Since I’m no longer a full-time beauty editor, new products don’t land on my desk with the same speed and volume as in years past. So while I was aware of the gentle buzz surrounding something called micellar water, I didn’t pay much attention. Micellar cleansing water? I assumed this was another probably unnecessary product to add to one of those crazy multi-step face-washing regimens.
Then a few months ago, a publicist pal sent me a bunch of product samples including a bottle of micellar water, and I took a closer look. You can’t actually see them, but the active ingredients—micelles, which are suspended in the water—are super-effective micro-droplets of cleaning power. Said micelles are made up of lipid-based surfactants that solubilize and sweep away sebum, makeup and grime with a few swipes of a micellar-water-soaked cotton pad. Skin is left feeling clean and balanced—neither oily nor dry. (Micellar water is not to be confused with a more drying astringent or toner.)
A minor issue for some might be the need for a constant supply of cotton pads at the ready for micellar water to do its work—you can’t just splash it on your face and be done with it. But the cotton gives you the satisfaction of seeing all the sludge that comes off your face and onto the pad. It’s very satisfying.
This is all I’m using to wash my face on most days. What about you?
It’s doubtful you’ll go wrong with any micellar water you try. Click through the photos below for a few to consider.
Update: After two weeks of using only micellar water to wash my face, I longed for the embrace of warm water and a foaming cleanser; I missed the satisfaction that comes with a round of exfoliating. So while I still use micellar water solo in the morning, it’s a different story at night. Depending on my mood and perceived complexion needs, I’ve added in a second step on some (but not all) evenings.