. Homemade lotions are made with the same basics as store-bought ones. Unlike store-bought lotions, homemade lotions are made on a smaller scale.

Ensure that the homemade lotion is in a freezable container. As water freezes, it expands. This expansion can explode some containers.

Just stir your homemade lotion when it separates. Homemade lotions have fewer ingredients in them. Moreso, some lotion makers use the refrigerator to set the homemade lotion.

How do you unfreeze lotion?

First, take the lotion out of the freezer. Warm it by stirring with your finger. The lotion will thaw as soon as it gets in contact with the body. Shake the lotion well and apply it.

Don't under any circumstances put your lotion in the microwave. Do not even think of using a hot bath to thaw lotion. This will spoil your hand lotion irreversibly.

is it good to refrigerate skincare products?

Yes and no! Refrigerating some skincare products helps prolong their shelf life. In case you have bought an expensive product, you could store the extra item in the fridge. Some products like moisturizers can be kept in the refrigerator.

Lotions and creams don't always fare well in very cold temperatures. Emulsions become unstable when frozen and thawed. This will compromise the benefits of your skincare products.

What Is cold cream?

Cold cream is an emulsion of water and some fats. The oils are more than the water. Cold cream also contains beeswax and some scents. This kind of cream has a cooling effect. It is meant to clean and treat the face at the same time.

The original constituents of the cold cream have changed with time. Mineral oils have replaced plant-based oils. Small quantities of borax have been added to the beeswax for more stability.

Cold cream relieves the skin of harshness and cools sunburns. It also removes makeup well.

Why do they call it cold cream?

It got this name due to the cooling effect it leaves on the skin. The original ingredients included beeswax, rose water, and olive or almond oil. These ingredients leave a calming effect on irritated skin.

Closing Remarks

cropped view of woman holding hand cream isolated on pink with copy space, Can Hand Lotion Freeze?

It is clear that we can freeze hand lotion but, not for too long. The components may partially freeze and separate. This can be rectified by thawing. Go ahead, put your lotion in the freezer.

Don't buy too much product because freezing may not always turn out well for them.

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