If a product is all over Instagram or in all of your friends’ medicine cabinets should you be using it too? Welcome to “Do You Really Need…”, a new series where we discuss, with the help of some experts, how to determine whether or not a trendy or divisive product really belongs in YOUR skin care routine. Today we’re discussing facial mists.
Face mists are almost as divisive of a skin care product as eye creams. Half of beauty buffs stand by them and will lovingly wax poetic about the three (minimum!) they keep on their desks, in their beauty cabinet, and stored away in their bags at all times. And then there’s the other half who think it’s just fancy water in a bottle; a deceiving marketing tactic meant to make people spend more money while not delivering any actual results. Which side is right and which is wrong? Ahead, we break down what you need to know to make that decision for yourself.
What is a face mist?
The name has part of the answer in it: A mist that one typically spritzes on their face. As Dr. Zeichner further elaborates, they’re “another delivery system for active ingredients to the skin. Rather than applying a lotion or serum to the face, a mist is sprayed on.”
What does a face mist do?
Well, not all face mists are created equally, and their benefits vary depending on the ingredients they contain. “Most face mists contain skin soothing, toning, and hydrating ingredients,” Dr. Zeichner says. That includes ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid for hydrating purposes, and rose water and aloe vera for calming and soothing ones. Others offer benefits like microbiome repair or sun protection by way of SPF or include calming properties from the use of essential oils.
People also use their face mists for different purposes. For example, some use them in place of setting sprays after they’ve done their makeup, or for a mid-day touchup or wake up call. The most common use is probably spritzing it on after washing your face. In this case, just remember to lock in that extra moisture with a good cream or gel on top. Dr. Zeichner suggests: “Think of a mist like an extra serum or booster for your routine,” and, with that in mind, you should “look for mists that suit your skin’s needs, just as you would choose a serum.”
So, do you really need a face mist in your routine?
It’s really up to personal preference. As Dr. Zeichner explains, mists are extremely light in consistency, so you could use it as a serum substitute in the summer when people typically strip away heavier products from their routine. Unless you have an inverse reaction to the ingredients included, it won’t cause any harm (One point of note is that Dr. Zeichner doesn’t recommend misting hard or salt water onto the face, “as it can cause more irritation than good”). Yes, it has its benefits, but it’s by no means an essential step.
Then again, there is something to be said for the simple act of spraying your face in the middle, beginning, or end of the day and the refreshing pleasure it provides people with. So, if it sparks joy, who are we to strip you of that happiness?