Unless you’ve been living off the grid, you’ve probably heard of the latest facial cleansing craze, micellar water, and wondered what the heck it is. While some of us are just now hearing about this product, it has been around since the days when people weren’t dealing with traditional plumbing and the water in France was really harsh on the skin. With technology and fancy soaps, it fell by the wayside. But it has made a resurgence to become one of those on-set makeup artists, fashion show staples because it can remove an entire face of makeup without leaving oil behind like most makeup cleansers do.
What is Micellar Water?
To make it as simple as possible - we’ll describe like this: there is washing your face with basic soap and water, and then there’s cleansing with micellar water. According to board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. James Beckman, micellar water is made up of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in soft water. The idea is that micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, so they are able to draw out impurities without drying out the skin. Therefore, micellar water can be used as a facial wash, makeup remover and moisturizer all in one.
It looks like water, it has the viscosity of water but when you put it on your finger and feel, it has a different texture than water. It was initially marketed as the perfect beauty travel product because it comes in handy when vacationing, camping or visiting places where no running water is easily accessible but has since become more for everyday use.
What micellar water won’t do, however, is remove heavy foundations or stubborn eye makeup like waterproof mascara. Because of this - it cannot remove all of the impurities from the skin. At the end of the day (especially for women who wear makeup), the skin needs a deeper cleanse. The skin needs to be thoroughly cleansed for any moisturizing and treatments to actually work. Plus, if you have oilier skin, Beckman says that you may find that this product doesn’t clean as well as you’d like. He suggests sticking with a traditional facial cleanser that doesn’t contain soap yet still foams like Theraderm’s Cleansing Wash.
Micellar water is best suited for those who have drier skin or are in a pinch and want a multi-use product. Dr. Beckman warns that multipurpose products like this one are fine for short-term use but shouldn’t replace a skincare routine designed to promote younger, healthier-looking skin.