March 04, 2019 at 11:01AM by CWC
Ever since the facial mist became a popular beauty product, I’ve hoarded a ton so that I can keep one on my desk, one in my bag, and one at home so that I can spritz my skin at a moment’s notice. Mists are the easiest skin-care product to incorporate—all you have to do is spritz and enjoy the hydrating, refreshing benefits.
But…that’s only if you’re doing it right. Sure, you can spray your skin whenever, wherever you want with whatever your go-to hydrosol is—but certain facial mists can actually result in a dried-out effect on your skin. “It seems counterintuitive, because we use facial mists to help create a dewy glow on the skin and to hydrate,” says Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. “After all, they’re augmented water-based products. But some ingredients could make your skin more dry.”
A couple of ingredients to avoid in your facial mist? Tea tree oil and citrus. “You should avoid tea tree in your face mist because, though it’s an oil, it can make your skin drier,” she says. “It’s used on oily skin to combat acne. And mists with citrus oils can actually make the skin rash when exposed to the sun, and can be more irritating than helpful.”
Also, that endless spritzing isn’t as innocent as it may seem. “Over-misting—like, once every hour—could disrupt the oil barrier on skin and make you more dry,” says Dr. Patel. “It would be like keeping your face wet for a prolonged period of time, which could result in the water evaporating from the surface of the skin and the skin being dry underneath.” This happens because your skin doesn’t have time to produce its own oil and repair its barrier. So yeah, you don’t want to overdo it (whoops).
If you’re not putting on something hydrating after the spritz to lock it all in, it could also lead to dryness. “If you mist without following with a serum or moisturizer, the actives of the mist evaporate off of the skin with the water,” says Dr. Patel. “Mists are meant to be used with a serum or moisturizer after misting to trap the water in the skin.”
This doesn’t all go to say that you should toss your facial mist completely—just spritz smartly. “Choose ones with hyaluronic acid and rose extracts, which are hydrating and anti-inflammatory,” recommends Dr. Patel, noting that these ingredients are refreshing and help with midday inflammation. But know that more face mist does not equal more hydration.