The Best Face Mists to Refresh and Hydrate Skin


It’s time to do the dew…

You’re virtually guaranteed to find face mists on a beauty editor’s desk.

To be clear, we are not living our best Mariah lives, drenching our faces in expensive water sourced from a remote Fijian waterfall.  The face mists we’re talking about are packed with many of the same ingredients you’ll find in the best moisturiser for dry skin. They just happen to be suspended in liquid form.

You see, face mists are no longer just a refreshing fix for hot, angry summer skin. They have added beauty benefits all year round.

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

Zelens Z Balance Prebiotic & Probiotic Facial Mist, £48, Cult Beauty

‘By settling on the surface of your face, where the good bacteria lives, a probiotic face mist can be more effective at protecting the skin’s barrier,’ says Dr Lens. You’ll also find amino acids in this face mist, which draw in moisture with a single spritz.

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Best Face Mist For Oily Skin

Elemis Superfood Kefir-Tea Mist, £26, Lookfantastic

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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Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist, £24, Space NK

Use over make-up or SPF to shield against ageing exhaust fumes. It’s a three-pronged defence: a non-sticky gum forms the barrier, yeast extract keeps skin clean of toxins and antioxidants step up your protection.

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How To Use Face Mists

Dermatologists have long sworn by the three-minute rule: apply your skincare in the first few minutes after cleansing , when your face is slightly damp. 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.

If you still need convincing, check out our gallery below for more of our favourite face mists…

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