Whether it's to refresh skin, add hydration or glow, face mists can be a great addition to your beauty arsenal - but which ones really work?
A deskside and handbag essential for many, face mists are ideal for a refreshing spritz during the mid-afternoon slump. While some people might consider them an overpriced water, many facial mists do so much more than just revive your mind and slightly dampen your face thanks to skincare ingredients including hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and C and witch hazel. Hyaluronic acid formulas work to moisturise the skin over makeup for a hit of hydration without making your mascara run, while many of the sprays also work to set your makeup if you don't have a setting spray to hand. There are even hydrating face ists that offer excellent SPF protection too.
Quite the multitaskers, these mists of many talents can also be applied pre-facial oil for extra hydration or mixed into moisturiser if you want your cream to be a bit lighter - ideal for hot days.
Here are the mists we can't stop spraying.
Best face mist to wear with makeup: Kosas Plump & Juicy Vegan Collagen Spray On Serum, £40
One of the best makeup skincare hybrids around in our humble opinion. Filled with hyaluronic acid, vegan collagen, probiotics and peptides it is a great moisturising mist that will get dry skin feeling hydrated and soft again. It is also a wonderful makeup primer and creates a great base for your favourite foundation to go on top of.
Best budget face mist: Elf Hydrating Coconut Mist, £6
Whether you like a face mist for easy extra hydration without the faff of having to rub in a cream, or you simply like something to make you feel a bit more zingy in an afternoon slump, this brilliantly priced mist ticks both boxes. It has a gorgeous, but not over-powering coconut scent and hydrating glycerin and vitamin E.
Best face mist for hydration: Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Cream Mist, £24
A bi-phase formula (which means you have to give it a good shake before use to ensure the oil and cream layers mix) filled with ceramides that strengthen the skin barrier. It comes out as a light mist and you can feel it add an extra boost of hydration the second it hits the skin. Ideal for dry skin types that feel tight by the afternoon as this can easily spritz on over makeup.
Best face mist for SPF protection: Ultra Violette Preen Screen SPF Reapplication Mist SPF50, £32
This gorgeous light milky mist delivers excellent hydration but most importantly, stellar SPF protection. We would still recommend using a dedicated and the best face spf you have as a base skincare layer and to ensure complete coverage, but this is an excellent option to have in your handbag when the sun takes you for surprise or you need to top-up.
Best face mist for glow: Bare by Vogue Hydrating Facial Mist, £20
One for all the glow-seekers out there. This combines all the elements you want from a hydrating mist; hydrating glycerin and skin-smoothing and softening lactic acid, with just the right amount of golden bronze shimmer particles to add an instant luminosity to the skin.
Best face mist for teen skin: Byoma Balancing Face Mist, £11.99
While we have signposted this as being great for teen skin (which it is) it is of course suitable for those whose teen years may be long gone too. It contains probiotics and ceramides to help strengthen the skin and is pH balanced so isn’t astringent. A great option for teens who can’t be bothered with putting moisturiser on their skin and want a quick and simple option or for anyone whose skin is in slight disarray and is looking for something that will get it back to a level playing field.
The cult face mist: Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist, £22
There's nothing quite as refreshing as returning from a sweaty spin class and dousing your face in this spray, made from Hungarian thermal waters. It feels like a cold drink of water for your face and the subtle scent helps with the hydrating feel too, thanks to a combination of orange blossom, rose and sage water. The regal name is because this spritz is based on the world’s first recorded perfume, created for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary in the 14th century - if it's good enough for royalty it's good enough for us.
The best mattifying face mist: Kiehl’s Men's Oil Eliminator Refreshing Shine Control Spray Toner,£19.50
This says it’s for men, but that hasn’t stopped us spritzing liberally. It instantly cools the skin and neutralises oil to reduce shine and give a more matte appearance. It has menthol in the mix to naturally cool the face.
The best face mist for plumping: Balance Me Hyaluronic Plumping Mist, £22
Editors have gone wild for this hyaluronic acid face mist - and with good reason. It does a bit of everything, from the chamomile water that soothes sensitive skin to the pineapple extract which helps to brighten uneven tone; plus it works whether you’re dry or oily or somewhere in between. A fabulous all-rounder that really plumps and refreshes your skin.
