Micellar Water: What is it, Why, and How to Use It?

Micellar water, what it is for, and whether it is necessary to wash off its remnants with ordinary water after use.

What is Micellar Water?

Micellar water is a cosmetic product that consists of surface-active substances (surfactants). Tiny particles of surfactants – micelles – are responsible for removing dead skin particles, dirt, oil, and makeup from the face. 

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They are two-layer spheres: the outer layer attracts water-soluble components, and the inner one repels water while attracting fat-soluble components. As a result of this structure, micelles attract impurities and cosmetics particles, which are then easily removed from the skin surface.

Many confuse micellar water with tonic, but they have different compositions, properties, and functions. If the first remedy cleans the skin, the second one tones it.

The first solutions based on micelles, discovered by scientists at the University of Bristol in 1913, were intended to care for children’s skin and fight against eczema or acne. Only in 1995, the pharmacist Jean-Noel Torel finalized the formula and offered his innovative remedy as an alternative to “hard” tap water.

What is Micellar Water For?

Skin Cleansing

Surfactants help in this remedy. By origin, surfactants are natural (for example, based on coconut oil), chemical (polyethylene glycol), or synthetic (poloxamers).

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Skin Hydration

The floral water and vegetable glycerin included in the composition contributes to additional hydration.

Makeup Removal

It is enough to hold a cotton pad soaked in micellar water on the skin for a few seconds, as dirt and makeup will remain on it. The main thing is not to forget to wash off the remnants of the product with warm water.

Composition of Micellar Water

Micellar Water Contains:

  1. Water – to moisturize and restore the skin;
  2. Hydrolases – an analog of flower water that promotes hydration;
  3. Surfactants – tensides, glucosides, poloxamers, or polyethylene Glycol, responsible for cleansing;
  4. Vegetable glycerin for additional skin hydration.
  5. Manufacturers add components to micellar water, such as Essential oil hydrosols, plant extracts, minerals and vitamins, and Flavors. It is these additives that can cause an individual allergic reaction.

You should not buy micellar water containing soap or alcohol, which will dry the skin and damage its protective barrier.

How to Use Micellar Water

Moisten a cotton pad with a small amount of product. Otherwise, the micellar water will be more challenging to remove from the face, and this will not affect the quality of the result.

Gently Wipe your Face

To remove eye makeup, lightly press a cotton pad against your eyelid and swipe from the inner corner of your eye to the outer.

Rinse off any remaining product with warm water.

Do I Need to Rinse Off Micellar Water?

This question causes a lot of controversies. On the one hand, the labels indicate that micellar water does not need to be washed off. 

However, this cosmetic product is often used in the evening to remove makeup and immediately cleanse the skin. If you do not wash your face after using micellar water, micellar residues with tiny dirt particles can clog pores and cause acne. Not washing your face after using micellar water carries other risks.

Possible Risks of Using Micellar Water

May Cause Dryness and Irritation

Products with a high – more than 20% content of PEG (polyethylene glycol emulsifier) ​​can compromise the skin’s protective barriers.

May Lead to Acne

If micellar water is not washed off after make-up removal, tiny particles of dirt and micelles will remain on the skin. Accumulating the pores can cause acne.

May Cause Allergies

Essential oils or fragrances in micellar water can lead to allergies. If you know about your predisposition to individual intolerance to some products, carefully read the product’s composition.

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