Winter isn’t merely the season when people slog through sleet and suffer from cracked skin and windburn: it’s also the time when many folks head off to warmer climates for a bit of R&R on sandy beaches. By now, we all know the importance of protecting and nourishing skin through all kinds of weather, be that wearing sunscreen year-round or moisturizing after wind or sun exposure, but there’s also just the sublime pleasure of pampering our skin with something lovely. Facial and body mists can cool you down after a day at the beach, replenish your skin after a snowy outing, or just offer a bit of uplifting aromatherapy during these darker days.
If your goal is to moisturize or heal your skin with mist, then it’s important to add a viscous, moisture-retaining agent such as aloe or vegetable glycerin to the spray: water alone will actually dry out your skin a bit as it evaporates, but adding one of the above ingredients will keep you dewy and glowing.
On a similar note, the best time to use a moisturizing cream on your skin is while it’s damp, as the cream will disperse more evenly and will be absorbed better than it would on dry skin. Spritz a bit of mist on the area you’re aiming to moisturize, then dab a bit of cream on and spread it around with your fingertips until it’s soaked in.
Cooling Cucumber Mist
You’ll need a blender and some cheesecloth to prepare this spray, but it’s wonderfully cooling and soothing on sunburns, dry winter-ravaged skin, or during a menopausal hot flash.
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of aloe vera
- 1/2 cup of rosewater (you can use rose hydrosol as well, but you could also either make your own rosewater, or find bottles of it at any Middle Eastern grocery store)
Cut the cucumber into chunks and puree with a blender or food processor until it’s smooth. Strain this mixture through your cheesecloth into a clean bowl, and make sure to squeeze that cloth to get all the liquid out of it.
Add the rest of your ingredients, and stir well to make sure it’s all blended together, then pour the liquid into a spray bottle. If you find that it’s a bit too viscous, you can add more rosewater/hydrosol or a bit of distilled water to dilute it.
Tip: A few drops of peppermint essential oil can be added to this to soothe those aforementioned hot flashes, but the cucumber and aloe also do a great job on their own.
Moisturizing Face and Body Mist
This one’s great for replenishing dry skin (like in an overheated office environment), or to spray on your whole body after sunbathing or skiing.
- 1 cup distilled water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
- A few drops of your favorite essential oil
Yup, that’s it. You just pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up to mix it well, and you’re done. When it comes to choosing an essential oil, it’s best to go for one that you’d like smell like for a while, and that won’t burn like the nine hells if it gets in your eyes or on razor-burned skin. Stay away from black pepper or cinnamon, for example, and aim for chamomile, rose, orange, clary sage, or grapefruit.
Refreshing Facial Mist for Oily Skin
Lavender and witch hazel are great as toners, as they combat oil and help to heal breakouts.
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 teaspoon witch hazel
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
Pour all of the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to mix it all well. Store this in a cool place, and spray on your face whenever you’re feeling a bit greasy. You can also use this as a post-cleansing toner before moisturizing.
Tip: if you’d like to use this as a toner but have dry skin rather than oily, skip the witch hazel and add 1 teaspoon of almond oil instead.
Lizard Leg Spray
If you have to deal with dry, itchy, scaly, ashy, chafed skin on your legs, try this after-shower spray on ’em:
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tablespoons almond oil or olive oil
- 1 capsule vitamin E oil
- 3 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients in a small spray bottle (shake it up to combine them) and then spray all over your legs after a bath or a shower. For extra moisturizing effects, slather some body lotion on afterwards.
If you’ve ever felt the need to literally cool down (like after a really horrible board meeting), this mist can help. Aromatherapy can work wonders on even the most frayed nerves, so a few minutes of mindful breathing and some uplifting scents may keep you from defenestrating your coworkers.
- 1/4 cup distilled water
- 1/2 cup rosewater
- 10 drops rose geranium essential oil
- 4 drops jasmine essential oil
- 4 drops bergamot essential oil
Blend all of these together in a spray bottle or mister, and spritz the air around you when you’re feeling tense or anxious. Rather than spraying it directly at your face, let the mist fall gently on your skin and try to visualize it helping to evaporate your negative emotions.
Tip: If you’d like something less floral but just as uplifting, use vetiver, clary sage, and lime essential oils instead (same proportions).
An avid permaculture gardener, locavore, and novice (but enthusiastic!) canner, Lana Winter-Hébert joins Inhabitat after spending the last decade working as a writer and event guru for non-profit/eco organizations. She has contributed to both print and web-based media for clients across North America and Europe, and is slowly plodding her way through her first novel-writing attempt. Born and raised in Toronto, she has given up city life and moved to the wilds of rural Quebec with her husband, where they collaborate on graphic design projects for their company, Winter-Hébert. Their new, rustic lifestyle is chronicled in her two personal blogs: 33 Leagues from Mount Royal, and The Green Pigeon, where she touches upon the ins and outs of homesteading and self sufficiency in the Great White North. When she isn’t writing or delving into artstuffs, Lana can be found reading, wrestling with various knitting projects, or tending her garden.
All images via Shutterstock