Face Mists Explained: What Are They And Do You Need One?

face mist image female spraying beauty mist on her face

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen one of the many images featuring gorgeous women spritzing their faces with a beauty mist and wondered: “What the heck is that stuff?” You’ve probably also thought: “Ha who needs a mist? Wait a minute that looks kind of refreshing. I wonder if it has any benefits? Wait… do I need a facial mist?!”

At least, that was my inner monologue when I started seeing people majestically misting their visages on hot summer days. So I bought one and started using it, with no clue if it was providing me any benefits whatsoever, just enjoying the small burst of freshness when I used it. 

What are beauty mists? 

Look, you’re forgiven for thinking that face mists are just fancy smelling water (mostly because, um, that’s sort of what I thought) but they’re so much more than that. 

On a base level, they are liquids that you mist onto your skin using an atomiser or spray bottle. Far from being just water, these sprays are packed with ingredients aimed at revitalising your skin, and sometimes even have astringent and oil absorbing properties. 

Mists are specifically formulated to deliver hydration, revitalise tired skin and even brighten dull complexions. The spritz delivery method means you can apply it with a light hand over the top of makeup to refresh your look and feel throughout the day. Not to mention they’re an instant  afternoon pick-me-up. 

Which spray is which? 

With the increasing popularity of beauty mists, comes the increasing number of beauty products available in spray bottles: toners, and essence and mist, oh my! So which is which? Can you use them all together? Which one/s do you actually need? 

Let’s break it down. 

Face mists: Face mists are the ones I talked about above, where there are additional ingredients designed to retain moisture in the skin, and revitalise tired complexions. 

Thermal water: These face mists are purely water, BUT they contain a higher mineral content than normal tap water which helps with dryness and/or irritation.

Toner: Toners are used after cleansing to make sure all surface nasties are removed (including cleanser remnants) before you apply all your pretty potions. However, lately hydrating toners have become a thing, so they’re similar to face mists. 

Essence: An essence is a whole different kettle of fish. Essences are popular in the K-beauty world. Essences are a sort of watery serum, designed to be applied directly onto the skin after cleansing and toning and before any makeup or moisturisers. They give an extra layer of hydration and help all products applied after absorb better. 

Setting spray: This baby is makeup, not skincare like the above mists. Setting sprays go on last, after your makeup, to make sure your look stays in place all day long. 

How to use face mists

Look, don’t go overboard misting every five minutes or anything but the beauty of misting is you can do it whenever you think you need it. It’s great to spritz in the morning as a wakeup, spray through the day to refresh makeup, mist yourself when you feel like your skin is a little dehydrated or dry (especially when you’re travelling). 

For something I wasn’t sure I needed, my face mist is probably my most used skincare item these days.

Liz’s favourite face mists

  1. Laneige Cream Skin Mist
    This is one of my very favourite mists as it really does feel like you’ve spritzed an ultra fine moisturiser on your skin and all of a sudden, baby smooth skin. It’s infused with white tea leaf water which is rich in amino acids. 
  2. Saturday Skin Daily Dew Hydration Essence Mist
    This handy mist is a toner and essence in one! Its antioxidant formula helps block free radicals, and delivers moisture and nourishment over and under makeup.
  3. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
    This has been a cult classic forever, and one of the most enduring kids on the block when it comes to beauty mists. Every time I spray this, I get compliments through the whole office with a collective “something smells amazing!”. 
  4. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra Fine Mist
    This is the ultra-finest mist on this list, so when you spray it, it’s super light and delicate but refreshing AF. It’s also biphasic, meaning shake it up to mix the oil and water in the spray, giving you and your makeup a nourishing dewy glow.
  5. Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, and Rose Water
    When it comes to bang for your buck, Mario Badescu delivers. Formulated with fragrant herbal extracts including rose, thyme and gardenia, this spritz can work as aromatherapy to also calm the mind.

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