Welcome to Klog Chat, a series where we ask you to tell us how you do skin care and beauty. Today, we’re disucssing micellar water.
Cleansing is a pretty straightforward concept, but because there are so many different types of cleansers available, it can get tricky to determine what formulas to use when and with what companion product – especially if you’re on Team Double Cleanse.
Before I was introduced to the double cleanse method, which has helped make breakouts more of a rare occurrence on my skin, I pretty much used micellar water exclusively. I bought a bottle of the cult favorite Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water on my first trip to Paris as a teen and was immediately hooked on the simplicity and convenience (no water, no problem!) of the formula.
I classify my skin as normal and was lucky in that I never considered acne a skin concern as a young adult, plus I’ve never worn gobs of makeup so micellar water worked for me.
Now that I’m a little older, a bare minimum approach to skin care doesn’t quite cut it anymore – hence my double cleanse awakening. Still, I’m not totally ready to give up micellar water yet, I’m just not exactly sure where it fits in my current routine.
Micellar water is purified water with tiny lipid molecules (typically) called micelles suspended in it. This is what sets micellar water apart from a cleansing water, though there are hybrids like the Neogen Real Cica Micellar Cleansing Water. Micelles are attracted to oil and dirt, which means they can remove makeup, sunscreen, and impurities from pores. Essentially, a double cleanse in one, right?
Well, the surfactants in micellar water are mild, which is great news for sensitive skin, but the formulas may not be strong enough to remove a full face of heavy makeup or to really deep clean pores.
I think this is why there’s no black and white answer as to how to use micellar water; it really depends on your lifestyle, skin type, and concerns.
In my very unofficial polls and scan of Reddit threads, I found that most people like to use micellar water as a makeup remover or a pre-cleanse before a water-based cleanser, or for the times they’re feeling too lazy to go through their full routine, like in the morning or after a late night out. Of course, there are also some who swear by it as their sole cleanser.
As for me, right now I’ve been using micellar water in the morning and on days when I’ve barely worn any makeup and am in the clear breakout-wise. Whenever I need a deeper cleanse, I reach for a cleansing balm (the Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm is my current favorite) followed by a foam cleanser (the Saturday Skin Rise & Shine Purifying Cleanser is a new discovery). Luckily because micellar water is applied with a cotton pad, it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s not getting the job done and it’s time to up the cleansing ante.