Micellar waters contain molecules called surfactants, which are also present in lots of other cleaning and cleansing products. The surfactant molecules have a 'head' that's attracted to water, as well as a 'tail' that's attracted to oil and grease - they can therefore bring together water and oil, which are normally repelled away from each other. Micellar water contains lots of clusters of these surfactant molecules (called micelles) floating around in purified water.
When these micelles are applied to a cotton pad and wiped over the surface of your face, the oil-loving tails stick out and grab onto the dirt, grease and grime residing on the surface of the skin. This provides the cleansing and makeup removing qualities that micellar waters are so commonly known for, without irritating or stripping the skin. Not all surfactants are created equal and the ones within micellar waters are extremely mild; they're even mild enough to be left on the skin without causing irritation, which is why you don't even need to wash your face afterward.
Micellar waters are extremely easy to use - you simply need to apply them to a cotton pad and wipe over the surface of skin until the pad comes away clear. Although they're really effective at lifting nasties from the surface, you do need to be sure to repeat the process until you've removed all the build-up from the day. Personally, I prefer to use them after I've used a cleansing balm (which is much quicker and more effective and cleansing deeply,) to remove any remaining residue on the surface of my face. They're great for quick and easy fixes, removing light makeup or simply refreshing skin, but using them as the only makeup removal product within your reporitoire comes with problems of its own. Anything that's quick and easy is probably too good to be true!
It's no surprise that micellar waters have boomed in popularity in the last year. They've definitely taken the crown from BB Creams in terms of the most popular and sought after products in the beauty arena. They're affordable, easy to use, uncomplicated, gentle and are so much better than a dreaded face wipe; they can provide an extra element to a routine, or just help you step away from the products that are doing you no good at all. These 'magic' potions won't be going anywhere fast, but do use them with a hint of caution... Nothing will ever be the answer to beautiful skin: that's just down to you.
Are you a fan of micellar waters? Have you used Bioderma's cult product?