Micellar Water Is The Facial Cleanser You Never Knew You Needed

It's like water, but so much better.

Katrina Mitzeliotis |

Some cleansers wash off your makeup but are crazy-harsh on your skin. Some are gentler…but leave residue from the day behind. And then, there is the holy grail: micellar water.

The water-based cleanser was invented by Jean-Noël Thorel, the French founder of the skincare line Bioderma. Micellar water was created to cleanse and hydrate because the naturally hard tap water was too harsh on skin, leading to dry, dull complexions.

“Hard tap water is charged with a high quantity of dissolved minerals,” says Dr Julie Russak, of Russak Dermatology Clinic in NYC. “These can affect the protective barrier of the skin and even deteriorate it, making skin vulnerable and susceptible to environmental damage and pollution.”

Who can use cleansing water?

Today, micellar water is readily available and is considered a hero product because it’s perfect for all skin types, (even those with sensitive complexions swear by it). It’s also ideal for packing when you’re on-the-go because you can use it to remove makeup and wash your face without having to rinse it off, which is a total game-changer.

READ MORE: Here’s How To Use Facial Toner Without Drying Out Your Skin

So how does micellar water work?

Don’t let the word water fool you—this magic elixir is way more powerful than what’s coming out of your bathroom sink. “Micellar water is an extraordinary alternative for cleansing the skin because it contains soft water along with micelles, which are tiny balls of oil naturally attracted to the debris on the skin,” says Dr Russak.

The micelles act like tiny magnets and attract impurities on the skin’s surface — think: dirt, oil, and makeup. This allows them to remove all the gunk without stripping your skin or throwing off its natural balance. “Surfactant micelles have been shown to be less aggressive on natural skin lipids and essential for healthy skin,” says Dr Russak.

Wait — what’s the difference between micellar water and toner?

“Toners can contain alcohol,” says Dr Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, a dermatologist in NYC. It’s the alcohol in the toner that can strip your skin or leave you with some side effects, which is why micellar water is a great alternative that can also be used like a toner after you cleanse. “Its complex formula offers the same properties as a toner without the harsh, oil-stripping ingredients,” says Dr Russak.

READ MORE: How “Thirsty” Is Your Skin?

How to use micellar water.

It’s best applied on a cotton ball. The micelles adhere to the cotton and remove the dirt and makeup on your face as you swipe it across your complexion. Since the formula is both gentle and hydrating, there’s no need to rinse it off once you’re done cleansing. Instead, allow your skin to soak in all the goodness as it continues to work its magic throughout the day.

Pro tip: Instead of relying on makeup wipes that can contain a variety of irritating chemicals, keep a bottle and some cotton pads in your gym bag and use it before and after your workout to clear out your pores and keep your skin hydrated.

Some micellar waters to try

Ready to reap the benefits of having soft, clean skin without any harmful residue? Try these powerful-yet-gentle micellar waters below and get ready to experience a deep clean like no other.


This OG micellar water (the brand literally invented the stuff) has been a makeup artist secret for years. They use to pick up bottles and bottles when they visited France. Now, luckily, you can get your hands on it here.

Buy It

Bioderma Sensibio H2o Cleanser 250ml

R 209.95

Buy It


Not only can you pick up this 100ml bottle at your local Dis-Chem, but the formula is powerful enough to remove makeup yet gentle enough to hydrate your skin. It really does take off eye makeup well without burning your eyes or smearing it everywhere.

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Garnier Skin Cleansing Water Micellar Sensitive 100ml

R 27.95

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This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

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