After doing a bit of research into the wonders of the pomegranate (which you can read about here), I decided to go out and buy a bit of the miracle for myself.

Because it is so hot and muggy in New York in the summer and because I always come out of the subway feeling greasier than a Brooklyn slice, I decided to go after Ole Henriksen's African Red Tea Face Mist ($28 for 4oz).  For the last week, I've been using it as a toner after cleansing, as well as lugging it around in my bag as an all-around pick-me-up for those times when I've needed a bit of refreshment.

The mist  is marketed as a calming and clarifying antioxidant, anti-aging tonic for all skin types, and is all together quite pleasant to use. I apply three sprays to my face and neck whenever needed. The mist dries quite quickly, and has a subtle, earthen-berry scent that disappears after a second or two. Just after using it, my skin feels noticeably softer and very smooth to the touch. And since I've been using it in lieu of a toner, I must say that my pores are smaller--although I'm not sure that I can attribute this change directly to the mist.  The biggest credit, I believe, goes to MD Skincare's Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel.

However, the mist has been quite popular--not just with me, but with every poor soul that comes into my apartment (I spray every willing volunteer). Also, you can use it on top of your makeup for a bit of an added rosy glow, and so the mist is good for nearly every time of day.

The wonder-bits in the formula include: African red tea (one of Henriksen's signature ingredients and, although not actually a tea at all, a powerful antioxidant) and white tea; panthenol (Vitamin B5) to hydrate and nourish; the polyphenol-plenty pomegranate, also an antioxidant, to help fight free radicals; and mandarin, orange and tangerine extracts for astringent, antiseptic, purifying and brightening effects.

Ole Henriksen also adds in some other goodies to the mix that make his mist truly a well-rounded gem.

Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, is a coconut-derived nutrient that has been shown to be an important skin-protecting agent. In fact, it's the main active ingredient in a new patent for a preparation that protects skin from mechanical irritation. Allantoin is another skin soother that is believed to promote wound healing and tissue formation (although it has yet to be recognized as such by the various regulatory agencies). A nice final addition is the chamomile extract, which contains flavonoids and also works as an anti-inflammatory, anti-erythema (reddening of the skin) and anti-pruritic (itchiness).

Not to end on a down note, but... The mist also includes limonene (from lavender oil), which studies suggest that -- in addition to being a lovely fragrance -- might just be cytotoxic to human skin cells, i.e. a skin cell killer.  It's not something that's going to make me say goodbye to my new-found favorite, but definitely something to be aware about. Check out What is it: Lavender and skin safety for further information.

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Ingredients in Ole Henriksen's African Red Tea Face Mist:

Water (Aqua), Sodium PCA, Betaine, Panthenol, Oleth-20, Allantoin,Aspalathus Linearis (Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinesis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Flower Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Limonene