Tested on animals:Yes
Facial sprays are a growing category when it comes to skincare, with some claiming to add beneficial ingredients to skin and others saying they can help makeup look fresher and last longer. Bobbi Brown picks on the trend with its Face Mist, which the brand says is a product so great you'll "wonder how you ever lived without it." Unfortunately, it contains some ingredients your skin certainly can (and should) do without, which is why it earns our lowest, one-star rating.
Face Mist is packaged in a black plastic bottle with a spray pump. True to Bobbi Brown's claims, this mist does have a lightweight feel, and make skin feel momentarily refreshed. There are also some beneficial ingredients here, such as antioxidant green tea extract and chamomile extract.
The issues with this mist are apparent from the first spray, though. This is quite fragrant, almost perfume-like, thanks to a fairly large amount of lavender oil included in the formula. Lavender oil, while great for your nose, is not a good idea when it comes to skincare. Even small amounts can lead to irritation, which is not what you want when you're looking to create a healthy "glow" as this mist is supposed to do! See More Info for further details on the problems lavender oil can create for your skin.
In addition, Face Mist contains fragrant geranium flower oil, above the advertised cucumber extract and caffeine in the ingredient list. Geranium oil also has the potential to cause skin irritation, which, when combined with lavender oil, makes for a product that could result in real problems for your skin over time.
Because of the presence and amount of both lavender and geranium oils, Bobbi Brown's Face Mist is a product we simply can't recommend. If you're looking for a product that will help makeup last longer, we recommend the products on our list of Best Foundation Primers. For lightweight products that have antioxidant benefits for skin (and that you can mist if you want), see our list of Best Toners.
Note: A face mist is essentially a toner in a spray package. As mentioned in the review, spritzing water or a well-formulated toner can briefly feel refreshing to skin, but this has no dramatic effect on skin or makeup. (A toner can add a bit of moisture, but water will just evaporate right off skin.) A light mist of water or a good toner over makeup, however, can help take the "edge" off an overly powdered face, or aid in blending lines of demarcation.
Just avoid using a product that is overly loaded with irritants like this one!
- Mist feels lightweight and refreshing.
- Contains antioxidant ingredients such as green tea extract and chamomile extract.
- Contains a high amount of potentially-irritating lavender oil.
- Contains potentially-irritating geranium flower oil.
Lavender Oil: In-vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of as little a concentration as 0.25% causes cell death (Cell Proliferation, June 2004). This study was conducted on endothelial cells, which are cells that line blood pathways in the body and play a critical role in the inflammatory process of skin.
As linalool and linalyl acetate are both rapidly absorbed by skin and can be detected within blood cells in less than 20 minutes, endothelial cells are an ideal choice for such a test (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1992). The results of this research also demonstrated that lavender has a damaging effect on fibroblasts, which are cells that produce collagen.
The fragrance constituents in lavender oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, oxidize when exposed to air, and in this process their potential for causing an allergic reaction is increased (Contact Dermatitis, 2008).
If you're wondering why lavender oil doesn't appear to be problematic for you, it's because research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it happening for your skin to suffer damage (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).