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Micellar Water: The Do-It-All Skin Care Ingredient

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Micellar water - Dr. Axe

It might look like plain old water, but micellar water is more than that, which is why it’s becoming a fan favorite in the cosmetic industry and can easily be incorporated into your natural skin care routine.

It’s used to remove dirt and makeup from the skin, serving as a gentle cleanser and toner. Plus, this multipurpose liquid is easy to use, affordable and tolerated well by people with all skin types.

If you want to declutter your skin care shelf and stick to just one product for cleaning, toning and hydrating your skin, take a look at micellar water.

What Is Micellar Water?

Micellar water is a liquid that’s made up of suspended micelles, which are tiny cleansing molecules. These micelles capture dirt and oil, ridding the skin of impurities without drying it out.

That’s exactly why micellar water is gaining popularity as a base for face washes, moisturizers and makeup removers.

The micelles act like magnets for the buildup on your face, including the presence of dirt, oil, makeup, sunscreen and more. While micellar water is an excellent tool for removing light makeup and buildup on the skin, you may need to use soap to remove heavy eye makeup or mascara, but in most cases, it’s a multipurpose product that cleanses and hydrates the skin while promoting healing.

Benefits

1. Removes Buildup

The tiny molecules in this water work to remove dirt, grime, makeup, sunscreen and any other toxins that are sitting on your skin by the end of the day. It helps avoid clogged pores, and it has a soothing, toning effect, too.

This is why micellar water is often used in double cleansing, a process that involves cleaning the face twice, once to remove buildup and the next to wash it all away.

2. Gentle on the Skin

Micellar water contains mild surfactants that form tiny structures that help pull dirt and debris from the skin. It’s effective without the use of alcohol or other harsh ingredients that are typically used to clean and tone the skin.

For this reason, micellar cleaning products are gentle on the skin and leave you with a softer, smoother complexion. Research shows that using less aggressive cleansers like micellar water also helps maintain skin barrier integrity.

People of all skin types can use micellar oil because of its gentle properties. There are multiple products available that are tailored for specific skin types, featuring additional ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E oil.

3. Won’t Dry Out Your Skin

Micellar water doesn’t contain alcohol, which is commonly used in toners and other skin care products. The small molecules remove trapped dirt and debris but don’t dry out your skin like some makeup removers may.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers compared the results of micellar cleansing water with standard face washes. They found that micellar water demonstrated an immediate increase in skin hydration, which persisted for four hours.

4. May Improve Skin Health

Micellar cleansing water has soothing and hydrating properties. It’s non-irritating and commonly contains glycerin compounds, which are hydrating and support healing.

Micelle structures also trap buildup on the surface of the skin that can cause breakouts and infections. For all of these reasons, micellar water helps improve skin health and appearance.

A study tested the efficacy of a skin care product made with micellar water, cream and serum for rosacea. The results showed that the treatment group experienced a significant reduction of 16 percent in skin redness compared to the control group.

On top of that, rosacea-associated symptoms were reduced by 57 percent, and quality of life markers for patients in the treatment group improved by 54 percent.

5. Easy to Use

Water with micelles is easy to use and cost-effective, too. It serves many purposes, working to remove makeup, cleanse the skin thoroughly and moisturize.

You don’t need a different product for each one of these benefits when you use micellar water.

Risks and Side Effects

Micellar cleansing water is certainly an excellent product for face cleansing, but it is very gentle and you may need to use an additional product, like a heavier soap or wipe, to remove dark makeup.

Some skin types may need additional hydration after using micellar water, so combining it with a natural serum may help lock in moisture for people with very dry skin.

Purchase micellar cleansing water from a reputable company that uses high-quality ingredients and lists them all on the label. If you experience skin irritation from a product, discontinue use.

How to Use

The best way to use micellar makeup is to use a clean cotton ball or wipe that’s soaked with the cleanser. Then rub it along your face, allowing the tiny molecules to capture the buildup, sebum and makeup on your skin.

You don’t have to rinse your face afterward, but you may notice that waterproof makeup needs to be removed with a gentle soap.

Micellar cleansing water can be useful and effective for all skin types, and there are different formulas sold in stores that are tailored to specific needs, so people with dry, sensitive or combination skin have options. Some micellar water products contain glycerin, vitamin E oil, algae extract, olive oil, aloe vera, and other ingredients that have hydrating and soothing properties.

You can also find micellar cleaning wipes that are made for adults and babies.

Conclusion

  • Micellar water is a liquid that’s made up of suspended micelles, which are tiny cleansing molecules. These micelles capture dirt and oil, ridding the skin of impurities without drying it out.
  • As such, micellar water benefits skin in several ways.
  • Micellar cleansing water is used to remove buildup and pollutants on the skin’s surface, prevent clogged pores, tone the skin and keep it hydrated.
  • It’s versatile and easy to use, which is why it’s gaining popularity in the cosmetic and skin care industry. It can be used alone or in combination with other products, and it’s generally wellltolerated for all skin types.

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