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Picture the scene: it’s a long, hot afternoon, and your face feels dry and in need of refreshment. What’s the best thing to reach for?
While it’s tempting to simply fill a spray bottle with tap water and mist away whenever you want to cool down, you could be doing your skin more harm than good.
Spraying yourself with regular water may make you feel perky but it won't hydrate your skin. If it did, then your shower would count as moisturiser.
It’s even possible that this type of face mist is backfiring and actually drying out your skin.
Cast your mind back to GCSE chemistry class, and you may remember being told that water molecules attract water molecules.
Apply that theory to a DIY water face mist and every time you spray, you trigger a chain reaction: the water lands on the face, then evaporates and takes with it water from the surface of your skin.
In order to be effective, your face mist must contain humectant ingredients – the same hydrating ingredients that you find in your moisturiser but in liquid form.
“Without any humectants, the skin may not be able to hold on to the moisture,” explains Dr Marko Lens, plastic surgeon and founder of Zelens skincare.
These humectants commonly include lactic acid, glycerin and aloe vera. But most important is the inclusion of hyaluronic acid (HA), a molecule that acts like a sponge by drawing water to the skin.
Find it in a product like W7 Dew Over! Hydrating Face Mist which is packed to the brim with HA, alongside juicy watermelon and fruit extracts.
It’s £5.95 here, but you can also find it in this month’s OK! Beauty Box which contains over £70 worth of products and costs just £9 for new sign-ups.
If you’re using a moisturising face mist like this, you can just spray it on whenever you need a boost. Alternatively, mist after cleansing in place of a toner and then apply your serum over the top.
It’s also worth noting the existence of another subset of face mist, known as setting sprays, which often include silicone.
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While effective at priming your skin for make-up and ensuring your foundation stays put, silicone has the downside of creating a film over the skin.
It can clog pores with overuse, so setting sprays containing it shouldn’t have a place in your daily skincare routine.
But with HA, feel free to spray away!
*Discount code redeemable against one-month rolling subscriptions to new customers only. OK! Beauty Box subscription is then £15 per month thereafter.
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