Today’s facial mist recipe was inspired by a recipe request and a cult favourite herb-spiked super-hydrating face spritz. Anuradha requested “a facial spritzer… something calming [and] refreshing,” and the product she linked to featured aloe vera and a selection of herbal extracts and humectants for all kinds of soothing, hydrating goodness, and it sounded both divine and utterly DIY-able!
Post updated July 2023.
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The bulk of it
Most of this formulation is water. The bulk of it is distilled water, but I’ve also included two ‘fancy’ waters: aloe vera juice and chamomile hydrosol. Aloe vera is moisturizing and soothing, while the chamomile hydrosol contributes its beautiful scent and helps with minor skin irritations.
You can absolutely choose a different hydrosol (or blend of hydrosols) for a different scent if desired. You can also replace the hydrosol with more distilled water for an unscented final product.
Propanediol and vegetable glycerin are fantastic humectants, though both at low amounts so your skin doesn’t feel sticky when you use it. Panthenol is amazeballs. From Lotion Crafter: “Studies have shown D-Panthenol promotes stimulation of epithelization, granulation, mitigation of itching and has an anti-inflammatory effect… Further, its moisturizing properties improve stratum corneum hydration, reducing transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin elasticity and softness.”
I’ve also made this formulation using Sodium Lactate as an alternative for the propanediol or glycerin, and that’s great, too.
I don’t recommend using hyaluronic acid unless you’ve got a very low molecular weight version that won’t thicken the formulation at all. Mist formulations need to be water-thin in order to mist, otherwise they’ll come out of your mister bottle more like a squirt from a Super Soaker than a relaxing, refreshing mist. I’ve found even 0.2% low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is enough to thicken a formulation to a no-longer-mist-able viscosity, so tread carefully if you’re trying to add hyaluronic acid.
I’ve made this formulation with several different botanical extracts. I chose calendula extract when I first share this formulation for its anti-inflammatory properties, and I went with oat extract in 2023 for skin-soothing goodness. If you have some other herbal extracts you could definitely include them at 0.5% each—just take care not to go overboard as too much of much of anything can give a mist like this a tacky after feel.
You also need to be certain any extracts you choose are water soluble so they dissolve. Check the INCI for your extract; it should have a base of something like glycerin or propanediol rather than something like Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT/Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride).
Keep it stable
I’ve used Liquid Germall™ Plus to preserve this formulation as it works well, is very water soluble, and has a wide effective pH range.
If you wish to use a different preservative, it must be soluble in this almost entirely water formulation. This means preservatives based around ingredients like phenoxyethanol (Optiphen, Optiphen Plus, etc.) or benzyl alcohol (Geogard ECT, Euxyl™ k 903, etc.) will not work.
The end product is softly scented and heavy on the soothing-hydrating-anti-inflammatory goodness. It works well towards the end of your skin care routine before any heavier things, and throughout the day to refresh your dewy glow. Enjoy!
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Hydrating Aloe Facial Mist
16.8g | 56% distilled water
6g | 20% aloe vera juice
6g | 20% chamomile hydrosol
0.3g | 1% Propanediol 1,3 (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 1% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 1% panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
0.15g | 0.5% calendula extract
0.15g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
Once the solution is uniform, transfer it to a 30mL (1 fl oz) bottle with a mister top. You’re done!
To use, mist your face whenever it’s feeling dry.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this facial mist contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 30g.
- You can use a different hydrosol if you prefer; I’d recommend sticking with something in the soothing category like lavender
- Sodium lactate or sodium PCA will work in place of vegetable glycerine, propanediol 1,3, and/or panthenol
- If you have a concentrated aloe vera powder (100x or 200x, that sort of thing), I recommend making an aloe vera stock with it for recipes like this. For 100x that would be 1% 100x aloe vera powder, 0.5% liquid germall plus, and water to 100%. For 200x powder you’d need 0.5% 200x aloe vera powder, 0.5% liquid germall plus, and water to 100%.