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Is Micellar Water Worth the Hype?

Taking time to cleanse, double-cleanse, tone, and moisturize each day is great for your skin! However, all the products and time commitment may make skincare seem more like a chore than the daily refresh sesh it should be. Fortunately, there are products that do double duty in your routine. One trend that’s been making the rounds among the beauty-obsessed is micellar water: a gentle beauty water first popularized in France for its moisturizing properties. But is this hot trend really worth the hype? Read on for my take!

What It Is

The micellar water craze began in Paris as an alternative to rinse-off cleansers and makeup removers. The city is notorious for its super hard tap water, and many French skincare mavens blamed their parched skin on the harshness of their nightly rinse.

Micellar water actually isn’t water at all – it’s a liquid formula made of tiny micelles (oil droplets suspended in soft water) that attract makeup, dirt, and grime. Because it’s free of harsh foaming sulfates, micellar water is especially great for dry and sensitive skin types. Just apply to a cotton pad and swipe across skin. Be sure to repeat with additional soaked pads until there is no remaining dirt or makeup residue.

What It’s Not

While micellar water may replace your oil-based cleanser and makeup remover, don’t clean out your medicine cabinet just yet! While it cleanses gently, micellar water is not especially effective at removing heavy foundation or waterproof makeup, so make sure to use an additional makeup removing product and double-cleanse as necessary. You should also always use another cleanser after using micellar water. The reason is simple: because micellar water contains oil, it will leave some residue on your skin. While this isn’t a problem for normal skin types, it can be problematic for acne-prone skin. Plus, when residual oil is left on your skin, it prevents serums and creams from absorbing fully. Oil molecules are much larger than serum and water molecules; if you apply an oil-based product of any kind before your serum, those large lipid molecules will create a barrier that prevents your serum from absorbing.

Micellar water can simplify your routine, especially when traveling or exercising—but it’s important to realize that it’s essentially a gentle makeup remover/oil cleanser, not a miracle product! No matter where you use it, make sure to supplement with double-cleansing as needed and follow-up with a moisturizing serum.

Have you tried micellar water? Let me know about your experience in the comments!