In the last couple of years, the beauty industry has gone micellar water crazy. Everyone from Garnier to La Mer have created bottles and beauty writers have written long articles celebrating the skincare step they say has saved their skin. So we asked our Skin Therapists what the deal is. Should you be paying money for bottled water for your face? And if so, what should you know before you pick one up?
What is micellar water?
Micellar water has been around for a long time. The rumor is that the water in Paris was so harsh that the French beauty industry had to come up with a way to wash their skin without interacting with it so they made micellar water! It's a soft water that has tiny bits of cleansing oil (micelles) suspended in it. These micelles work like magnets: attracting oil, dirt, and debris, making this fancy face water a go-to for taking makeup off. And, just like those makeup wipes we all love, it claims that you don't need to rinse post-use, perfect for the always-moving city citizens.
Wait, that sounds too good to be true. Is it?
While it is helpful when traveling, we don't think that micellar water should take the place of a cleanser. "Micellar water is a great first cleanse but it is not a replacement," our Skin Therapist, Melissa says. "You are still leaving ingredients on your face if you're not washing," Melissa says. "If you don't [cleanse after using], then you're filling your jawline with layers of debris that you're not getting rid of." However, we do think that micellar water is a great first in a two-step cleansing.
That makes sense. So what are the benefits of using it?
- Convenience. The biggest benefit of micellar water is convenience. It is helpful when packing your gym bag or throwing your bag through security at the airport. It's also good when you are in a space where water is difficult to find like camping (we're not saying micellar water should be high up on your camping pack list).
- A pre-cleanse. Micellar is a great way to pre-cleanse. All you do is put a bit on a cotton round and softly wipe your face down. Then you head right to your usual cleanser.
- A happy skin barrier. Cleansers can sometimes strip your moisture barrier while they're picking up debris. This is why it is important to use a moisturizer to help rehydrate your skin. Micellar water doesn't strip the skin. It just picks up the debris, leaving you just as hydrated as before. Seek options that are alcohol and fragrance-free, to help keep your skin from drying out.
- Doesn't leave oil behind. Makeup artists like our Skin Therapist, Lakeisha, are a big fan of micellar water because it can take off makeup (although not all foundations and mascaras!) without leaving the skin looking like it's gone through an oil slick. "I love using it for touch-ups when a makeup wipe would be much too big."
Great, I want it! Can I use it?
As with all products, ingredients are the key. There are tons of types of micellar waters so there will be something that fits your skin type. Speak with a Skin Therapist about what lines might work best for you. And remember, don't substitute micellar water for a good, classic cleanse. Sure, we all need convenience from time to time, but a great cleanse takes 60 seconds and is a great way to officially start and end your day.