Your skin is thirsty for this
As far as skincare ingredients go, water isn’t necessarily that exciting. Essential, yes, but not something that we’d rave about to our friends. With one notable exception: Face mists. These botanical-infused waters hold myriad benefits for your complexion that go well beyond moisture.
But what exactly are these magic brews that we hold so dear? “A face mist is a type of infused water that’s made to spray on the face for added skin health benefits,” explains Athena Hewett, an organic facialist and founder of Monastery Skincare.
They come in many variations, each with their own unique powers. There are thermal waters, which come from thermal pools and are said to be naturally infused with skin-healthy minerals; distilled waters, which are purified water blended with essential oils; and hydrosols, which are collected from the steam distillation of plants and flowers. Here, six of our favorites—plus advice on how to get the most out of your mist.
One of the most common ingredients used in face mists is rose, as it’s great for soothing and brightening the skin. Monastery uses the decadent bloom in what’s called a hydrosol, which are “waters collected from the steam distillation of plants and flowers,” Hewitt explains. Because they are essences, she says, they impart added benefits to the skin outside of hydration. They also tend to be less irritating to ultra-sensitive skin types as they do not contain potentially irritating essential oils.
Another power flower is jasmine, which is known for its superior hydration capabilities. Michelle Ranavat, the founder of Ranavat Botanics, created this gorgeous jasmine hydrosol as a first-step in an oil-based skincare line. “The most important part [of using a hydrosol] is to follow with an oil-based serum,” she advises, “because that creates a barrier from the environment to really seal in all the hydration from the mist.” Facial spritzes also help your skincare products absorb better. Apply them after cleansing, prior to your serum, oil, or moisturizer to optimize their benefits.
In addition to being easy on the wallet, this spray uses not one, but two complexion correcting botanicals. “Lavender is great for calming inflammation, while witch hazel is an astringent that helps with cleansing and toning,” says Ranavat. It’s perfect for those prone to breakouts or with oily skin.
This dreamy mist (one of Rosie’s favorites!) is a mix of orange flower water; grape extract; and rosemary, myrrh, mint leaf, and rose oils. Spritz some on before (and after) you apply foundation to set makeup and create a naturally glowing effect.
Since mists and hydrosols are made using plant extracts and oils, they can also offer aromatherapy benefits. The lemon verbena hydrosol in this organic mist is energizing for the senses, in addition to having anti-bacterial and anti-microbial powers that purge pores of harmful bacteria. Rosemary oil reduces inflammation and antioxidant-rich green tea extract fights free radical damage.
Plant and flower waters aren’t the only power liquids out there. Thermal water, a.k.a. water derived from geothermal rocks and pools, is full of complexion-enhancing elements and minerals. Hailing from Iceland, this H2O contains orthosilicic acid (OSA), a bioavailable form of silica that is a natural anti-inflammatory. OSA is also a natural absorption enhancer, meaning it helps the hyaluronic acid in this refreshing treat sink into the skin to provide maximum hydration.
—Megan McIntyre. Illustrations by @thecovetco.