‘Are facial sprays pointless?” a friend asked, still glistening from my lavish application of Disciple Skincare Juicy Mist (£15, 50ml), as he baked in my garden a fortnight ago. “Insofar as a gin and tonic is pointless,” was my response. Neither is strictly necessary; both are indulgent, reviving, instantly refreshing, cooling and momentarily hydrating. But whereas alcohol will ultimately leave you parched, a facial mist can help your skin to hang on to water.
Regular skincare products, such as serums and moisturisers, can do this, of course – mists are entirely optional – but there is something cheering and mollifying about a quick spritz, particularly in the midst of a heatwave, hormonal hot flush, workout, bout of fatigue or plain old afternoon slump. One can, as someone cross will inevitably tell me on Twitter, use plain water and a plant spray but, actually, skin will be no better hydrated than before and very possibly drier. Much better is a mist containing a humectant, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerine to attract moisture, a soothing ingredient or two – aloe, chamomile or the like – and a skin brightener where desired.
Apart from the aforementioned Disciple Skincare mist (aloe, hyaluronic acid, orange blossom: delicious), I’m a big fan of Balance Me Hyaluronic Plumping Mist (£14.40, 30ml). As well as offering an instantly awakening on-face sprinkler system, it does exactly as promised – plumping up the skin surface, resurrecting cakey makeup and imparting a sense of calm and comfort. It’s beautiful.
The effect is similar with Pixi’s excellent Hydrating Milky Mist (£18, 80ml), despite its deceptive appearance. The semi-opaque liquid and more viscous texture suggests poor absorption and a visible finish, but I promise it dissipates immediately, leaving the complexion cool, plump and glowy.
My favourite on the high street is somewhat no nonsense in terms of sensory pleasure but, in skincare terms, among the best. Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Anti‑Age Refreshing Mist, (£10.50, 150ml) has everything one needs – hyaluronic acid, glycerine, panthenol and butylene glycol – all packed in a very generous 150ml metal canister that keeps everything way cooler than the usual glass or plastic (keep those in the fridge). Unlike many in the field, it contains no essential oils or fragrance, making it suitable for even sensitive and rosacea-prone types. Frankly, there are several mists costing at least twice the price that offer nothing more, and often less, for your buck.
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