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Is Micellar Water Good For Your Skin?

By The Nava Team

October 28, 2021

If you haven't yet heard about micellar water (pronounced my-sell-er), put that face wipe down and get ready to save the planet and give your skin some love. 

Just as effective as face wipes, but much friendlier to your face and the planet, this French cleansing water is one of the biggest products to hit the beauty scene in recent years. 

The beauty industry has gone crazy for micellar water and for good reason. It's great for removing the most stubborn waterproof mascara and tackles foundation like a boss. But what exactly is micellar water, and most importantly, is it good for your skin? 

Read on to discover all you need to know about this cleansing superstar and its ingredients, uses, and benefits.

What Exactly is Micellar Water?

Micellar water is a lightweight facial cleanser that combines purified water, hydrating ingredients, and a low concentration of mild surfactants. The surfactant molecules group together naturally to form tiny spheres known as micelles. As you swipe a cotton ball loaded with micellar water across your skin, make-up, dirt and impurities are attracted to the cleanser and lifted from the skin. Micellar water formulas are light and gentle and don't need to be rinsed away. However, if your skin is prone to breakouts, you may need to use a deep-cleanser as the residue can block pores. 

Why is Micellar Water Different from Regular Cleanser?

If you've always used traditional cleansing wipes and similar, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about with micellar water. 

Well, micellar water isn't designed to replace those products, but rather to complement them. Think of it as another level to your cleansing routine. 

Micellar water doesn't clean deep down into the pores like a lotion or cream. Instead, it's effective at whisking away stubborn make-up or for when you need a really quick cleanse. There's a reason you'll find gallons of micellar water backstage at fashion shows where quick changes are of the essence. Micellar water in the mornings as a pre-cleanse before applying your regular deep-cleansing product is a great way to keep skin clean and clear. 

Banish Makeup in a Flash

If you love waterproof makeup but hate scrubbing at your skin to remove it before you go to bed, micellar water could be your savior. It's great at removing even the toughest mascara and melts it cleanly off the skin without irritation for most people. If you have dry skin, you're in luck too as these cleansers contain no drying alcohol and can actually hydrate the skin. 

Can I Use Micellar Water on My Skin?

Another plus of micellar water is that it’s a universally friendly product. It comes in a wide range of formulas, including those specially made for sensitive, dry, and combination skin. If you have skin that’s prone to breakouts or acne, some formulas can block the pores, so look out for versions that are specially made for problem skin. Some products also contain antibacterial agents to help keep your skin free from pimples and blemishes. 

The Pros and Cons of Micellar Water

As with any skincare product, micellar has pros and cons. Let's start with the pros. 

The Pros:

  • It's perfect for use in the morning and can give an excellent all-over cleanse to remove general impurities, makeup, and skincare residue from the night before. It's best used as part of a double cleanse routine (micellar water followed by a cream or foam cleanser) in the morning and evening. It's also ideal if you have days when you don't shower first thing in the morning but want to cleanse your face. If you usually take cleansing face wipes with you to work or the gym, look out for travel-sized bottles of micellar water and pop in a small makeup purse along with some cotton pads. 
  • If you don't have time to commit to a double cleanse, a quick swipe with micellar water is better than using no cleanser at all. Tip: It's great for instantly removing those panda eyes when you've gone to bed in your makeup after a night out. 
  • Micellar water is also good for tidying up your makeup or when you need to fix a mistake. Simply apply a little micellar water to a Q-tip and use it to correct eyeliner, shadow or lipstick mistakes.
  • It's gentle on your skin. Ingredients vary from product to product but generally micellar water is one of the best non-drying and non-irritating cleansers you can buy. A good one will leave the skin feeling clean and soft without obvious residue.
  • Finally, micellar water is great for when you want to retouch your face makeup without ruining your eye makeup. Simply swipe it all over your face to remove your foundation and then reapply without smearing your eyeshadow, liner and mascara. 

The Cons:

  • If you're wearing a full face of make-up (foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, liner, lipstick, etc.), you may find that micellar water doesn't do the best job in removing every trace. If you wear waterproof eyeliner and mascara, you may need to choose a micellar product that is specially formulated for waterproof makeup. 
  • You need to use it with cotton pads or a cloth. Compared to face wipes, this adds an extra expense to your skincare routine. There are micellar wipes available, but the ingredients are often different, and just like regular face wipes, they aren't great for the environment. 

The Lowdown: Is Micellar Water Good For the Skin?

Micellar water is a great cleanser for all skin types. It's not only gentle on the skin but also highly effective at removing makeup, dirt, oil and other impurities. It may not be as good at deep cleansing as a foam or cream cleanser but will give a good 'visible' cleanse in just a few seconds. 

There is also no alcohol in micellar water which is great news for those with dry skin. In fact, because micellar water contains glycerin in most cases, it helps to promote hydration while reducing inflammation and irritation. As micellar water contains no irritating ingredients, it's also beneficial for those with sensitive skin or who suffer from conditions like rosacea.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a fast and effective way to remove makeup and impurities and want to banish the face wipe from your routine, micellar water may be the answer. Not only can this smart blend remove makeup in a flash, it also promotes skin hydration and keeps skin clear and clean. It's portable, convenient and suitable for all skin types. 

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Disclaimer : This article is not intended as medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions. Dial 911 in case of a medical emergency.