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The Beauty Trust

What's in a Mist?

What's in a Mist?

Have you made the mistake of overlooking toners?

They’re often considered an unnecessary extra step. I hear, “Do I really need a toner?” (Also, “Do I really need a mask?”) I ask back (in both cases), “do results matter to you?” Now, if results don’t matter, you do you. Peace. But, if they do, that’s where I like to come in to help you sort through what you really need to reveal great skin. The answer is not, “Everything plus a million dollars.” In fact, mists are an under-the-radar, often very affordable powerhouse in any skincare routine.

Whether you enjoy a multi-step routine with all the fixins, or just want to keep it simple and easy, a mist may be the right choice for you. Commonly referred to as toners or astringents, today’s after-cleansers are better understood as “serums-in-a-mist.” In other words, your skin can derive huge benefit from misting. So why should you incorporate a mist into your routine? And how?

Mists are misunderstood.

If you're from my generation-ish, you must first understand that mists are much more than the Sea Breeze of our youth. Remember how it left your skin feeling tight and stripped and miserable -- and yet you kept coming back for more of that squeaky-clean/zits-begone feeling?! That's exactly what our toners should NOT do (or any part of our cleansing routine, for that matter).

On the other hand, you may think a mist is no more than a water to provide instant hydration. That would be true if you were spritzing Evian, which, sadly, will quickly evaporate from the surface of your skin. You may also be happy sticking with your divine-smelling rosewater, aka rose hydrosol. Don’t hear me wrong: hydrosols offer instant (but again not lasting) hydration, while also delivering the aromatherapeutic benefits of their components. Yet they are still not as advanced or effective as the modern, therapeutic mists like those I share at Dunkin Kehn.

Today’s mists have much more sophisticated function and performance than either skin-bullying “astringents” or gentle water sprays. Today's mists:

1) hydrate — and often go a step further to bind hydration to the skin with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. For you this means long-lasting hydration, rather than just a momentary fix.

2) help your serums penetrate. Mists work hand-in-hand with your serums to boost absorption and penetration -- and, therefore, results.

3) balance pH level, so that your skin is prepped for protection from the environment; this pH balance is also key for keeping breakouts at bay

4) contain many of the same antioxidants you look for in your serums, such as vitamin C, ferulic acid, and co-enzyme Q10

5) replace water with hydrators such as coconut water and aloe for additional phytonutrient benefits

6) feature skin-loving botanicals such as probiotics and algae extracts to balance hydration levels; and plant-derived peptides, to stimulate cell renewal, boost collagen synthesis, and fortify skin elasticity

Today’s mists are not:

1) "the final step in your cleansing process." Before you start misting, your cleansing should be done. There's no need to apply your toner to a pad and then wipe your face looking for those last traces of dirt or makeup. Anyway, why let the pad soak up all the goodness? Instead, I encourage you to spray your mist directly to your face — or onto your palms, and then pat into your skin — before following with the next step of your routine.

2) "just for kids with breakouts." While they certainly can help your teen with managing breakouts by balancing pH and keeping skin hydrated, when you factor in all of the advanced ingredients formulators have creatively incorporated into modern toners, mists become a powerful, targeted addition to your skincare cocktail.

Now, for using your mist. Sure, you can spritz a couple of times and move right on to what’s next. Or, to get creative, try these tested-and-loved tips I’m doling out:

1) Use your mist to get more mileage out of your serum. While serums are often the highest-ticket item in your skincare collection, a mist with a host of absolutely gorgeous ingredients can often be had for about 1/2 the price of an ounce of serum for 4 oz of mist. (Of course, the concentration level of expensive actives is different, which helps explain some of the cost discrepancy.) To help your serum last longer or go further, try increasing the mist-to-serum ratio. A face well misted will allow a drop of serum to spread evenly and well.

2) Use your mist to give your hands, arms, and décolleté some love. You probably aren't applying your serum to your backs of hands or arms. But these areas are exposed to a lot of sunlight and can benefit from what your mist has to offer. At the end of my skincare, I take two sprays into my palms and use that to emulsify any remaining serum, moisturizer, etc, then apply that to the backs of my hands and forearms. I also love to keep on hand the Mad Hippie Hydrating Nutrient Mist for spraying arms and chest any time I’m spending extra time in the sun. This a very affordable, actually beneficial replacement for a water spritz.

3) Replace your serum with a mist to save $$. Or, amp up your teen’s skincare with a mist, since a serum can be over-the-top for young skin. Because mists are now so advanced and complex, for many people, they can substitute for serums. Now, I’m not claiming you will get the same results from using a mist as you would from using a serum. But, if that antioxidant-rich serum you’ve had your eye on is just too far a stretch, get your hands on a mist with a similar ingredient profile. For many of us, it’s also an easier routine to adopt: simply spray and be done — versus the pipette packaging we see so often in serums.

And, if you’re working on helping your teen develop a skincare routine, a mist is also a wonderful way to add some serious ingredient cred without breaking the bank.

I'm a mist match-maker.

Dunkin Kehn strives to offer what we consider the best in green beauty across a range of price points. I’m deeply committed to the notion that green beauty is for everyone. When I had my bricks-and-mortar shop in New York, I ascribed to the notion that no-one should walk out of my space thinking, “green beauty isn’t for me.” In the case of multi-functional, cosmetically elegant mists, you can find on my virtual shelves an amazing offering anywhere from $20 on up to $80. Need help choosing? Book a complimentary text consultation any time.

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