Let’s Talk Facial Sprays

Facial Sprays


Something got into me lately and I developed a curiosity over facial sprays (a.k.a. facial mists, face mists, face sprays…), so I did a little research and I’d like to share what I found and also my thoughts.

Basically, there are three types of facial sprays:

1. Evian-like can sprays that are simply water (maybe spring water, but still… water) and nitrogen, which is the propellant medium. Once the water leaves the aerosol spray it becomes cooler (due to physics), hence the cooling mist this type of facial sprays offer.

2. Water and glycerin facial sprays, the most popular of which is probably M·A·C Fix+. Apart from water and glycerin that are the two main ingredients, these sprays might contain a couple of skin beneficial ingredients, plus a couple preservatives, so that they’ll last a few years from the time they are made until the customer finishes the bottle. Glycerin by itself is moisturizing for the skin and along with the other ingredients, these sprays can actually do some additional good to the skin than simply spraying it with water.

Many use Fix+, and other similar sprays to wet brushes (or sponges) to intensify the color payoff or to facilitate the application. Personally, I don’t find any difference between wetting them with water and wetting them with Fix+.

3. Setting sprays. Well, the great majority of them are mainly water and alcohol or alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Again, some additional ingredients (e.g. glycerin and aloe vera) plus preservatives.

In case you didn’t know the ingredients list of all beauty products is proportional, meaning the ingredient that is written first is the one that can be found in the greatest amount in the product, the second one is the second in correspondence and so on. So, the two first spots of most setting sprays’ ingredient lists are occupied by water and alcohol or alcohol and water (if they contain more alcohol than water). Aren’t we supposed to avoid putting alcohol on the face?


My thoughts…

First of all, I find all facial sprays really expensive for what they are.fairy_1 Don’t get me wrong I have bought some of these over the years, but man, they are just water, or water and glycerin. It’s not like they are purified unicorns’ tears that fairies gather at dawn! Both water and glycerin are super inexpensive.

If you think about it, a facial aerosol spray, which contains only water, might cost as much as, or even more than, a deodorant in an aerosol spray, or a shaving foam spray, or a hair spray etc, all of which contain more ingredients than just water!

And I don’t even want to start about the setting sprays. Alcohol and water? I don’t want to spray my face, including the eye area or even eyes (you cannot avoid it) with alcohol! And pay €25-30 or more for it? If I want to, I can mix water with alcohol, maybe I’ll add some glycerin and it will cost me less than 1/10 of that.

Facial sprays can be useful, convenient to have with you for an instant refreshment throughout the day, they can reduce the appearance of an over-powdery finish, but also they are easy to be made. Over the last weeks (about a couple of months actually), I’ve been testing some DIY facial sprays. And when I say testing, I mean testing them on bare skin or over makeup, at about 35°C (95°F), or even more, we had these past few weeks. I didn’t want to spray alcohol on my face especially in the middle of summer, so I basically tested the 2nd type, the water – glycerin facial spray and even though they are not setting sprays, nor would I call them that, I felt that they helped setting my makeup, as much as it can be set in hot weather.

I will have the recipes and some more information in my next post (in case someone might not want to read all this stuff about facial sprays and just want to read the DIYs). The main idea is using 2.5-3 parts water and 0.5-1 part glycerin. Tap water should be avoided, but you can read more in my next post.




  1. This is so true! I’ve always been curious about using a setting spray, thinking if it really works it must been a lifesaver on those hot afternoons. But, the price of a small bottle alone is too much for me. Anyway, love the article I found it pretty entertaining.

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