Beauty in the Mist

Haven't tried a facial spray? Here's why you should.
By Stacey Lindsay

Ask any aesthetician how to get beautifully glowing skin, and she’ll likely respond, “Hydration, hydration, hydration.” Water keeps skin looking fresh and healthy by hydrating and delivering nutrients to the cells. But for those times when you can’t down a glass of H2O or smooth on your favorite moisturizer, try this smart—and convenient—way to hydrate your visage: facial mists. Sprayed directly onto your face, these aqua-based solutions cover the skin’s surface in a fine layer of moisturizing droplets. “It’s like giving your skin a drink of water,” says Charlene Handel, holistic aesthetician and founder of Skin Fitness, Etc. spa in Carlsbad, California.   

Especially helpful in drying or inflammation-inducing conditions, such as on airplanes, facial mists are most commonly made with mineral-rich thermal spring water or botanical-infused H2O. Just hold the spray bottle 10 to 12 inches from your face, and spritz two or three times for a quick hydration boost. Or mist right before you apply other humectant products: The water droplets act like little sponges to draw in additional moisture. Elina Fedotova, a holistic aesthetician and founder of Elina Organics Skincare, recommends using a facial mist immediately after cleansing to bring the skin’s pH back up to its natural, slightly acidic level, which helps curb unfriendly bacteria overgrowth. A few light spritzes on top of blush, foundation, and eye shadow can also help makeup stay put longer, she says.

Beyond water, some mists are infused with antioxidants and nutrients to give skin an added health boost. For instance, formulations that include hyaluronic acid—a lubricating molecule found naturally in the body—can help plump up skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Similarly, mists laced with free radical–fighting green tea may help guard skin against environmental stress, such as sun damage.

And don’t overlook the aromatherapeutic benefits of mists with fragrant essential oils or floral-infused water. “Smelling something pleasant can relax you,” says Mindy Green, coauthor of Aromatherapy (Crossing Press, 2009).

Even though mists are made up primarily of water, always read ingredient labels to make sure you’re not spraying any chemical preservatives, like parabens, onto your face. “Whatever we put on our skin, we ingest,” explains Handel. Remember, too, that your skin’s needs change with the seasons and climate: At drier times of the year, rose-water-infused mists can provide excellent moisture, while a chamomile solution helps repair sun-damaged cells.

Still, mists’ quick-hitting moisture blast and other therapeutic bonuses shouldn’t replace moisturizer. Some of the liquid will evaporate off your skin, especially in arid climates. For optimal skin health, use a natural face cream, and keep hydrated internally by drinking 2 to 3 liters of water per day.

The Mist List

Tata Harper
Hydrating Floral Essence
Anti-inflammatory witch hazel combined with aromatic orange blossom, lavender, and rose oils. $65, 1.7 oz; tataharper.com

Lluvia
Rainforest Essence Refreshing Mist
Sandalwood and lemon balm essential oils are blended with nourishing extracts of rainforest plants. $21, 2 oz; rainforesttreasure.com

MyChelle
Pumpkin Hydrating Mist
Patchouli and sandalwood essential oils are aromatherapeutic and anti-inflammatory. $40, 2.1 oz; mychelle.com

100% Pure Organic
Lavender Hydrosol Facial Mist
All-natural, lavender-infused floralwater soothes the senses. $13, 2 oz; 100percentpure.com

Lily Organics
Organic Moisture Mist
Seaweed and chamomile act as a revitalizing pick-me-up. $18,3.4 oz; lilyorganics.com

Marie Veronique Organics
Anti-Aging Mist
Melon extract provides an antioxidant boost. $35, 4 oz; mvorganics.com

derma e
Hyaluronic Facial Mist
Hyaluronic acid plumps skin and lessens the appearance of wrinkles. $14, 2 oz; dermae.net

Evian Brumisateur
Facial Spray
Mineral-rich spring water from the Alps quenches and refreshes. $6, 1.7 oz; evian.com

Make Your Own Mist
Holistic aesthetician Tammy Fender offers this quick, easy recipe: Steep an organic green or herbal tea for one hour. Allow tea to cool and pour into a small spray bottle. Use this antiseptic, anti-inflammatory brew as a fresh mist throughout the day. Discard after 24 hours.