The Truth Behind Facial Mists: What Are They & Are They Really Worth It?

An all-in-one, spritz-and-go type deal, facial mists are changing the skincare game. If a 6-foot-6 dude who doesn’t care that his muscle tee wreaks of B.O. can get excited about facial mists, you can too.


I remember the moment facial mists came into my life so clearly. It was three years ago, and I was in the car with a premenopausal friend, Jen, and my then 31-year-old boyfriend, Travis. Jen was having a hot flash moment and whipped out a glass bottle from her center console. She began vigorously spritzing her face. As she sighed with relief, Travis asked feverishly if he could have some.

It was a really funny moment—what kind of 6-foot-6 dude wearing a muscle tee that wreaks of post-workout B.O. and doesn’t even care gets excited about a facial mist? It was the satisfaction, I soon found, that was just so damn appealing. To pull out a bottle filled with a magical elixir and not have to pour it onto a pad and swipe it on your face, looking oh-so feminine and meticulous of course, but just spray something about like it’s a squirt gun. It was then that my love for facial mists grew. But are they even worth it? What are they doing? Let’s find out.

The difference between toners and facial misters

There’s a common misconception that toners and facial mists are the same thing. I think a lot of that confusion comes from companies putting out toners that offer a spray option, with the directions to spray onto a pad, or directly onto your face and use the pad (or your clean hands I suppose), to wipe in.

Skin toners are typically the second step in a skincare routine, meant to balance pH levels in the skin while removing excess impurities. They’re most often used by applying a small dose of the liquid to a cotton ball or pad, then applied to the face.

Facial mists, on the other hand, are meant to keep your complexion hydrated and nourished throughout the day. The typical types are either thermal or mineral water, providing you minerals to balance pH levels and protect your skin from environmental elements. There are also moisturizing or hydrating facial mists, which contain water and ingredients like essential oils, botanical extracts, or glycerin to keep the moisture in. They’re typically spritzed on the face at your leisure, either to boost a dewy complexion or set makeup.

Why they’re worth it

Facial mists are fun, Travis will tell you. But used as liberally as you want, you might as well throw your money in the trash. They serve a purpose and aren’t always cheap (like any other skin product). When used leisurely but intentionally, they can give you that fun-meets-purposeful feeling.

Facial mists have done me right. My skin goes with the seasons and climates: dry when it’s dry out, oily when it’s balmy out—to the point where if I step foot in a desertous city for even a day, every inch of my skin feels like an alligator. Keeping my skin balanced is clutch for this reason. I have personally found that misting my face keeps me from feeling crackly in dry conditions, and is a convenient way to keep hydrated while still wearing my makeup, because obviously you can’t slather on face lotion after you’ve applied your pretty face. I’m also just a huge fan of that dewy look. Spritzing in the morning without any makeup on makes my skin feel really tight yet supple, and spritzing midway through the day is a game changer for me, because I feel like my face just falls off from working hard and probably touching it without even noticing.

Along with toning the skin, setting makeup, and acting as a serum to nourish skin throughout the day, facial mists also help cool the skin down. Sebum—an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands that causes pores to clog and results in the formation of pimpleshas been shown to decrease in viscosity due to heat. This means that, when your temperature is up, the sebum can flow more freely to the surface. So if your face feels hot, you may notice it begins to form oiliness, and possibly break out. Mists can be extremely helpful in such situations, because they cool the skin on contact.

Furthermore, if you care about collagen and elastin, as in, you don’t want your face to sag with wrinkles, facial mists can really help keep you on your anti-aging game, since, when the skin is dehydrated, collagen and elastin break down faster because the skin’s protective barrier is weakened.

How to use them

If you’re like me, you love the idea of serums and toners and cleansers and creams galore, but it all gets a bit much. What happened to just washing your face twice a day and calling it enough? It just doesn’t work that way if you want to prevent and protect your skin from harsh environmental elements, your daily life stresses, and the simple phenomenon of aging.

Facial mists are literally a spritz-and-go type of deal, so there’s not a lot of “how to use them” going on, besides knowing when to use them, really. As previously mentioned, a few spritzes far enough from the face to get your whole visage will do the trick. They’re not meant to soak your face, but provide a perfectly damp feeling. They’re great for when your face feels dry, oily, or when you simply need a pick-me-up. During the winter, keep it on hand inside when your indoor heating is on, since they help minimize the drying effects. And, again, they’re great for setting makeup.

My favorite facial mists

Kerstin Florian’s Rehydrating Neroli Water

I’ve tried a lot of facial mists. In fact, I have one in my purse, two in my bathroom, and one in my nightstand drawer right now. Kerstin Florian is a skincare goddess, and I just love everything in her line. The Rehydrating Neroli Water is no exception. It has this flowery smell that actually smells like you put your face in a fully bloomed flower. In reality, it’s a floral water soley infused from the essence of bitter orange blossom, which serves to ease stress response, calm the mind, and uplifts the spirit. I can live with that.

Feel’s Refreshed Hydrating Floral Mist

Feel is another brand I enjoy for its approachable prices in the skincare world. The brand’s Refreshed mist feels really light, making it perfect for setting makeup without dampening your skin too much. The mist features 10 plant extracts, as well as Hyaluronic acid, so you get a combo if hydration, toning, tightening, and pore minimizing in one fell swoop.

Laura Mercier’s ‘Flawless Skin’ Perfecting Water Moisture Mist‎

If the idea of spraying anything scented on your skin makes you immediately feel nauseated, then Laura Mercier’s facial mist is for you. It’s a total skin quencher void of swirling aromas, and is said to be suitable for all skin types, so people with sensitive skin or allergies can have fear-free misting experience.

Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence

Another lightweight facial mist, Tata Harper delivers by adding a nice moisturizing mist with Hyaluronic acid and a blend of natural moisturizing additives. What I love about this product is that it’s made of 100 percent natural ingredients, with 95 percent of the total ingredients from organic farming.

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