updated 1 Jul 2009, 08:18
    Powered by
user id password
Wed, Jul 01, 2009
Urban, The Straits Times
EmailPrintDecrease text sizeIncrease text size
Perk me up
by Karen Tee

A bottle of it lurks in every make-up artist's bag of tricks.

It is the humble facial spritz, often used to give models and celebs' tired and dehydrated skin a refreshing boost.

The secret has trickled down to the mainstream, with consumers using it as a midday perk-me-up or carrying handy 50ml versions on planes to keep their skin moisturised in the dry, pressurised cabin air.

It is not just any H2O they spray around either.

The spritz treatment ranges from spray bottles filled with mineral water to luxe versions from expensive brands such as La Mer (see story below).

As Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director of aesthetics practice The Sloane Clinic, points out: 'Facial mists are a smart way to freshen up without having to wash off your make-up.'

The numbers show that consumers are lapping up the convenience, too.

French brand Evian, better known for its mineral drinking water, launched the first commercial facial spray, the Brumisateur, in 1965.

Sales of its sprays rose 20 per cent in 2007 compared to the previous year, and jumped a further 35 per cent last year.

Its best-selling spray is its travel-friendly 50ml version ($5.90), says Sitti Mariyah Abu, business development manager of Brumisateur in Singapore.

Beauty brands such as Vichy and La Roche-Posay which, like Evian, manufacture sprays containing thermal spa waters, say that these facial mists are among the top 10 bestsellers in their range of skincare products.

The newest versions come with soothing scents such as rose or lavender or are infused with vitamins, minerals and peptides (short chains of amino acids that link up to form proteins) that are said to improve skin health.

Most cosmetic brands, from American brand Clinique to Japanese brand RMK, have their own versions of these sprays.

However, skin experts say that the spritzes are not miracle waters.

'The main benefit of the fine mist of water is that it may create a cooling and hydrating effect on the skin and people like the freshening effect,' says dermatologist Eileen Tan of Eileen Tan Skin, Laser and Hair Transplant Clinic at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre.

To get the best skincare benefits, she says applying the appropriate skincare products is still recommended, as the 'jet-diffusion effect' of the spray nozzles is unlikely to improve the skin's absorption of the spray's ingredients.

However, sprays may benefit some patients, especially those with sensitive skin.

The Sloane Clinic's Dr Low says patients who undergo laser treatment at her clinic use a facial mist to soothe and calm their skin in a 'gentle manner without the need for rubbing or irritating their skin'.

'Patients have reported that their post-laser redness subsides in a shorter time,' she adds.

Both doctors recommend that users buy scent-free versions, as perfumes and essential oils in scented sprays may trigger allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin.

If you are tempted to economise and put boiled or tap water into a spray bottle instead of forking out for the eau-so-expensive mineral stuff, think again.

'The advantage of commercial preparation is that these facial spritzes are supposed to be free of impurities and bacteria through their manufacturing technology,' says Dr Tan.

Urban tests eight sprays - from thermal spa water sprays to those infused with skin-friendly ingredients - to see which ones are a blast.

La Mer The Mist (125ml)


With the same delicious marine scent as the luxury skincare brand's famed Creme de la Mer, it is no wonder diehards are willing to splurge on this spray.

This comes enriched with marine and botanical extracts as well as vitamins and minerals to perk up tired skin.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray (125ml)


This is infused with aloe vera to moisturise and soothe dehydrated skin.

As its name implies, it does deliver a quick surge of moisture to the skin but those with oily skin may find it too heavy.

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water (50ml)


Contains spring water from La Roche-Posay, an ancient spa town in central France which is also home to the first European thermal dermatology centre, for treating skin problems.

The gentle fine mist is scent-free so it will not aggravate even the most sensitive noses.

Avene Thermal Water (50ml)


This brand's thermal spring water comes from the foot of the Cevennes Mountains in southern France and is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.

It delivers the strongest jet of the lot. The water has a somewhat metallic smell - proof perhaps of its high mineral content?

Evian Brumisateur (150ml)


This contains the very same Evian spring water that is sold for consumption.

Each squeeze of the nozzle delivers a burst of pressurised air along with a fine mist, which makes it delightfully refreshing in the current hot spell.

Laneige Makeup Mist in Snow Orchid (80ml)


This scented spray contains Himalayan glacial water, which Laneige says is rich in antioxidants that fight the effects of pollution on your skin.

For those who do not mind the occasional large droplet of water landing on your skin, the subtle orchid scent is refreshing yet calming all at once.

Vichy Thermal Spa Water (150ml)


The water in this spray comes from Lucas Spring, in the spa and resort town of Vichy, central France, and is said to soothe sensitive skin.

The nozzle produces a robust jet of spray, but the water droplets are not as fine compared to the other sprays.

Still, this lively spritz works wonders at cooling down overheated skin in a jiffy.

RMK Herb Mist in Green Tea (50ml)


Thanks to a well-designed nozzle, just one well-aimed spray at the nose is enough to deliver a spurt of green tea-scented mist to the entire face.

This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2009 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.