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How To Use Micellar Water in Your Skincare Routine
We’ve all heard the praise for micellar water, but how exactly does it work? What are its effects on the skin and is it a good enough substitute for a facial wash?
If these are questions you’ve asked yourself, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we discuss the benefits of using micellar water, its various functions, and how you can find the right one for your skin type. Let’s get into it!
What is Micellar water and how does it work?
Micellar water is a water-based cleansing product that contains tiny micelles or oil molecules. These little molecules act as magnets to softly attract dirt, grime, and makeup without stripping the skin’s natural oils.
What makes micellar water unique is that it doesn’t require rinsing, making it perfect for long nights out or going to the gym. It’s also a pretty effective makeup remover, one that doesn’t require any harsh motions to get the residue off.
The effect of Micellar Water on your face
Because micellar water isn’t a foaming wash, it can remove impurities without drying out your skin. Often, wash-off cleansers have this “tightening” effect that can make you feel clean, but that actually harms your skin in the long run. These cleansers can leave your pH balance off and remove the natural oils that protect our barrier.
Micellar water, on the other hand, is a gentle cleansing option that keeps your skin hydrated while lifting dirt, dust, oil, and makeup residue.
Is micellar water good for skin?
Micellar water has been touted as a must-have skincare product by dermatologists, aestheticians, and beauty enthusiasts. There are a number of reasons for this that we’ve mentioned above, but micellar water has plenty of benefits, including:
- Promotes skin hydration
- Keeps skin moisturized after cleansing
- Ideal for all skin types
- Great for freshening up between workouts
- Can be used as a makeup remover
- Lightweight formula
Micellar water can be gentle on the skin — depending on the ingredients
Micellar water is one of the few cleansers that work well for almost any skin type. The key ingredients are mild surfactants, which are found in soaps and cleansers. Don’t be alarmed, though: these surfactants are mild enough to stay on our skin and are nothing to be afraid of. Lab Muffin Beauty Science explains how surfactants are everywhere, including inside our bodies, and why they’re not as bad as many make them seem.
Those of you with sensitive skin, whether it’s dry or acne-prone, will know the struggle of having to test products before committing to them. The same is true for micellar water because even though it’s a generally well-loved beauty staple, our genetics are so varied that some might be allergic to its ingredients.
Plus, not all micellar water products are created equal — some of them can be more irritating than others! This is just to note that if you have extra sensitive skin, it’s still wise to check the ingredients of any product before buying them.
With that said, let’s get into the good stuff. In the next section, we go over the multiple ways you can incorporate micellar water into your routine, from cleansing to makeup removal.
How to Add Micellar Water to Your Skin Care Routine
From removing makeup to keeping you fresh after a workout, here are five ways you can incorporate micellar water into your daily life.
1. As a Cleanser
Using micellar water as a cleanser can help remove excess sebum and dissolve impurities without drying out your skin. To use micellar water as a cleanser, take a cotton ball or cotton pad and gently swipe it across your face. No rinsing is required here — you can go ahead with the next step in your skincare routine after cleansing!
You can use micellar water if you have skin that gets easily irritated by a strong face wash. If you’re not quite sure about the face cleanser you’re currently using, check out our guide to the different types and how often you should be washing.
2. As a Makeup Remover
What happens if you wear heavy makeup? Or you’re out and about and need to retouch? Use micellar water. One of the biggest benefits of micellar water is that it removes makeup without rubbing, tugging, or pulling at your skin (I’m looking at you, cleansing wipes).
Because micellar cleansing water has tiny oil-attracting molecules, it can delicately lift the oil and grease on our skin, removing makeup in just a few seconds. You can use a soft cloth or a cotton ball to gently dab micellar water onto the makeup you want to remove and wait for the micellar water to work its magic! Make sure you don’t try any harsh rubbing as this can not only irritate your skin, but make the makeup spread even more.
You can also use micellar water to clean up your eye makeup without rubbing or smudging it. Simply take an ample amount of the micellar water with your cotton pad and press it into your eyes. Wait a few seconds and it should be able to remove makeup! Any residue left should be taken care of with a repeat of the aforementioned steps.
3. When Double Cleansing
Double cleansing is when you use micellar water or a different oil-based cleanser before a facial wash in order to fully cleanse the skin and rid it of stubborn debris, dirt, and other impurities.
Performing a double cleanse helps in many scenarios: removing heavy face makeup, removing excess oil, and to some extent, clearing clogged pores. This type of cleanse is often recommended for those with excessively oily skin or anyone who wears makeup daily.
4. For Sweaty Days
When you’re sweating it out at the gym or going for a run outside, you don’t always have access to or time to head to the restroom. Keeping micellar water in your bag can help you freshen up in between sets so that the sweat, oil, and product on your face doesn’t pile up.
5. Between Sunscreen Applications
Some skincare products need reapplication, and sunscreen is the most common. When you’re out and about, sweating under the sun can leave you and your skin feeling icky. Sweat also traps dirt and other environmental pollutants, which can lead to clogged skin pores.
Using a face wash in the middle of the day generally isn’t recommended, and at times it can even be inconvenient. That’s where micellar water comes in. Before you reapply that much-needed SPF, use super gentle micellar cleansing water to remove any buildup on your skin. That way, the sunscreen won’t simply sit on top of a layer of dirt.
Who should use Micellar Cleansing Water?
Micellar water is for everyone! Whether you want to use it as a makeup remover, face wash substitute, or thorough cleanse partner, micellar water benefits almost any skin type from normal skin to dry skin — more on that in a bit.
That said, micellar water has particularly high sensitive skin compatibility as it’s fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and suitable for everyday use. We also recommend using micellar water if you have particularly oily skin and want to try double cleansing, or if you want to remove makeup safely without ruining your skin’s moisture barrier.
How To Find The Best Micellar Water For You
Having the right cleanser is a crucial part of any skin care regimen, but knowing which products are good for whom can be so tricky. To help you out, we’ve summarized the best micellar water products for the different skin types:
For Oily Skin
Although they’re pretty mild, micellar waters are actually ideal for oily complexions as they keep the skin barrier healthy and hydrated, minimizing the risk of clogged skin pores.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin and are considering adding micellar water to your skincare routine, then be on the lookout for ones that have a “mattifying” or “oil-control” effect. The Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 is a great example.
For Dry/Dull Skin
Dry and dull skin can also benefit from having micellar water in their skin care regimen. The product has hydrating properties, so there’s very little chance of getting irritated skin.
Products with an emphasis on moisturizing, such as the CeraVe Hydrating Micellar Water, are the perfect option for those of us who are terrified of that tight feeling most harsh cleansers leave. This time, we can rest easy knowing the product removes impurities while still keeping our skin supple.
For Combination Skin
Another great thing about micellar water is that it’s heaven-sent for combination skin. Whether your goal is to remove heavy makeup, clean your face without drying it out, or remove sebum in your T-zone, micellar water can do it all — you won’t even need to switch products for one skincare step, which is an unfortunate side effect of having combination skin.
We hope this blog has answered some of your questions surrounding micellar water and how it’s used. For more beauty, makeup, and hair care articles, be sure to check out our website!
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.