Mist-ery Solved: 5 Ways to Properly Use Face Mists
Face mists are all the rage right now, what with the touted benefits of round-the-clock hydration and ease of use. Especially after Tuesday’s surprising election day results, I could certainly do with an extra boost of hydration after the stress my body (and skin) went through. But most people don’t know how to properly use face mists — and I really mean when to use them — and that can lead to moisture being stripped from your skin. To solve the mist-ery, here are 5 easy-peasy ways to get the most out of these little goodies.
1. Right after washing your face, as a toner
Some days when our skin is feeling drier than normal, a hydrating toner will do the trick better than a cleansing toner. Many face mists, especially the Korean ones, are packed with helpful ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, rosa damascena extract, or aloe vera that can help to layer on the hydration. Spray it on your clean, freshly-washed face, and gently pat it in, before going ahead with the rest of your routine.
2. Just before putting on moisturizer
Right before putting on an occlusive that will seal all that skincare goodness in, I find it helpful to spray a face mist — it acts as a booster for the moisturizer so that its beneficial ingredients are able to bind to — and seal in — the elevated levels of moisture on your epidermis. Longer hydration, ftw!
3. Priming and setting your makeup
If you’re wondering how Korean women get that dewy, young skin, no-makeup makeup look, wonder no more — chances are they have a face mist in their arsenal. Celebrity makeup artists swear by misting lightly before every layer of makeup to achieve that dewy glow; while that is a bit much for me, I use a face mist as a last step to set my makeup after everything is done — so I don’t look overdone.
4. As a mini facial
This interesting maneuver applies to some toners/essences as well — perhaps I will talk about it in another article! — and when I do it, it’s usually a special treat to help calm my skin down from a skin sensitivity such as eczema. I spritz and soak a couple of cotton pads with the face mist of my choice, pat and sit it down on my face and let it rest there for anywhere from 5-10 min. Works like a charm! My skin immediately feels a lot less agitated, and a lot more… Zen. Be sure to remove the pads before they start to dry up — by then your skin will have lost moisture, not gained.
5. As a traveling companion to kick start your plane routine
Face mists have gotten quite a bad rep as carry-ons due to word that they desiccate your skin in dry, cabin air. Well, that happens only if you use them and nothing else — as the mist evaporates, the droplets take with them some moisture from your epidermal layer. Hence, you have to use face mists as a catalyst to lock in moisture — by starting a quick plane routine with these babies.
Once you’re comfortably situated in your seat and have no makeup on, spritz your face lightly with the mist and pat the moisture in. Without missing a beat, grab a sheet mask and put it on top of your freshly-dampened skin. Since sheet masks contain bursts of hydrating ingredients, they need damp skin to truly work their magic. Repeat the sheet mask step if needed — but remember to take the mask off in about 10 min so that it doesn’t start drying up, sucking moisture from your skin instead. I like to finish off with a sleeping mask as well, because it seals all that moisture in, and I get off the plane with dewy-looking skin. This whole routine takes a maximum of 15 minutes even if you move like the anti-Flash, and your skin will thank you when you land.
Here are 5 of my favorite mists:
Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, 120ml — $32 on HerbivoreBotanicals.com:
It contains coconut water which delivers hydration to your skin, as well as ingredients such as rosa damascena hydrosol and aloe which I really like in my skincare products. I tend to use this for #1 or #2.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Damask Rose Petal Mist, 80ml — $38 on GlowRecipe.com:
I like how everything is organic in this concoction and no water is used — instead, it contains a blend of rosa damascena flower extract, aloe leaf extract, and other floral extracts to nourish skin. Also, Whamisa uses a natural fermentation and distillation process to keep the ingredients potent for the best benefit upon use. I’m not the biggest fan of seeing, IMHO, rotting petals in a spray bottle but I’ve kept an open mind and so far it hasn’t done anything bad to my skin. I use it mostly for travel, hence #1 and #5.
Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist Limited Edition, 50ml — $50 on Omorovicza.com:
Even though I can never pronounce the brand name correctly, by Jove, I love this mist (and their masks too and that will come as a separate review). Mostly the delivery system — a really fine mist comes out through the nozzle, which feels like gossamer on sunshine — almost undetectable on skin. I like how Hungarian thermal water is used as a base, and again, rosa damascena flower water with a bunch of fruit and floral extracts that work to hydrate and refresh. Saccharomyces are present as well so you’ll get skin smoothing and brightening properties over time. I use this almost exclusively for #3, but I am also going to expand that into #5.
Caudalie Jason Wu for Caudalie Beauty Elixir, 100ml — $49 on Sephora.com:
This is also another limited edition face mist but like the Queen of Hungary, the formula is the same as the original. I like how my skin immediately feels minty and clean upon using this — thanks to the peppermint oil — but do shake before use, for there are perceptible oil particles that (I think) ought to be homogenously mixed for the best effect. It does contain my usual favorite ingredients (yes, rose) but alcohol is listed as the second ingredient so I wouldn’t necessarily use it for any steps other than setting makeup (half of #5). It does have a great nozzle (only second to the Queen of Hungary) so that step is perfect for it — you don’t want large droplets splattering on your makeup, creating blotches.
Diptyque Infused Facial Water, 150ml — $55 on SaksFifthAvenue.com:
Most people don’t know this, but Diptyque does skincare — and they do it pretty well too. I’ve been a fan of their candles, perfumes, and skincare since my early days in business school. Diptyque’s facial water is a gem of a product and acts as a hydrating toner — I’ve decanted some into a spray bottle to use as a face mist because it truly adds that layer of moisture that I sometimes crave outside of the toning step.
The main ingredient is not water but rosa damascena flower water, which adds to that dimension of luxury from using Diptyque’s products, while providing hydration. Together with calendula and witch hazel, it works to soothe and balance skin, readying it for the elements. I use this facial water for #1 and #4, because I find it the most calming and humectant of the lot. I also use it as a base for my Mahalo Pele mask — more on that in a subsequent review!
Key To Radiance is not affiliated or sponsored by any of the brands or companies mentioned.
Header photo from Huffington Post.
Photo of Diptyque Infused Facial Water by Annie Kreighbaum.
All other photos by Elaine Low.