facial mists

Facial mists are a hot beauty trend right now. Why should you care? Well, I am on a mission to demystify mists. When I talk about mists, I don’t mean an over-priced bottle of water with a spray attachment and not much more to offer than being “refreshing” or my personal favorite, a way to “set your makeup” — with streaks. My mists deliver anti-aging ingredients — think of them as spray-on serums.

Benefits of Mists

A mist is not another cream or gel — it can be layered with other products without the increasing likelihood of blocked pores. Mists come with ingredients that are not always easy to formulate in a cream (e.g. vitamin D). They're hydrating without gooey emollients. While creams come with all sorts of stabilizers and thickeners, mists can be relatively pure and some even help lower the body temperature — especially if they have chill out actives (see Osmotics below). Facial mists can be used to get a dewy glow to counteract foundation that makes your skin look papery and old. They can also provide a simple pick-me-up to stop you from falling asleep on the job.

Perhaps the last words on mists should go to Fashionista, who came up with this alternate use for Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence: “It’s the end of the world and zombies are running amuck. On the verge of being attacked by the shambling undead, you spray a sweet-smelling mist of confusion, and manage to escape in style.”

My Favorite Mists

For vitamin D:

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Time Release Vitamin D Moisture Mist ($39 in the shop). What I like most about One Love Organics Vitamin D Active Moisture Time Release is the vitamin D part. There aren’t too many cosmetic products with vitamin D, which is a shame since most of us are vitamin D deficient. One Love Organics uses shitake mushroom extract, which is a good source of ergocalciferol or vitamin D2. This is a good thing because ergocalciferol helps protect the skin from sun damage. The simple formula also has alpine rose extract, which contains the skin whitening compound arbutin. Rice extract serves as an antioxidant, while aloe and safflower moisturize. Read the full review.

For hydration:

Hyalogic Episilk Facial Mist ($19.95). For a hydrating spray, it doesn’t get much simpler than Hyalogic. This brand’s schtick is hyaluronic acid; the facial mist consists of sodium hyaluronate, and that’s it (apart from water and a natural preservative). Jane, our reviewer, reported “dewier” skin after using it. Read the full review.

Blissoma Tone Intense Hydration Tonique ($25.99). Described as a “herbal tea for the face,” there is a cooling herbal base of oatstraw, horsetail, plantain and dandelion, as well as burdock. Cucumber calms and depuffs the skin, while hydrating. Our reviewer Cindy commented that it is a “hydrating spa treatment mist for your face.” It’s good for all skin types, but especially dry and flaky skin. Read the full review.

For cooling:

Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Cooling Moisture Mist ($35). I think the whole idea of an anti-aging mist that cools hot flashes is genius. And Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Cooling Moisture Mist really does relieve overheated skin in seconds. I go from flushed and irritated to soothed within seconds — thanks to a marine oligosaccharide. Another interesting ingredient is malachite, a semi-precious stone that is an important source of copper ore. I keep Osmotics mist on my desk and spritz my face, neck and arms as needed. The lavender scent even elevates my mood. Read the full review.

For being transported:

Sevani Rose Hyaluronic Age Defying Tonique ($39 in the shop). The rose scent is so divine it will take you to a sunny garden. Tonique reduces redness, puffy eyes (spray on moistened pads and lie back), dryness, free radical damage and the appearance of broken capillaries. There are botanical antioxidants and a hyaluronic acid that comes from mushrooms. Sevani's Tonique makes a lovely base for facial oils — a comfortable and hydrating regimen that has the benefit of simplicity, as befits summer. Read the full review.

For problem skin:

Blissoma Tone Adaptive Energy Tonique ($25.99). This is a hydrating toner designed for acne, oily, combination and problem skin types. It is also a great vehicle to help the penetration of facial oils and serums. This mist imparts vitamins A, B3, B6 and potassium. Additionally, there is rhodiola, holy basil and red clover, which help the skin respond to internal/external stressors and environmental pollutants. Read the full review.

For anti-aging:

Kat Burki Beauty Elixir ($42). Definitely for inclusion in an anti-aging regimen, the Beauty Elixir has some heavy guns. One of the main ingredients is methylsufonylmethane (MSM), a sulfur compound that occurs naturally in some plants and enhances tissue pliability and encourages the repair of damaged skin. R lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that works by containing free radicals, thereby reducing oxidative damage. Plus there’s botanical extracts such as camu camu, an Amazonian shrub. Read the full review.