The Truth About Micellar Water

Just when you thought you had your beauty regime down pat, another product comes along that makes you second guess everything. While micellar water isn't necessarily new, it has entered the mainstream as a skincare must-have. But what exactly is micellar water and, more importantly, what does it do? Is this just another skincare product that's actually a waste of money?

"Micellar water is a cleanser, containing suspended surfactant molecules which, by nature, attract dirt and oil," expert facialist Kate Kerr told Elle. According to Tabasum Mir (via HuffPost), a skincare physician in cosmetic dermatology and cosmetic laser surgery, "It looks like water, it has the viscosity of water but when you put it on your finger and feel, it has a different texture than water." It is commonly used as a makeup remover, Mir says, explaining, " can remove an entire face of makeup without leaving oil behind like most makeup cleansers do." However, she notes that for really heavy foundations and waterproof mascaras, you'll need a true makeup remover to do the job.

How to use micellar water

As Kerr explained to Elle, "Micellar waters can be bad news for people with congested skin that's prone to breakouts. This is because the ingredients used in micellar waters leave a surface residue on the skin which can act like a film, blocking pores and oil disrupting oil production." However, dermatologist Hadley King says that micellar water is good for those with dry or sensitive skin. "A typical foamy wash can strip the skin and leave behind harsh chemicals, further drying out dry and sensitive skin," she explains. "And unlike many toners, micellar water does not contain alcohol and never stings." As always with new products, you should do your research and try out a few different until you find one that works for you.

To use micellar water, simply soak a cotton ball or cotton pad and gently swipe it across your face, focusing on areas that collect makeup, advises skincare brand La Roche-Posay. The best part? You don't even have to rinse it off.