“A facial mist can be refreshing and hydrating to the skin. It’s especially useful for those who have sensitive or extremely dry skin, travel frequently or live in dry climates,” says Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a New York-based cosmetic dermatologist and founder of Simply Dermatology. It’s also particularly beneficial during winter when the skin is in dire need of hydration, adds the Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
We spent a lot of time researching Best Face Mist (and we update this guide all the time to keep it fresh), so before going into details, let us show you our top pick which won’t let you down:
Best for Normal Skin
- NATURALLY MOISTURIZING: This balancing mist is powered by potent botanicals, antioxidants and other extracts, including marshmallow, to lock moisture in.
- HELPS IMPROVE: Skin tone, moisture levels, and skin balance. Skin feels hydrated, refreshed, and dewy.
- ORGANICALLY SOURCED: The roses we use are harvested and extracted from a rose garden at Jurlique’s organic farm in the South Australian hills.
- CLEANSING ROSEWATER: Makes for a powerful face toner or makeup setting spray by creating a refreshingly scented base that further hydrates the skin.
Best for Sensitive Skin
- Boost skin's hydration
- Blend and set cosmetics
- Refresh skin without messing up makeup
- Soothe sensitive skin
What Kind of Facial Mist Is Best For You?
When looking for the perfect face mist, it’s best to pick the one that compliments your skin type. Specially formulated facial sprays are also available for different skin goals and concerns.
Here’s a brief guide to help you choose the right facial mist, according to your skin type and skin goals:
For Dry Skin:
Look for mists that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and squalane. These ingredients “boost hydration, plumping skin cells. They also help to hold in moisture and heal the damaged skin barrier,” explains Dr. Papantoniou. ELEMIS Superfood Kefir Tea Facial Mist is highly recommended.
For Normal or Combination Skin:
“Normal and combination skin can get away with using more varied ingredients, a balanced mist that contains hyaluronic acid, rose water, and essential oils, if desired, would work well,” notes Dr. Papantoniou. “I especially like mists that contain antioxidants which help skin combat the effects of free radicals and daily exposure to pollutants in city life,” adds the skincare expert. Try Unicorn Mist-All-In-One Body Mist, Body Spray, or Z-Balance Prebiotic & Probiotic Facial Mist
For Oily or Acne-Prone Skin:
“Face mists that are oil and silicone free should be used to prevent clog pores and oil build-up,” says Dr Papantoniou. Rose water and aloe-based mists can be very effective in reducing inflammation and soothing acne-prone skin. “Face mists rich in antioxidants such as green tea are also helpful in reducing inflammation associated with acne,” she adds. Try Mario Badescu Facial Spray Duo.
For Sensitive Skin:
If you’ve sensitive skin, pick a face mist with a basic, hydrating formula that’s gentle on your skin. Avène’s Thermal Spring Water is a great option for people with this skin type.
For Fighting Signs of Aging:
For anti-aging benefits, “look for mists that have pearl extract as it helps reduce the appearance of age spots,” says Ellen. Facial sprays that contain ingredients like tea extract, Vitamins C and E, pomegranate extract, alpha and beta hydroxy acids and grapeseed extract are also great options. “Also, don’t over-spray on bare skin as this may accentuate fine lines,” Ellen points out.
What’s The Right Way to Use It?
Ideally, a facial spray should be used twice daily. However, you can spritz it more frequently if you’re traveling by air or if you feel like your skin needs a pick-me-up, says Dr. Papantoniou.
For effectiveness, using a facial mist properly is as important as picking the right one. “While using a facial mist the correct way can be very beneficial in adding extra moisture and added nutrients to your skin. Using it in the wrong way can actually draw moisture out of your skin,” notes Ellen.
Rule numero uno is don’t go overboard with the spritzing.
Secondly, “if you have dry skin, always apply an oil-based moisturizer or serum over the mist to lock in the moisture,” says Ellen. “But if you’re using it as the last step, to set makeup, then it’s not necessary,” adds the esthetician.
Even though a face mist can be applied over makeup, spritzing it over freshly cleaned face will give you the best results. “This is because the ingredients will be able to penetrate better into the skin,” explains Dr. Papantoniou.
In case you notice your skin is drying out, “first consider all the other products in your skin care regimen. Sometimes, a face mist isn’t the real culprit but a different product altogether,” she says.
And if you find that a face mist is drying out your skin, “it is best to switch to a simple facial spray that contains soothing, hydrating ingredients such as mineral water, hyaluronic acid and rose water,” suggests the dermatologist.
The Difference Between Face Mist, Thermal Water, Toner, Essence and Setting Spray
Not necessarily! Here’s how to tell the difference:
- Face mist vs thermal water: Thermal water is a type of face mist that is purely water (and with a higher mineral content than regular water, which helps with dryness and irritation). Face mists contain not just water but additional humectant and emollient ingredients.
- Face mist vs toner: Toner is meant to be used after washing your face, to remove all traces of cleanser and prepare your skin for moisturizer. Mist, on the other hand, can go on at any time of day and is usually more nourishing. That said, hydrating toners are now becoming more popular, and would be similar to hydrating mists.
- Face mist vs essence: In the K-beauty sphere, essence is a type of liquid serum, usually with a watery consistency that you pat on with your fingertips. It’s packed with more concentrated ingredients than a mist, and is meant to go underneath moisturizers to add an extra layer of hydration. Mist is even lighter, usually with a higher water content, and can be used at any point in your skincare or makeup routine.
- Face mist vs setting spray: Setting spray is makeup rather than skincare, and contains film-formers (like synthetic polymers) that lock makeup in place. Mist is made with more skin-friendly ingredients that can help makeup look more natural, rather than giving it more staying power. However, there are some new hybrid products that give you the best of both worlds.
Do You NEED A Face Mist?
Okay, it may not be an essential step like cleansing and applying sunscreen. But mist is definitely a convenient way to give your skin an extra boost—and improve your makeup game.
The key is to choose and use your mist wisely, making sure the product is packed with good ingredients and applied at the right time in your beauty routine. (The main rule of thumb is to lock in humectant-based mists with a more occlusive moisturizer, so the moisture doesn’t escape.)
Besides its versatility, my favourite thing about face mist is the instant gratification factor. One spritz, and right away your skin looks dewier, plumper and brighter. It might not be permanent, but that’s the great thing about face mists… you can spray them on again and again and again!