If you are a makeup maven or have just recently taken a stroll down your local drugstore cosmetic aisle, chances are you have seen a strange little bottle called micellar water. Recently, American beauty brands have created their own line of this magical “water” but it is something French women have sworn by for generations.
Micellar water first gained momentum in France where it was designed to help Parisians deal with the infamously harsh water. In France, women had to find a way to effectively wash their face without using water that contained heavy metals like iron, copper, zinc, and nickel. This type of water also contains dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium. While both of those minerals are great for building strong bones, not so much for your skin. Using hard water to wash your face can cause some major issues for your skin. The minerals in the water make it hard for water to lather with soap, so instead of getting a nice clean, you are clogging your pores with the scummy residue. It can lead to redness and irritation thus leaving the skin itchy and inflamed. This type of water can also contain traces of chlorine, which is very drying and strips the natural oils and proteins of the top layer of skin. Once this is stripped from the skin, the skin is more susceptible to breakouts and blemishes. Heavy metals also react with free radicals in the air which breaks down the elasticity and collagen levels of our skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles, which leads to premature aging.
Micellar water is made up of tiny micelles, or tiny balls of cleansing oil, that are suspended in soft water. The molecules gently attract buildups of makeup, dirt, and other free radicals that our face comes in contact with every day. Think: a magnet that sucks up all of the dirt and grime left on your skin after a long day -- awesome, right? The soft water aspect of micellar water is water with low concentrations of those heavy metals we mentioned before. This kind of water is generally preferred when washing or cleaning the skin because it doesn’t leave residue or buildup. And a bonus? You don’t need to wash your face after using it. Micellar water will attract all of the impurities on your face while leaving behind a hydrated, radiant finish.
If the idea of washing your face with oil scares you because of your skin type, don’t fret! Micellar water is great for all skin types and actually, the method of oil cleansing is great for oily skin because it can decrease the amount of excess oil the skin produces.
In advertisements, micellar water has been primarily marketed as a makeup remover; however, it can be used in other ways. It can take the place of a toner, a makeup remover, a face wash, and even a serum or two. And believe it or not, your male counterpart can use it! Because micellar water is lightweight, it will not get caught on stubble and will hydrate newly shaven skin thus it is as great as an aftershave.
In my everyday routine, I use micellar water as a double cleanser and a quick morning cleanser. (Curious about what double cleansing is? Check out our blog post from last week!) When I am ready to wash my day away, I start with my foaming cleanser to remove the first layer of my makeup and free radicals. Since I started wearing makeup when I was 12, I noticed that one wash didn’t completely take away all of my makeup. A lot of it would sit in my pores and no matter how hard I tried, it would never fully be removed. After discovering micellar water, I feel like my face gets a thorough clean. I pour some micellar water on my cotton pad and wipe away at my skin. Although it is hydrating, I tend to opt for another moisturizer especially now since the weather is cooling down. For this, I like to spritz my face with my balancing facial toner then add my antioxidant serum on top. The result? Clean, hydrated skin that I carry to bed with me. In the mornings, I don’t feel the need to completely wash my face with a cleanser so I use the micellar water to get rid of the excess oil my skin accumulated through the night. I then follow up with my everyday moisturizer and SPF 15 and continue with my everyday makeup routine.
If you have ever looked at a French woman’s skin and wondered how she has been able to maintain glowing, healthy skin with almost no impurities, this is probably her secret! Have you tried micellar water? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!