If you're like me, you can't help but flinch when it's time for that fateful, final spritz of setting spray to lock your makeup in place.
To be fair, that's the normal human reaction to something being sprayed directly at your face from an arm's length away, but it raises an interesting question: should we be shying away from what's in our facial mists and setting sprays as well?
Many of us are pretty conscious of what beauty products we're using and the impacts they can have on our hair, face, body, skin, etc., but I wouldn't blame you for not knowing that one of the most commonly used main ingredients in setting sprays is something called polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). PVP is a water-soluble polymer that helps the makeup we apply stick to our faces.
Facial mists and setting sprays also contain humectants, which are substances that reduce the loss of moisture and can keep your skin's hydration levels stable and high to help makeup stay bonded. They work especially well on powdered products, but if it sounds a little strange, think of naturally occurring humectants like glycerin, aloe vera, lactic acid, or honey (although, I can't recommend spraying honey over a full face of makeup every day).
Urban Decay, MAC, and CoverFX have gained a lot of notoriety for being some of the best setting sprays. Mario Badescu has pretty much stolen the best facial mist throne as well, but when it comes down to it, that's not an easy title to bestow on just one product.
With such unique ranges of skin types out in the world, there may be a best facial or setting spray for you, but no one bottle can do the trick for everyone.
That being said, a couple of ingredients have the potential to trigger allergies. Tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender oils are more prone to cause problems for sensitive skin, and avoiding them might be a good call.
If you're looking for a generally positive ingredient, keep an eye out for rosewater. Particularly helpful for dry skin, rosewater is a gentle hydrator that many products considered the best facial sprays contain.
This is where things might get tricky because some formulas--especially facial mists that brand themselves as "refreshing" or "cooling"--will use only thermal and mineral waters in their sprays. Water is deceptively dehydrating (crazy, right?) because once it evaporates, it not only leaves your skin, but it takes some of the natural oils and hydration along with it.
Thermal water can be a great toner, and springing for the fancy stuff from the French Alps can definitely be advantageous for the right complexion. But for those of us who suffer from chronically dry skin, anything remotely dehydrating can be painfully detrimental, and maybe not worth the risk.
Keeping your skin nourished is the most important key to a crystal clear complexion, and the right nutrients (just like the ones in Paradox's 2-in-1 Probiotic Facial Mist) can send your whole look into dewy perfection.
Any good facial spray will hydrate and refresh your skin, but the best facial spray is the one your skin loves right back.