Q: Do those misting sprays really help moisturize your skin?
A: I'm predisposed not to like these things because I can't stand having anything sprayed at me, especially at my face. But even if you don't mind that, water sprayed on your skin simply evaporates, so while spritzing yourself after a long, dehydrating flight might feel refreshing, it won't moisturize. A misting spray can be helpful—especially if you have sensitive, very dry skin—if you apply a moisturizer immediately afterward, which locks in the water, says Leslie Baumann, MD, chief of the division of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami. About that water: I've been hearing a lot recently about rinsing with "facial water," which has been purified—the reason being that the impurities in tap water can be damaging to your skin. We've come a long way from sloshing around in the Euphrates, haven't we? I was going to tell you that I don't ever want to be the kind of person who believes she has to wash her face with bottled water; next thing you know, you have to bathe in it, and then your moisturizer has to contain 90 percent caviar, and you have to rinse with dead Champagne after every shampoo. Not practical. But, in fact, there is a good reason to use facial water, says Baumann. She points out in her book, The Skin Type Solution, that if you're one of those sensitive and very dry types, chlorinated and hard water—especially if hot—can exacerbate problems. Instead spritz or rinse with water containing soothing ingredients like selenium and chamomile. She recommends Evian Mineral Water Spray. Clarins Water Comfort One-Step Cleanser is mild but removes makeup easily.
Bottom line: A misting spray won't moisturize unless you apply moisturizer immediately after the spritz.