Facial mists: The good, the bad and the useless (and why I love them anyway)

Facial mists. Do we really need them, and are some better than others? Or are they a little bit 'Emperor's New Clothes'? I've tried them all and have come to a decision I'm happy with...


What do they do?

In theory, facial mists are supposed to do one, or all, of three things - refresh and hydrate the face, act in place of a toner, or help set make-up and make it dewy. A good face mist will do pretty much all of the above.

They are essentially a diluted, water-based version of the ingredients found in our 'normal' everyday skincare products. Hydrating properties, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories are in them, just like our other products, but can be used in a top-up or on-the-go sort of way.

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Related: Face sprays that instantly refresh your skin

Do we need them?

Strictly speaking, if you're already in a decent skincare routine, you probably don't need them. However, they're generally a really good way to boost your skin throughout the day, they're great for helping refresh your make-up, and they're a quick and easy way to give your skin extra moisture.

It's important to check before you buy a mist that it contains ingredients you're looking for. A rosewater mist will be ideal for calming and soothing redness in the skin. A hyaluronic acid one will boost hydration, and an aloe mist will also soothe and calm.

Why I adore a good mist

There's nothing like being on a flight, feeling like a prune, and then spraying and refreshing your face with a mist. A flight, a clammy office, a car you've been in for hours, a warm room, a warm country - there are so many occasions that call for a mist.

For me, of my five faves (below) I use them all for different reasons -

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I use this one to calm irritation and to refresh my face on a hot day when I don't want to disturb my SPF. If ever I have a bite or rash, I'll spray some to give instant relief. It is literally just pure thermal water, however, so doesn't contain any humectants.

This one is a 'beauty' mist, and contains fig, coconut and alpenrose for balancing and soothing. I really like it for going over make-up.

Okay yes, this one is obscenely priced. But it feels like actual heaven on your face. I can't really justify buying it that often - but it contains silk, squalane and green tea leaf, so it does all three of the things you want a facial mist to do. It's just hella expensive.

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I keep this one in the fridge and use it all the time to refresh my face. Apparently, Rosie Huntington Whiteley uses it - that endorsement is enough for me. It also tightens my pores, gives a gorgeous radiance to my skin and generally beautifies me.

This one I reach for when I particularly need to soothe my skin. I quite often have little redness flare ups from certain make-up brands, some foods and even for no reason at all. I spray this on and watch as my skin relaxes.

A note on thermal sprays

One thing I will say, though, is although I adore the fresh feeling of a thermal water spray, I always follow up water sprays with some moisturiser to make sure I'm locking in hydration instead of promoting more dryness in my skin. So be aware - a thermal water spray alone when used over and over, can become almost addictive as you chase the hydration a more actives-packed spray will give.

 

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