by Leanne Delap
(Excerpt) Ask The Kit is the real-talk advice column you never knew you needed. Every week, writer Leanne Delap answers your pressing beauty and style questions. How can I find good plus-size options? How can I get shiny hair? How do I define my personal style? Send your Qs to ask@
“It’s the dog days of summer, and I don’t have air conditioning. To cope, I’ve been spritzing my face all day with anything I can get my hands on. There are currently nearly a dozen bottles spread between my night table and my work desk—even one above the kitchen sink. Do I have a problem? And do they do anything at all?” —Overheating in Hamilton, Ont.
There is a meme that keeps on giving, wherein people insert the phrase “just to feel something” beside an action verb. For me, just like you, that’s misting my face with fancy sprays—just to feel something. I have always been a passionate fan of face mists, starting with Evian’s classic mineral water spray and expanding from there. In France, pharmacies usually have a full wall of various chicly branded thermal water mists. I’m quite sure part of the allure of face misting comes from our abiding adoration of French pharmacies.
In the back of my head is a hazy memory of a line in an article about how constant misting isn’t great for your skin. Luckily, The Kit’s beauty and lifestyle director, Katherine Lalancette, has encyclopedic recall. A 2017 Into the Gloss story said that if you don’t pat your face dry or apply moisturizer after putting on thermal water sprays, they can actually dry your skin out.
But I spray a lot of this stuff on, and that just doesn’t feel like the case. For peace of mind, I checked in with an expert. Happily, Dr. Lisa Kellett, the medical director of DLK on Avenue in Toronto, told me not to worry about drying out my skin with water mists. “We think of skin as an aesthetic thing, but in fact, it is a defence organ, meant to protect us from the environment. It is not particularly permeable,” she says. “You can reach the outer layer, the stratum corneum, with product. But getting to the dermis, the inner layer, is very difficult. You would have to use a laser to drill channels to get there.”
In fact, Kellett says that when you put on moisturizer after a face spray, its efficacy is boosted. “You can increase permeability if the skin is wet.”