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The Good Cleanse: Is Micellar Water Right for You?

Micellar water has been gaining popularity over the past few years as a light, yet effective, cleanser and makeup remover. Makeup artists at photo shoots and backstage at fashion week swear by micellar water’s ability to get rid of makeup without the use of water. If you’re still wondering what micellar water is and whether it’s right for you, read on to find out.

First used in France, micellar water gets its name from the science behind the product. It’s made of “micelles,” which are tiny oil molecules suspended in water. Contrary to what you might think, the solution never feels oily and never stings, which means you can use it all over your face from forehead to chin. Rather than being a foaming solution that contains soaps and harsh chemicals made to grind away dirt and makeup, micellar waters are different. Those small molecules grab onto all of the unwanted particles clinging to your face and dissolve them.

Instead of your old tried and true washcloth, you don’t need to rub your face, causing redness and irritation. You don’t need to follow up with toner either. For a one-stop clean that precludes the need to turn on your water tap, it doesn’t hurt to have a bottle of micellar water nearby. According to Marie Claire, each solution is soft on skin. Some micellar waters boast light scents, the inclusion of botanical extracts such as rosewater and rose petals, and promise to be a miracle cleanser for sensitive skin, too.

Is there anyone who should stay clear of micellar waters? Canada’s Best Health Mag says that women with oily skin may feel micellar water just doesn’t get the job done as thoroughly as she would wish. And since they are formulated to be gentle and light, some micellar waters may not effectively remove heavy makeup like thick eyeliner, glitter or several coats of waterproof mascara. While some boast waterproof removal capabilities, they don’t always deliver if the waterproof stuff is piled on thick. Best Health Mag suggests having micellar water on hand as a standby for evenings when you don’t want to go through your entire cleansing routine or when traveling.

If you’re looking for the right formula for you, check out our list of the best micellar waters for every budget.