The Best Face Mists to Refresh and Hydrate Skin

The best facial mists to refresh, cool, soothe and rehydrate dry skin throughout the day without ruining your makeup.

face mists

It's time to do the dew...

Such is its glow-giving supremacy, you're virtually guaranteed to find an array of face mists on a beauty editor's desk. One for when skin feels parched; another for when it looks grey from too much screen time and one that revives when you hit that 3pm slump.

Summer or winter, face mists boast skin benefits all year round. A light spray can restore moisture after cleansing without clogging pores. Those containing thermal spring water are a safe bet for easily-riled skin. Most are also packed with the same ingredients you'll find in the best moisturiser for dry skin. They just happen to be suspended in liquid form.

Why Can't I Just Spray Water On My Face?

Face mists come to the immediate rescue of dry office complexions and skin that's battling seasonal sensitivity. 'But only if they contain humectants such as glycerine, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, which help skin retain moisture,' says Elemis co-founder Noella Gabriel.

Spraying water on your face may feel refreshing but it also guarantees that your face mist will backfire. 'If there are no humectants in your face mist, your skin can't hold onto the moisture,' says Gabriel. 'The water simply evaporates and dehydrates your skin.' Precisely the opposite effect you were hoping for.

Face mists are also ideal for spot-prone, oily skin.

Sebum production increases with a rise in skin temperature. 'If your face feels hot, the risk of oiliness and breakouts increases,' says Dr Marko Lens, plastic surgeon and founder of Zelens skincare. 'Face mists can help to reduce this occurrence by being cooling on contact.'

They also don't contain the heavy oils and waxes normally found in a face cream, so won't clog pores.

These are the best face mists for different skin concerns:

Best Face Mist For Dry Skin: Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater, Harvey Nichols

face mists

Mario Badescu's face mists are the stuff of legends. This one helps prevent water loss through the day - and beyond - thanks to botanical soothers that punch up hydration and prevent that tight, uncomfortable feeling that makes skin see red. Spray over your day and night creams or use it to set your make-up.

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Best Face Mist For Oily Skin: Elemis Superfood Kefir-Tea Mist, Lookfantastic

face mists

There's an argument for going vegan with your skincare if you suffer from sensitivity or acne. This is because ingredients derived from animal products like lanolin and beeswax can be harsh and clog pores due to their dense texture. This mist is not only vegan but packed with kefir ferment (great for reducing redness), balancing probiotics, soothing rooibos tea and hydrating aloe vera.

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Best Brightening Face Mist: The Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist

face mists

It's no surprise that The Body Shop have formulated a face mist around vitamin C. Being acidic it encourages the skin to heal and prevents excess melanin production, which causes dark spots and pigmentation. We're talking about The Body Shop here, so expect vitamin C-rich camu camu from the Amazonian rainforest and Community Fair Trade aloe vera for do-good ingredients.

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face mists

How To Use Face Mists

Dermatologists have long sworn by the three-minute rule: apply your skincare when your face is slightly damp. Consequently, use your face mist immediately before your serum and moisturiser to ensure the ingredients absorb better.

You can top up with a quick mist throughout the day. Most contain essential oils, which are impressive at boosting your mood or jolting you out of a 3pm slump. Kind of like a shot of espresso.

Face mists also play nicely with make-up.

They are brilliant at ramping up your highlighter's sheen and can help to reset your make-up at the end of the day. Simply spray, pat away the excess and blend with a sponge to prevent your make-up settling into fine lines.

It's worth mentioning that there's a subset of face mists called 'setting sprays'. Not to be confused with the hydrating versions, those are like liquid primers. They are not meant for every day use, as the film they create over the skin can clog pores with overuse.

More of Our Favourite Face Mists...

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton has been a beauty editor for over 10 years, writing and editing beauty copy and testing over 10,000 products. She has previously worked for magazines like Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography and catwalk trends.