Home Makeup 5 Best Alcohol-Free Setting Sprays

5 Best Alcohol-Free Setting Sprays

by Gabbi

It’s hard to imagine a time when we’d leave the house knowing our makeup wasn’t entirely smudge-proof. With sweat, heat, and time taking a toll on your #MOTD as soon as you leave the house, it’s no wonder why people everywhere are willing to drop major bucks on a high-quality setting spray.

If you’re anything like us, you probably drench your face in mist before you consider your makeup finished, but have you ever stopped to wonder if that’s taking a toll on your skin? Harsh chemicals like alcohol are common ingredients in most finishing sprays. This could wreak havoc on even the most resilient skin types.

With that in mind, maybe it’s time to make a switch to an alcohol-free formula. Alcohol, though popular, is not a necessary ingredient in setting sprays.

So, what are the best alcohol-free setting sprays? An effective, alcohol-free setting spray should have a fine mist, strong last power, and your desired finish – all things that a standard spray should do!

Finding alcohol-free formulas may be harder than you think, so we took some time to round up our top picks for you to choose from. Let’s go!

Features Of An Alcohol-Free Setting Spray

Fine Mist

There’s nothing worse than an aggressive setting spray. Instead of feeling like a refreshing mist, the formula comes out in an aggressive shower of droplets that can literally have you drenched. Definitely no bueno! 

Look for a setting spray that has a gentle, misting nozzle. Not only do these feel less abrasive on the skin, but they’ll be able to cover your face in an even, controlled spray. The smaller droplet size can also reach the crevices of your face that need the most setting (marionette lines, creases of the eye).

Lasting Power

Obviously, a setting spray wouldn’t be a setting spray if it couldn’t effectively set your look. There are a lot of different formulas out there that promise a lasting finish, but leave your makeup looking separated and oily after just a couple of hours.

There are few things more aggravating to the makeup addict than seeing their masterpiece go to waste, so taking the time to find a formula that actually does what’s promised is of utmost importance.

Desired Finish

Setting sprays keep your look locked in all day, but they don’t do it all in the same way! Depending on the products you use and what kind of look you’re going for, you could choose between three different types of finishes:

Dewy Finish

This type of setting spray is fantastic during the summertime. A mist that gives you a dewy finish will keep your makeup in place while keeping your skin looking extra hydrated and glowy. This is perfect for makeup looks that are heavy on highlighter and cream products. 

Matte Finish

While this finish was mostly popular in the mid-2010s, there are still a ton of looks floating around today that look better with that matte set, and some people find that matte sprays help balance the appearance of oily skin.

We find that matte setting sprays hold the most lasting power in their formula, and pair best with full-coverage beats and oily skin types.

Natural Finish

Beauty enthusiasts can attest that a natural finish has always been in style. This type of setting spray leans towards neither dewy nor matte, but melts your makeup down and gives it a set that looks like your skin. Perfect for a thinner makeup application and a cream-based application.

Best Alcohol-Free Setting Sprays

RankProductKeya Features
1.Honest Beauty Save Face Setting SprayUV/Blue light protection, vegan, oil-free
2.Neutrogena Radiant Setting SprayAntioxidants/peptides, quick-dry, radiant
3.Cover FX Mattifying Setting SprayClay, tree bark, oily-skin friendly
4.Valjean Labs Matte Setting SprayKaolin, vitamin E, cruelty-free
5.Elf+ Glow Dewy MistLuminous, coconut water, hyaluronic acid

1. Honest Beauty Save Face Setting Spray

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Whether you’re staying indoors or basking under the sun, keeping your skin well protected should be a top priority.

Not only does this setting spray from honest beauty keep your makeup in place all day and all night, but it also defends against UV radiation from the sun and blue light from your laptop or phone. 

Formulated with all-natural ingredients and boasting a super clean formula, this setting spray is compatible with all skin types, gracing you with a natural finish.

The secret behind their formula is the addition of seawater and sugar, which enrich the skin with nutrients while also forming a physical barrier between your makeup and the elements. 

