I remember my first encounter with facial sprays. There was I, a pre-pubescent high schooler oblivious to the world of sun protection and no pores. As I scoured the lanes of Watson’s, building my novice regimen, upgrading from a plain bar soap (Forgive me, Skin Care Gods), I glanced upon an attractive spray bottle with a distinct pink cap. It had been around before skin care became the welcome epidemic it is now—Evian facial mist.
Yes, precisely like the boujee brand of bottled water, but definitely not for drinking. Clocking in at almost 500 Pesos for “glorified H2O,” it was scandalous for an allowance-dependent 14-year-old me. I bought it anyway, because of course I’m a slave for marketing and pretty packaging. While I had to do without lunch money for quite a while, what started out as an impulsive decision grew into a staple and necessity I just can’t do without. (Or, fine, yes I can but my skin will punish me for it.)
What I’m trying to say is, damn. In a tropical city where every day feels like being in Satan’s butthole, facial sprays are my saving grace. If you’re still confused as to what they are exactly, well, they could be toners. Could be a midday mist. Could be an essence. Or if it’s a hard-worker: all of the above. But the bare minimum is it’s meant to be hydrating and refreshing, which anyone—gals and guys, youngins and oldies—will find helpful especially this summer. Here are my personal picks.
Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray
To not include the Mario Badescu rosewater spray in a top list for facial mists may be nearly blasphemous. This cult-favorite is known for being extra hydrating and soothing, thanks to its rosewater ingredient. Plus, it’s pink so it looks good sitting on your #shelfie.
Available at Rustan’s, Sephora, and BeautyMNL.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
So many products claim to give you a “glow,” but few ever deliver. The Caudalie Beauty Elixir, however, does not fuck around. Granted, it’s not cheap. When I could actually afford it, I carried it around with me like a vital organ. Using it as a refresher felt like blessing my face with holy water. That is, if holy water had a minty after-feel and could psychologically trick me into feeling like I didn’t just get out of a 12-hour work shift. Now, I can’t get into the science of it and tell you which ingredients do the trick. Pixie dust? God’s tears? Perhaps.
Available at Sephora.
Happy Skin Catch The Sun On-The-Go Hydrating UV Mist
I only have two philosophies in life: “Experience is the best teacher,” and “Always wear sunblock.” The latter is non-negotiable, but I’ll be damned if you’ll have me taking off and reapplying my make-up midday just to retouch sunscreen. Again, mists are a life-saver because sun protection now comes in this form. Spritz to your heliophobic’s delight at any point in the day, because that’s what Happy Skin’s Catch The Sun On-The-Go Hydrating UV Mist is for.
Available at Happy Skin branches.
Glossier Soothing Face Mist
Full disclosure: I’m Glossier trash and would probably throw my money at a Glossier-branded bag of air. But for credibility’s sake, I will admit there are better sprays out there. While not on a “gouge-my-eyes-out” level, this one tends to sting at first spritz. However, I do attribute it to reducing some redness and mild inflammation. May or may not be more effective with their priming moisturizer. And serums. And cleanser. Who knows? You’ll have to buy the ENTIRE LINE to find out! (Dammit, marketing at it again)
Available at Glossier, BeautyMNL, and heinously over-priced Instagram resellers.
Mizon Snail Repair Hydromist
I used to be a skeptic of the snail mucin trend in skin care. It’s slimy, sticky, and sounded like an absolute nightmare for my oily skin. But I’m glad I woke up one day and thought, “Hey, maybe I should slap animal secretion on my face.” (Or something like that) Well, anyway, I have since become a convert for anything with this ingredient. It has done wonders for my skin texture and softness.
Available at BeautyMNL.
Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel Mist
I will never not sing praises for aloe vera. This multi-tasking plant does it all: Heals wounds. Aids weight loss. Stops dandruff. Does your taxes. Makes you laugh. (Editor’s note: The last two aren’t scientifically proven, but may as well be) For skin care though, it’s absolutely excellent. This spray is especially helpful after prolonged sun exposure or any time your skin is irritated. Bonus points: you can use it for your whole body.
Available at Landmark and Nature Republic branches.
Cloud Cosmetics Pore Refresher
This local brand is fairly new, but already do I want to hoard all their products. At an affordable price point, you can sleep at night knowing you can have nice skin AND a stable bank account (yes, it’s possible). This pore refresher contains none of those nasty parabens or alcohol; just naturally good-for-you stuff like cucumber, tomato, and lemon. It even contains niacinamide, an ingredient great for battling acne.
Available at Cloud Cosmetics.
Human Nature Hydrating Face Mist
I’m all for products that are double-duty. Who doesn’t like saving a few bucks and bag space? Human Nature’s Hydrating Face Mist is a thirst-quencher and makeup-setter in one. Plus, you can count on this brand to be the safe choice for all skin types, due to its all-organic nature.
Available at Human Nature.
Need pointers? See below.
Text by Isabella D. Argosino
Illustrations by Chelsea Madamba
Images from Nature Republic and Mizon