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Micellar water is touted over and over again for its ability to act as both a makeup remover and a facial cleanser. But are micellar cleansing waters too good to be true, or do they live up to the hype? The thing is, although micellar water looks similar to toners and essences, it’s actually quite different. So, while you might think you know everything there is to know about micellar water, it could be useful to brush up on what micellar water actually is. Not only that, but you’ll want to learn how to use micellar water (there’s far more than one way!) and how to pick the best micellar water for your skin type. Here, we’re answering “what is micellar water”, making product recommendations, and teaching you how to use them.
To keep things simple, micellar water is a cleansing liquid that doesn’t require any rinsing, meaning you can complete your skin care routine without running water. (Here’s Your Sink-less Skin Care Routine.) This makes it a great option for when you’re traveling, at the gym, or looking for a way to remove your makeup from the comfort of your own bed.
So, how does micellar water work? It’s powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—that act like a magnet to help lift dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from the skin. And while you may have only heard about micellar water recently, it turns out it has been used by Parisians since way back. You can probably see why now that you know a little more about what micellar water does!
The good news is, just about anyone can use micellar water, as there are formulas available for different skin types (more on finding your match next!). Since you don’t have to be near a sink to use micellar water, it can be a convenient cleansing option for anyone who’s always on the go, regardless of skin type.
Before you can go about using micellar water, you’ve got to find the best one for your skin type, as different formulas can help address different issues and skin care concerns. Choose from the following three options—then follow our advice for cleansing with micellar water. Each of the following micellar cleansing waters share the same basic function, helping to remove makeup and clean dirt and impurities from the surface of your skin.
If you often wear waterproof makeup...try the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, which intensely purifies skin. Normal makeup remover can require harsh rubbing of the eye area to get completely clean, especially if you wear waterproof makeup, which can be rough on your skin. Micellar water is gentle and this formula cleans off even the most stubborn eye makeup in just one easy step.
If you have dry skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser – Normal to Dry Skin, which hydrates, soothes, and leaves skin feeling refreshed without any dryness. Those with dry skin know how important it is to find a cleanser that won’t leave your complexion totally dried out—and this one is your answer.
If you have oily skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser – Normal to Oily Skin, which purifies and mattifies oily skin without stripping it completely. Greasy skin, be gone!
Once you’ve found the best micellar water for your skin type, it’s time to think about how you’re going to use this nifty no-rinse facial cleanser. We’ve got six ideas for you:
Let’s be real: Who has the time (or energy!) to dedicate themselves to a super-lengthy skin care routine when they wake up? The good news is that you can cleanse without putting in much effort by using a micellar water. To do so, saturate a cotton pad with the micellar water of your choice, then wipe the pad across your skin. It’s that simple! Just don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer.
Sleeping in your makeup? That’d be a major skin care no-no. When you do that, your makeup can mix with the dirt and oils that have built up on the surface of your skin throughout the day—and this can lead to clogged pores, which in turn can lead to breakouts. This is why it’s super important to always, always remove your makeup before bed. Make things simple by keeping a bottle of micellar water near your bed to remove makeup even when you’re exhausted. After saturating a cotton round with micellar water, simply hold the pad over closed eyes for a few seconds for easy, quick eye makeup removal.
Sometimes, you may not want to remove a full face of makeup. In fact, maybe you just want to freshen up your eye makeup for a night out. Or, perhaps you’re trying your hand at a cat eye and need to start from scratch, without taking off the rest of your face makeup. To do this, you’ll need a bit more control than applying micellar water to a cotton pad and then to your skin allows for. To target specific areas, use a cotton swab instead. Applied to a cotton swab, micellar water can remove and help fine-tune makeup mistakes that may occur when applying eyeliner, mascara, or even lipstick.
Want a deeper clean? Double cleansing involves first cleansing with a no-rinse cleansing option like micellar water, then following up with a rinse-off cleanser. Your micellar water will remove makeup from the surface of your skin while your second cleanser will be responsible for getting rid of any remaining impurities.
Since micellar water doesn’t require you to be anywhere near a sink to use it, it makes a great gym bag pick. Stash one in your tote so that you can cleanse after a sweat sesh.
We all know how important it is to apply SPF regularly and re-apply it often when spending time outdoors. If you’ve done your due diligence though, you know that layering product on top of more product can result in future breakouts (especially when you inevitably sweat in between application sessions). To prevent this, simply swipe some micellar water over areas you need to re-apply your sunscreen. This will give you a clean slate, which is really how your SPF is meant to be applied.
Despite the fact that micellar water has a number of uses, it won’t be able to serve as the entirety of your regimen. To create a complete skin care routine that includes micellar water, you’ll want to tack on the following three steps after cleansing.
Have a specific complexion concern to address? In that case, it sounds like you need a serum. Choose one of the two serums below to apply directly after cleansing.
If you have dull skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum. This lightweight yet high potency 10% pure vitamin C serum restores healthy radiance, reduces hyperpigmentation, and improves clarity and uneven tone. The facial serum effortlessly glides onto skin, leaving it with a velvety soft feel and powerfully radiant look.
If you have wrinkles...try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This intensive hydrating 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid serum helps replenish moisture for plumped, youthfully supple skin with bounce. The lightweight formula absorbs quickly with no tacky feel or residue and immediately, hydration is deeply replenished and skin looks smoother. After only two weeks of use, wrinkles appear visibly reduced.
Cleansing and moisturizing go together like mac & cheese—or any other famous duos you can think of. As such, you’ll want to be sure to apply a moisturizer, too. Just as you’d choose a micellar water formulated for your specific skin type, you should pick a moisturizer that suits your skin’s needs. Consider pairing a micellar water with a water-based moisturizer, like any of the following:
If you have oily skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal to Oily Skin. When you have normal or oily skin, external factors like pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleansing can damage your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially causing a loss of moisture. This effect can be combatted with the help of a moisturizer. This one, which is formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid, helps remove the appearance of excess sebum for a fresh feel and leaves skin looking mattified.
If you have dry skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal to Dry Skin. When it comes to normal to dry skin, the same external factors that affect oily skin—pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleansing—can also damage dry surface skin’s moisture barrier. That loss of moisture could cause your skin to become drier and lead to your complexion looking dull, necessitating a good face cream or lotion. This moisturizer is formulated with aloe water and hyaluronic acid, enveloping your skin with moisture and improving your radiance.
If you have extra dry skin…try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin. Extra dry skin can have a very fragile moisture barrier—and those external factors we’ve told you about may damage that barrier. This can cause your skin to lose its ability to retain moisture, leading to your complexion feeling tight and uncomfortable. That’s where this moisturizer comes in. Formulated with aloe water and hyaluronic acid, it leaves skin feeling comforted, soothed, and nourished with moisture.
Micellar water can be classified as a miracle worker—a fact you’ll agree with if you’ve ever used one to remove extremely stubborn eye makeup—but it still doesn’t negate your need for sunscreen. To protect your skin, your routine should always end with applying SPF. Follow the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines and use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 15 every day. Additionally, you can take other protection measures, like wearing a broad-brimmed hat and avoiding the sun during peak hours (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Next: 5 Facial Cleanser Dos and Don’ts