And, just in case you were wondering, this formula is cruelty-free and completely vegan, making it the most environmentally friendly setting spray on this list. Happy Earth, happy skin – it’s truly a win/win!

2. Neutrogena Radiant Setting Spray

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If keeping your skin nurtured is of importance, find a setting spray formula that doubles as skincare in mist form!

This Neutrogena setting spray has a slew of skin-friendly ingredients that’ll have your skin feeling healthier use after use. 

A brand known for its commitment to skin-soothing ingredients, Neutrogena formulated a setting spray that keeps makeup in place while also boosting your natural radiance.

Enriched with polypeptides and antioxidants, this mist will strengthen your natural moisture barrier and improve collagen production, leaving you with plump, healthy-looking skin every single time.

This setting spray has a fine mist and a natural finish that’s based on hydrating your skin. For dry skin types, you can use this spray as a primer to give your skin an extra layer of hydration before you apply your makeup. 

3. Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray

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There’s no surprise that Cover FX formulated a setting spray made for locking matte styles in place!

It’s typical for matte setting sprays to feel drying or heavy on the skin, but you don’t have to sit in discomfort all day for your makeup’s sake! This alcohol-free spray will keep all of your hard work in place, while also sitting weightlessly on your skin. 

The staying power of this spray is all thanks to naturally-derived ingredients like Kaolin Clay, which will absorb all the excess oil from your makeup and face, and African Tree Bark, an ingredient that will blur the look of texture and effectively reduce shine. 

Even coverage is guaranteed with their super-fine nozzle, and you won’t have to worry about your makeup separating or fading from either the heat of the sun or from your body’s natural sweat. 

4. Valjean Labs Matte Setting Spray

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Another matte option is this setting spray from Valjean Labs. This spray also features the mattifying powers of Kaolin Clay, but with the added benefits of vitamin E to keep your skin enriched.

This may seem like an oxymoron, but somehow, Valjean Labs has formulated a spray that’s both mattifying and hydrating to the skin- making it perfect for sensitive skin types.

Those with oily skin types may feel hesitant about trying a spray that has so many hydrating ingredients, but you can rest assured that your makeup will stay matte all night long (but your skin will be nice and nurtured)!

Unlike other setting sprays that sit on top of your face, this spray penetrates deep to melt each layer of your makeup together. Due to its compact size and moisturizing properties, we recommend keeping this spray with you t to refresh your look and your skin all night!

5. Elf+ Glow Dewy Mist

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We have loved watching e.l.f. blossom into the cosmetic mogul it has today!

From one-dollar brushes and uber-affordable makeup, this brand has grown to formulate products like this setting spray (while still keeping that accessible price point!)

For super dry skin types, it’s viable to find a setting spray that’s as nurturing as it is long-lasting.

Cultivating the hydrating properties of coconut water and argan oil, the Elf+ Glow Dewy Mist is a beautiful way to lock your natural makeup look in place while enhancing your skin’s natural glow.

Perhaps our favorite ingredient in this product is hyaluronic acid, which helps draw and lock moisture into your skin throughout the day.

With the amount of healthy, good-for-you ingredients in this product, it’s almost crazy to believe it’s less than $10, but if there’s anything you can count on e.l.f. for, it’s a trustworthy formula that makes you, and your wallet, happy!

Related Questions

Is setting spray necessary?

Setting spray is absolutely recommended, but it’s not a necessary part of your makeup routine! Some people find that they prefer setting their look with a powder, or that they’re partial to how their makeup dries down on its own! 

Play around with your routine and see which works best for you. We think that setting sprays are a great asset during hot weather or long nights out, but it all comes down to your personal preference.

When should I use a setting spray?

Traditionally, a setting spray will be the final part of your makeup routine. However, using it throughout your makeup routine will ensure that your look stays in place all day and all night. It’s a trick that celebrity makeup artists do to melt each layer of makeup into one another.

To try this out on your own, simply do a light misting of spray in between each part of your routine (base, eyes, lips, etc). On the final mist, lightly press your look in place with a damp beauty sponge. Voilà! A look that won’t budge no matter what!

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