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What is the deal with Micellar Water? Should we use it and how?


Recently I was asked if I would write a post about micellar water and of course, your blog wishes are my blog commands! Micellar water isn't a professional product nor is it new so it's not something estheticians or trade publications are really talking about. Until brought to my attention, I admit, the marketing were not on my radar. But it is advertised everywhere and some of the claims are intriguing.

What is it?

Although it sounds quite fancy and high tech somehow, the truth is that micellar water is an old product having a new moment. In the simplest terms, it is tiny spheres of cleansing oil (micelles) suspended in softened water. The type of oil and the type of water vary among manufacturers from the very simple and inexpensive to mixtures of glacial water and purified rose oil at over $100. Some brands may also add antioxidants or other ingredients

What is all this doing for the skin?

Micellar water was introduced in the early 1900's to French woman as a cleansing alternative to using the very hard French tap water on their faces. It dissolves dirt and makeup and doesn't require rinsing so problem solved, right? Is it still as effective cleansing today's long wearing make up formulas? Probably not.

Should you use it?

In certain situations it could be beneficial. It's gentle so if you have sensitized skin or your skin is very dry, you may like it for light cleansing. For example as part of your morning routine when you're not wearing makeup. Because you don't sleep in makeup, right? If you regularly use facial wipes, (we shouldn't) substituting micellar water could be well worth a try as they tend to have fewer ingredients thus less residue of various chemicals or preservatives. Throw a bottle in your bag if you'll be camping, sailing or in any situation that will lack fresh water. I received a free sample that I have been using in the treatment room on cotton eye pads during skin analysis part of the facial. While protecting my client's eyes from the bright light the water/cleansing oil starts softening any eye makeup they may be wearing. But in truth, when it runs out, I have other products I would use instead. Know also that micellar water is not ideal for removing heavier makeup, waterproof mascara and probably certain types of sunscreen.

I believe a professional quality cleanser is the best choice for our skin and for reasons above micellar water can't totally replace your cleanser, but in the right circumstances, micellar water could find a home within your skincare routine.

Thanks for the question!