Hydrating Mists: Spray Your Way To Serious Moisturization

They're the phantoms of the moisturizer world! Like walking through a wet ghost!
Publish date:
May 27, 2014

When 50 or so supermodels claim "drinking water" as the secret to being a supermodel, one must cock their brow in either dubious skepticism or with the light bulb of “Why didn’t I think of that? DUH!”

Look, I know you’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day or something, but does anyone find this difficult to remember when you’re doing activities, and going to your job, and thinking thoughts more important than about stupid water? Water! So simple, yet so crucial. I even bought a fancy water bottle so I’d bring it to work with me to remind myself to make use of the bulky cylinder claiming real estate in my purse and drink lots more water!

That said, I’d sooner chug 100 ounces of H2O a day than equip myself with an aerosol can of Evian because I’m convinced there’s absolutely no purpose to canned water facial mists except backstage at fashion shows to make models’ faces look "fresher" than normal. Freshness is the key to fashion, so says every “what’s in every makeup artist’s arsenal” story you find on the Internet. Whatever.

Still, the words of Ben Stiller do not fall on deaf ears: Moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty. It appears that the beauty biz has caught on as well. Because sometimes moisturizer and conditioner alone just don’t cut it, now we have hydrating mists. They’re the “just right” for all you Goldilockses wandering the labyrinth of “too oily” and “too dry.” Best part is, you don’t have to get your hands dirty (mostly) and you can throw these in your purse as well for daily pffts of beauty essence. I, for one, enjoy a good mist for a fancy wake-me-up, not to mention as a static fighter after a blow dry.

Now that the eternal winter has gone and bare-leg season is upon us, suddenly my heavy-duty Aveeno lotion is sticky and rubby between my thighs (I often wonder what it’s like to have a thigh gap… chilly perhaps?) but my knees, calves, and elbows are still a bit on the rough side.

My usual spring-summer go-to is Neutrogena’s Body Oil, but the bottle always gets slippery and oily because of the standard disc-top dispensing cap (which let's face it, is a major fail for dispensing anything liquid-y); the oil just gets… everywhere. I have to wipe the bottom of the bottle before putting it back in the medicine cabinet, otherwise it makes the shelf gross.

Also, when it reaches 90 with 85% humidity in NYC as it inevitably will, as it does each Summer, even that oil is too rubby. Which is why I’m real glad something like OGX’s Coconut Oil Hydrating Oil Body Mist is around. Coconut oil is just aces for your skin (oh you haven’t heard?) and having it available in a liquid spray-able form makes me appreciate the age of technology and convenience that we live in. Truly. You can mist it on your bod from a foot away and just have the mist settle, or spray a couple times and rub it in with your hands. Both good techniques. It’s definitely un-wimpy in terms of leaving your skin hydrated-feeling, but sans oil slick. Plus, you can find it at almost any drugstore for less than $10.

You proooobably wouldn’t want to put that OGX stuff on your face, but sometimes your mug needs some misty hydration too. Both Paul Mitchell and John Masters Organics make neat face/hair hydration mists. Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Moisture Mist uses Awapuhi as its main moisturizing ingredient (duh), a Hawaiian flower that other than being difficult/fun to say, is used mostly for its softening effect on skin and hair. It’s totally fine and does its job (if not a wee bit sticky on the face) and it smells like shampoo, if you're into that.

A more natural 2-in-1 face/hair option is John Masters Organics Lavender Hydrating Mist for Skin & Hair. I actually really like this as a face mist. First, it smells like a wonderful English garden (of lavender only) and it leaves my face feeling and looking dewy. My hair pretty much eats up and spits out anything less hefty than tar, so unfortunately it didn’t do much for that other than make it smell like lavender, which is still pretty great. I feel like this is the stuff I’d take on a long flight and spritz myself in the face upon touchdown to the chagrin of my seat mates in the splash zone (that’s what you get for using the entire armrest the whole way!).

JMO does, however, have a slightly beefier option for hair in the realm of hydrating mists though. Its Green Tea & Calendula Leave-In Conditioning mist feels lovely on my hair--especially second-day hair that’s been smooshed on my pillow all night. It's a nicer way to get pillow-smoosh kinks and flatness out of my hair than plain old stupid water. And it smells nice and herbal-y.

The bottle says you can spritz it on damp hair post-shower for a conditioning boost, which might be its strongest use. It leaves a nice shine and on dry hair too. In addition to green tea and calendula, it has broccoli seed oil, sunflower seed oil, chamomile and rosemary extract--all of which have antioxidants, fatty acids, and scalp-soothing properties.

For broads like me who have thick, brittle hair that kind of just stays where you put it after a day or two of forgoing shampoo, Shea Moisture has got your number for sure. I haven’t come across a product of theirs I haven’t loved yet, honestly, and this Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist, geared toward thick curly hair, is no exception. Along with coconut oil, it has neem oil, another beauty oil superstar (but mostly for your skin I’ve heard) and silk protein, which sounds luxurious but is probably something that is coughed up by a silkworm.

Either way, whether you're spraying this on damp or dry hair, it rules for moisturizing and adding a bit of grip to your hair. Yes, it’s possible to have silky and grippy hair all at once. My favorite thing to do is spray this in my hair before I go to bed, twist said hair in bun, and wake up with perfectly textured loose soft curls and waves.

The scent errs on the side of Banana Boat, which forever makes me associate it with summer. Speaking of which, I am looking forward to throwing this in my beach bag to spray in my ocean-wrecked hair. The Atlantic is a kelpy salty mess, so this should do the trick to combat that strange rubbery feeling my hair takes on when I swim in the ocean.

Of all the balms, creams, and oils I have in my medicine cabinet I will most likely be switching out a lot of them for these spray-ables this season. When it comes to hydration less is less and more is more, but they didn’t say nothin’ about dispersion! For all you ladies who worship at the altar of Evian canned water, no judgment; in fact I’m jealous that that does something for you. I’m just glad that I can now participate in the frivolous gestures of spritzing my way to the essence of beauty. Pfft Pfft!

Favorite body moisturizer, or sprayable product? GO!