Say goodbye to dry, flaky skin with these moisturizing sprays.
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This is part of our weekly series Test Drive, where our team of beauty experts demystify products and tools, and explore new techniques IRL.

Now that it’s officially winter, we can count on more cold days in the coming weeks. That means dry skin—especially on your face—is sure to follow. I have combination skin, which means that I get oily in the summer and dry in the winter. This year, I wanted to find a quick solution to my (temporarily) flaky skin without making any big changes to my existing skincare routine. The answer: face mists. 

Face mists are basically spray forms of skincare products like serums and creams that can be quickly and easily applied without having to rub it in or rinse it off, according to Dr. Ife Rodney, lead dermatologist at Eternal Dermatology in Columbia, Maryland. Face mists deliver vitamins and antioxidants to your skin as well as soothe inflammation. “While the main goal is to hydrate and lock moisture into the surface of your skin, the added benefits depend on the specific mist you choose.”

So where do they fit into your normal skincare routine? Dr. Rodney says to use them in addition to your current favorite products, not as a replacement of anything you would typically use. “After exfoliating and applying a serum, toner, and moisturizing in the morning, it’s totally fine to apply some spritzes of your favorite mist,” Dr. Rodney says. “Some people do replace their toner with face mists, which is helpful in restoring the skin’s firmness and PH balance. But for specific concerns like acne-prone skin, it’s best to leave the heavy lifting to the creams and serums in your regimen.”

In addition to using them after your morning skincare routine, you can also use them throughout the day when you feel your skin drying out or want a quick refresh. Face mists are perfect for an instant skin pick-me-up because they won’t disturb your makeup (in fact, they can even be used to set your makeup). 

There are many different types of face mists, each targeting a different skincare concern. Depending on what your skin needs—whether it’s hydration, soothing, or energizing—you’re sure to find a solution in one of these formulas. 

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garnier face mist
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

1 Hydrating

The aloe juice in this face mist instantly hydrates your skin. “Aloe is nature’s moisturizer and remedy for sunburn. It keeps your skin cool while relieving inflammation. Aloe also has vitamins and antioxidants that can fight mild acne and dry skin,” Dr. Rodney says. I like to keep this mist in my purse if I have to run errands or grocery shop. Once I’m back in my car and after I’ve removed my face mask, I spray this generously all over my face for an instant refresh and boost of moisture.

Buy It: Garnier SkinActive Hydrating Facial Mist with Aloe Juice ($6, Walmart)

glossier face mist
Credit: Courtesy of Glossier

2 Soothing

This year has been stressful, and my skin can feel the effects. Whenever I’m feeling extra stressed, I like to use this mist that’s formulated with rosewater, aloe, and glycerin. “Rosewater has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce acne and redness. It also balances skin pH, hydrates dry skin, and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” Dr. Rodney says. Aloe and glycerin work together to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture throughout the day, making this the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

Buy It: Glossier Soothing Face Mist Rose Water Spray ($15, Glossier)

tula face mist
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

3 Brightening

These days, my skin is starting to look and feel dull (especially on Zoom calls). This mist is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid and kiwi fruit water that help brighten and hydrate the skin. Probiotics and prebiotics work to lock in moisture and balance your skin, while Lingonberry helps protect against blue light (that comes from your phone and computer screen) damage. A quick spritz of this mist instantly refreshes my skin while adding a subtle, dewy glow!

Buy It: TULA Signature Glow Refreshing & Brightening Face Mist ($34, Ulta)

cucumber face spray
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

4 Cooling

2020 has been the year of at-home workouts for me. My face is always red and hot after my workouts, so I love using this cooling spray that’s formulated with aloe, cucumber and green tea. “Green tea is packed with polyphenols, which are perfect to soothe inflammation. If you’re prone to dry skin or irritation, a face mist with green tea can keep your skin calm during the day,” Dr. Rodney says. “Cucumbers also contain vitamin C and caffeic acid that help fight free radicals and prevent UV wrinkle formation.”

Buy It: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea ($7, Sephora)

pixi wakeup face mist
Credit: Courtesy of Pixi

5 Energizing

Right after completing my morning skincare routine, I like to use this energizing mist that leaves my skin glowing. Formulated with orange blossom water and citrus fruit extracts, this mist soothes and tones the skin while keeping it hydrated. “Orange blossom and citrus extracts contain vitamin C and other antioxidants that help with inflammation, soothing and softening the skin,” Dr. Rodney says. “Orange blossom, in particular, is great for balancing oil, removing excess dirt, and unclogging pores.”

Buy It: Pixi Vitamin Wakeup Mist ($15, Pixi Beauty)


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