At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Spray moisturizer is a liquid product designed to keep the skin hydrated. In this way, it is similar to other moisturizing products such as creams and lotions that form a protective barrier. The main difference is that a spray moisturizer provides an extremely light and thin application of the product to the skin. Sometimes these products are marketed as hydrating body mists aimed at women primarily, but anyone can use one.
Unlike lotions, creams or ointments, a spray moisturizer has a very high level of viscosity — that is, it flows well. This property is necessary for the product to be pumped out of the container through the spray nozzle. It also makes the spray moisturizer extremely easy to spread over the skin once it is applied. It can make the product a hassle if the container breaks or leaks, however, and the risk for spilling is higher.
The formulation for spray moisturizers varies by manufacturer, but all spray moisturizers contain humectants. A humectant is any substance that can draw water out of the air. The inclusion of humectants allows moisture to collect naturally on the skin where it can be absorbed. Two other common ingredients include essential oils and fragrances. People have to pay close attention to which oils and fragrances are used, because some people have allergies to certain plants or are extremely sensitive to scents.
One ingredient that should not be in a good spray moisturizer is alcohol. Alcohol is a common ingredient in skin toners and other cosmetics, but it is known to dry out the skin. This is the opposite effect desired from the product and can cause irritation. If dryness is severe, the skin can go into "overdrive" and produce more oil than normal to compensate, which can lead to acne.
A basic concept with moisturizers is that the thicker the product is, the less easily it is absorbed into the skin and the greater potential it has for clogging pores. Light spray moisturizers thus are ideal for people who have concerns about breakouts, or who do not like to feel greasy after the application of a moisturizer. Spray moisturizers also can be a good choice for people who live in very arid climate. The fact so many formulations exist means that consumers of all different skin types can find a spray moisturizer that is suitable.
People often use spray moisturizers on their faces because of the lightness of the product. Some ladies find these kinds of moisturizers perfect for providing a base for foundation and other makeup. These moisturizers are versatile, however, with many people using them as full body sprays. Some people even use them as leave-in hair conditioners to protect their hair, control frizz and add just a hint of shine.