The best scented face mist: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Brightening Botanical Facial Mist, £44
Brighten up your complexion with this lightweight mist, infused with volcanic water to purify the skin, magnesium salts to detoxify and quartz crystal water to energise. Fragrance-wise it's scented with geranium, cedarwood and magnolia for a pleasant botanical scent that transports you outside if only in the mind.
The best face mist for all skin types: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist, £24
This fine mist - an antioxidant superfruit blend - comes in a flight-friendly 100ml plastic bottle and is virtually fragrance-free. We would wager it can be liberally squirted without annoying your fellow passengers. It feels calming on the skin and definitely makes dull skin look instantly perkier, although it does make your face feel a little sticky after a couple of sprays. We prefer to use it underneath a facial oil. The pump spray delivers just enough product so you don’t feel like you are stepping into a shower as can happen with an aerosol face mist. Plus it’s at the pricier end of the scale so you don’t want to waste a single droplet.
The best face mist for sensitive skin: Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray, £15.50
Avene's Thermal Spring Water is the basis of everything in the range but this is not just ‘water in a can’, this is ‘French, clinically-proven healing water in a can.’ Still cynical? Us too, despite our appreciation for their sensitive-skin friendly products. However, our skin has been incredibly dry since the recent weather change, feeling tight and rough to the touch, so whereas we’d usually save this spray for the beach or hot weather, we put it to use in our working day. Spraying just one side of our face to test it, we found our skin was indeed smoother and felt ‘comforted,’ to borrow their term, compared to the incredibly dry skin on the other side. It’s refreshing, obviously, and when we reluctantly used it over a face full of makeup there were no touch-ups needed - the mist is so fine (hold it far away from your face) that it really does just soothe the skin.
The best face mist for oily skin: Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist, £21
While we love a deskside mist, this Aveda toning mist is a great addition to your evening routine, just spritz the product all over your face and neck after cleansing. Once it had soaked in it leaves skin feeling rehydrated without any extra residue. It can also be used over a full face of makeup and we can confirm that it doesn't even disturb mascara - it just gives the face a subtle, uplifting refresh.
The best luxe face mist: Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence, £104
100 per cent natural, this spritz not only smells totally divine but is packed with floral extracts, moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid, free-radical fighting vitamin C and antioxidant Witch Hazel, so it not only feeds the skin but locks in moisture and protects your face at the same time. If you just use it to refresh your makeup throughout the day, then it's perhaps not worth the extravagance, however, if you see it as a facial treatment or a natural cell-preserving coat of armour then it may well be worth every penny.
The best face mist for dry skin: Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray, £29
This spray can be used either before or after makeup application (both, if you like!) and we saw lovely results from spraying it over the top of our makeup. It brought out the pigment in our bronzer as well as keeping our face hydrated throughout the day. It's pleasingly lightly scented - as refreshing as you'd expect, however the mist isn't the finest we tried, so we recommend bringing it closer to your face than the recommended 30 cm for full effect.
The best face mist for self-care: Caudalie Beauty Elixir, £15
This mist is inspired by the ‘elixir of youth’ used by Queen Isabella of Hungary, and apparently these days Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham are fans. It’s quite the multitasker; it prepares skin for moisturiser, sets makeup and refreshes the complexion throughout the day. For the record, it also smells AMAZING - it’s like one big hit of a botanical garden. It’s also quite literally minty fresh; it smells of mint and has a wonderfully cooling sensation when spritzed over a slightly sweaty visage. It mists on very finely so you don’t receive an unwelcome squirt in the eye and dries in milliseconds, leaving skin really smooth. For £32, you might hope for a bit more detectable dewiness, but it made our face feel zingy and fresh, which is the main benefit of using an effective facial mist.”
The best face mist for temperamental skin: De Mamiel Botaniques Dewy Facial Mist, £48
Dubbed a ‘serum in a mist,’ this particular spritz immediately piqued our interest due to its potential to provide more than just a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Easy to apply with a great nozzle that delivers effective distribution, it spread evenly, finely and most importantly, swiftly over parched skin to act as a moisturising undercoat for our day cream and SPF. The blend of essential oils (chosen specifically for their calming properties), antioxidants (chosen for their anti-inflammatory and protective abilities) and hydrating skin goodies made for the perfect fit for dry/temperamental T-zone skin type and the blissful scent made for a lovely way to add a dose of serenity to an otherwise, chaotic start to the day.