What the Heck is Micellar Water?
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
I've done a lot of experimenting with beauty products and I've learned there are plenty of skincare labels out there that don't live up to their expectations. They don't clear up your zits while you sleep, or make your under-eye bags disappear in a matter of a minutes or years younger by the end of the week. So when I was first introduced to micellar water, which is meant to be the magical, no-rinse cure-all that could replace your cleanser and moisturizer in a single step, I had a bit of skepticism. Despite the fact that models swear by the French pharmacie staple and nearly every makeup artist totes a bottle in his or her kit, to me, it sounded like a lazy girl's solution to makeup removal (what do you mean you don't have to rinse it off?).
It also sounded like a beauty recipe for a breakout. Fast-forward a month later, and I've officially ditched my face wash and cream in favor of micellar water!
Turns out micellar water has been around for over a hundred years, first gaining momentum in France, where it was designed to help Parisians deal with the region's infamously harsh water supply.
The formula is made of micelles, which are tiny oil molecules suspended in soft water. "The technology of it is actually quite old, dating back from research at the University of Bristol in 1913," says dermatologist and Simple skincare expert Dr. Debra Luftman. "Micelles are attracted to dirt, grime, and oil, and they draw out impurities without drying out your skin," she explains. Rather than containing a foamy solution that strips your skin and leaves behind harsh chemicals, micelles cling on to the dirt and makeup on your skin and dissolve them while leaving behind a glowy, hydrated finish.
This all means that even after my extensive nighttime routine of makeup remover wipes, double cleansing, exfoliation, and toner, micellar water still picks up residue that none of my other products could. It's amazing! I've challenged it so many times. I've washed, showered, etc etc and it still finds dirt and gunk! Magic I tell you!
Unlike a traditional pre-soaked makeup remover wipe, it's designed to be swept away with a completely clean cotton pad, so it doesn't just smear your makeup around your face like those wipes can do. And unlike toner, the solution doesn't contain alcohol and never stings, meaning you can use it around the sensitive eye area.
"Considering the fact that it requires absolutely no rinsing and is suited for all skin types—especially super dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin—the water is a serious game changer," says Dr. Luftman. "It's great for travel when you don't have access to your full toiletry bag, too," she adds.
The only makeup that challenges micellar water is waterproof eye makeup. "You might still need a separate eye makeup remover, especially for the waterproof kind," Dr. Luftman advises), it's streamlined things for sure. I've certainly pared down the use of multiple products. And best of all? My skin's never looked better.
I am now making a few varieties in my Botanical Delights line. Check it out with the link below!