9 Beauty Uses for Those Cans of Water You're Not Sure You Can Justify Buying

I’ve discovered there are some actual, practical uses for a spray can of water.
Publish date:
February 29, 2016
mac, water, Avene, sprays

My ability to discern what is and isn’t a necessary beauty purchase dissolved years ago, but even I was stumped when I first saw that you could buy spray cans of water. Literally, just water.

I remember my mother having a spray bottle of Evian when we flew internationally when I was a child, but beyond that it took me a while to figure out what they could do that regular tap water couldn’t.

I say all this, yet still found myself in possession of a can of Avene Thermal Spring Water — and then a bottle of MAC Mineralize Charged Water after I bought it because it smelled nice. Seriously. (I’m working on curbing my spending, don’t worry.)

After I’ve had these kicking around for a while, I’ve discovered there are some actual, practical uses for a spray can of water.

Wet your foundation sponge

You can use a foundation sponge dry, but as soon as you introduce it to a liquid foundation, it’ll suck it right up. Using a damp sponge helps stop that from happening, as well as giving an even finish. I sit down to do my makeup, so having a spray bottle of water on my makeup desk makes me more likely to dampen, and then use, a sponge (rather than smearing my foundation on my face with my fingers).

Rinse your skin of hard tap water

This won’t apply to everyone, but you’ll know if it applies to you. If your shampoo doesn’t lather or your face wash doesn’t rinse away properly, you might have hard water. Hard water can be irritating (especially if your skin’s not used to it). Rinsing with a spritz of pure fancy water helps!

Moisten skin before moisturising

If you’re a fan of astringent toners or are just slow to moisturise after you get out of the shower, your skin might be bone dry before you put moisturiser on it. Seeing as how most moisturisers work at least partly as occlusives (trapping water in the skin), it helps if you’ve got moisture there to trap. You could use a hydrating serum or toner, or you could dampen your skin with pure water just before application.

Undo excess powdering

Everyone’s overdone it on the powder at one point or another, whether you’re fighting oil or just want to get baked. You can use a setting spray to get rid of the appearance of cakiness, but sometimes setting sprays don’t play nice with powder. Plain old water will do the same thing! The thing here is that you want to make sure your spray bottle creates a fine and even mist of water, rather than squirting drops on your face.

Cool yourself down

It’s probably something to do with science, but I find water from a pressurised can is always cooler than the air around me, making spraying my face with it a pleasant exercise on hot days. Plain water’s good in this case because if you’re making a habit of spritzing your face every 10 minutes, anything else is going to leave a residue.

Dampen eyeshadow brushes

Some eyeshadows are designed to be used wet, and many just benefit from a damp brush — especially if they’re shimmery. Again, you can use a setting spray, but plain water does just fine.

The key here is to spray the brush with water, not the eyeshadow, unless you never want to use it again.

An alternative to the 3 p.m. coffee

The 3 p.m. slump is pretty much unavoidable no matter what job I’m working, and I’m really trying to avoid the afternoon coffee habit. Cheaper than a cup of coffee a day and only slightly less weird to your colleagues than slapping yourself in the face to wake yourself up, a spritz of water to the face can wake you up enough to ride out the last two hours of work.

Distilled water for DIYs

It’s not news to anyone that xoVain is land of the beauty DIY. Homemade skincare recipes, in particular, often call for sterile or distilled water — and that can of French mountain spring water will do just fine. I expect they don’t endorse its use for wound-cleaning or anything like that, just in case, but its purity isn’t disputed.

Rinse your sticky hands when you’re eating and doing makeup at the same time

I work best when there’s food available, and this extends to doing my makeup. Sometimes I just need to eat a plum while blending out my plum-toned smoky eye, and inevitably get covered in sticky food residue. Avene to the rescue!

What’s your stance on spray bottles of water? Cans of convenience, or waste of money?