We know that we like to regularly switch up our beauty regimen to make sure our skin is hydrated but not overwhelmed, and while new serums may be the first changes we make for different textures and ingredients, face mists can also do this – and more… While some offer soothing ingredients for fatigued complexions, others revitalize makeup, act as an effortless SPF top-up or provide a hydration boost when you need it the most. Here’s everything you need to know about face mists….
What does a face mist actually do?
Mists are designed to work on superficial skin layers only. However, while a cream or gel does tend to provide a more robust layer of skincare, mists are a great top-up during the day as a cooling rehydrator (mists cool the skin on contact, which can reduce inflammation), or to give you additional UV protection in summer.
Avoid mists that contain acids
Generally, irritating fragrances, oils, most alcohols and acids can be counterproductive as face-mist ingredients. “I do not recommend using a mist that contains fruit acids or fruit enzymes, particularly as it is difficult to avoid the eye area when spritzing,” says Dr. Marko Lens, a leading skin-cancer specialist whose Zelens Provitamin D Fortifying Facial Mist reinforces the skin-barrier function and protects against environmental aggressors. “I would also avoid retinol in a mist formulation, for exactly the same reason,” he adds.
Pick a mist that complements your skin type
For dry skin, look for skin sprays that contain ingredients such as hydrating hyaluronic acid or squalene, both of which boost moisture, plump skin cells and hold in hydration. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, make sure you avoid oils and silicones, which can clog pores, and go for soothing ingredients such as rose water instead. For normal to combination skin, a mist that contains antioxidants to offset the effects of free radicals and pollution makes sense.
Water-only mists can actually dehydrate skin
“Simply misting water on the face can causes osmosis, which dries out the skin,” says Dr. Barbara Sturm, whose Hylauronic Serum, a global bestseller, has been cleverly reimagined into a mist. “It’s a superb ingredient for a mist and makes a great all-rounder,” explains Sturm. “It’s an easy way to refresh and hydrate the skin regularly throughout the day, plus it helps to bind existing water into the skin cells so it can’t evaporate.”
What’s the best way to mist?
“The beauty of a mist is that you can use it several times a day,” says Dr. Lens. When applying any mist, shake the product well, inhale and hold your breath while spraying across the face, closing your eyes. Apply your serum or moisturizer immediately afterwards to seal in hydration. Or do as A-list aesthetician Joanna Czech does and press the mist into your skin after spraying to reduce evaporation.
SPF mists are great top-ups
Sunscreen application is commonly messy, laborious and unappealing, but it’s a non-negotiable all year round. “My patients have always told me that their main hurdle with SPF is having to reapply the product every two to three hours for full protection,” explains dermatologist Dr. Anita Sturnham. “No SPF can provide day-long protection, so the only way to adequately protect the skin is to regularly reapply throughout the day.” Which is why Decree’s Day Shield SPF30 is such a good face mist, as it contains UV filters and protective skincare actives. Plus, you can use it under or over makeup without clogging.
Face mists make for great toners
A great toner should be balancing, nourishing and efficient, says Dr. Sturnham. And the very nature of having a toner in a mist texture actually protects the water-based formulation, reducing the need for larger amounts of harsh preservatives and alcohol (often needed in standard toners). Plus, if you use a mist, there is no need for those wasteful cotton pads.
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