Beauty School: Hydrating Sprays

What they are, four ways to use them, and five to try.

By: Michelle Thomas

In the pantheon of beauty products, hydrating sprays and mists are among the more mysterious ones. You can’t be blamed for thinking: Isn’t this just water? and then feeling a little silly for wanting to buy a bottle. Or at least that’s how we felt—until we tried H20+’s Oasis Mist on a recent beach trip. Turns out, these mists are insanely refreshing, plus they’re loaded with good-for-skin stuff like antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. And they’re not just for shoreside use. Here’s the lowdown on four ways to use these cooling beauty potions.

1) Tone: After cleansing, mist an antioxidant-laden spray to condition, balance, and dampen the skin to prep it for your daily moisturizer. 

2) Set: Especially suited for mineral makeup, these sprays can diffuse a heavy-handed application or give a matte foundation a dewier finish and a soft, subtle glow.

3) Midday moisture: For those of us with dry skin, these mists offer a quick shot of moisture perfect for when you’re on the go.

4) Cool and refresh: This is the most obvious use, and our favorite. Take these guys along with you in your bag on really hot days or beach vacays, and mist your overheated skin as needed for a cooldown that won’t mess up your carefully applied makeup.

The five to try (pictured above):

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Face Mist, $28
Meant to calm and clarify, this tonic hydrates and prevents aging with a combo of red and white tea, plus pomegranate, vitamin B5, and citrus extracts.

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist, $22
This mist blends essential oils of rosehip and ylang ylang with organic aloe and vitamin-rich white grape juice for a super-hydrating formula.

H20+ Oasis Mist, $17
Key ingredients in this spray include marine-sourced, water-logged botanicals such as wakame kelp, sea lettuce, and fennel, plus a blend of vitamins and aloe.

Kiehl’s Acai Damage-Protecting Toning Mist, $26
Enriched with antioxidants and organically certified, this clarifying toner helps balance and refine the skin’s appearance.

Givenchy Mist Me Gently Instant Moisturizing & Relaxing Mist, $35
This one claims to moisturize by including hyakyribuc acid to slow water’s evaporation, and destress with Egyptian lotus, sacred lotus, and magnesium salt.