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7.10.15

THE TRUTH ABOUT MICELLAR WATER (IT MAY NOT BE THE CLEANSING SOLUTION YOU THINK)

Six bottles of Bioderma Micellar Water are now sold every second across the globe. The trend for micellar waters may have started as a makeup artist and industry secret, but the magic bottles of liquid were soon adopted by bloggers and beauty enthusiasts - creating such a demand that Bioderma was launched in the UK to rapturous applause. I'm a big fan of micellar waters, not only because they're easy and effective, but because they don't strip the skin or leave it feeling irritated. Although many friends and readers know that micellar water provides a gentle option for their skin, few really understand how they work or how they should be used. To clear the issue up once and for all, here's the truth about micellar waters - and why they're not the one-stop-shop cleansing solution you think they may be.


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.

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 repertoire comes with problems of its own. Unfortunately too many women are relying on their micellar water as the only cleanser within their routine, removing surface makeup without giving their skin a deep cleanse; although the clever micelles will remove surface grease and dirt, they won't lift up build-up or dead skin cells that sit within open pores. (In fact, they were originally popular because they removed makeup backstage at fashion shows easily and effectively; however, it doesn't matter if a model has makeup applied onto a non-thoroughly cleansed face and steps out onto the catwalk for the fifth time that day. It does matter if you go to bed without a thorough cleanse.)

It's no surprise that micellar waters have boomed in popularity in the last few years. 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 a great routine and products that will only be of benefit to your complexion. Anything that's quick and easy is normally too good to be true. 

Are you a fan of micellar waters? Do you use them alone, or in conjunction with other cleansing products?  


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22 comments

  1. I treat my micellar water (I use LRP) like a face wipe. It is a quick solution, but you know its not working the best! I use a proper cleanser /scrub in the shower for a deep cleanse. Nice article :)

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  2. nope not a fan. I feel like my face isnt fully clean by using it. I always use gentle face wipes, a cleansing lotion, and a toner. It removes so much more make-up than the micellar water does.

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  3. Honestly, I could leave them. I have my skin care routine in place and its good for me. I think a bit of a money making spin. I prefer a nice toner. I've tried bioderma which I thought was all hype. The Vichy one isn't bad and I have tested another brand too which obviously since I can't remember the name mustn't have been great. For me my cash is better spent elsewhere on more useful products.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In Japan they're known as cleansing waters and we have our own domestic brands in a dizzying variety of shapes and flavors. Some people even go as far as to suggest that Bioderma was initially inspired by Japanese cleansing waters.
    However, they are used strictly as a pre-cleansing step to remove the top layer of makeup. They are normally followed by another cleanser. And that's how I use them, too.

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  5. Thank you so much for providing such great and thorough information! I've never used a micellar water before, but I think I might try it sometime soon :)

    mybeautydreamss.blogspot.com

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  6. I agree that they shouldn't be used on their own. I use them to remove makeup before doing a proper cleanse with a cleansing milk and a washcloth. Plus it keeps my white washcloths from getting too dirty as most of my makeup has been removed beforehand!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never tried Vichy, will totally be trying it now!

    http://stylinghappiness.blogspot.co.uk

    Styling Happiness xoxo

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  8. I've been using micellar water as a one-step cleanser for days when I don't wear makeup: I go over my face twice, each time with a fresh new cotton pad. Otherwise I use micellar water - my favourite is Purevivi Cleansing Lotion, this brilliant Japanese brand with a never-ending bottle! - as a makeup remover, then wash my face in the shower with whatever drug store product is in reach. It's good to know that micellar water isn't the be-all-end-all miracle cleanser some have made it out to be, although I wish there was a one-step-cleans-all product for lazy people like me! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  9. I love my Micellar water but would never just use it on its own - I always ensure I cleanse my skin thoroughly after wearing make up for a full day at work - look after your skin lovelies :)

    gillmclaughlin.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love Micellar water, I am originally from France ( have been living in London for the past 15 years) and in France Micellar water always been around for as long as I can remember only until recently they are more widely available in UK anyway I always used them and loved them . Great post and pictures by the way :)

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  11. So true! I cringe a LOT about leaving stuff on my skin that isn't moisturising, so if I use face wipes or micellar water, I always finish with at least another splash of fresh water :)

    www.HonestyForYourSkin.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  12. I use nivea's micellar water and absolutely love it. It's far gentler on my dry-ish skin than previous cleansers. I always use it with a cleansing cream or balm though, just because I don't trust it to give my face a proper deep clean xx Sophie / www.prettyandpolished.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very interesting post. Even though I love this kind of product, I always wash my face with a cleanser after its use. An then I feel my skin really clean :D
    I just found you and I'm really glad about it!

    Kisses
    Claire
    http://notebookofclaire.blogspot.gr/

    ReplyDelete
  14. I do love my Micellar water but I pretty much only use it now after a gym session so all the sweat and grime doesn't clog my pores - then when I get home I do a full cleanse! They're handy to have but are by no means a replacement for a proper cleanser or make-up remover!

    I'm also imaging the surfactants look like sperm...oh dear!

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm not a fan! I definitely agree, they aren't a quick fix/replacement for a thorough skincare routine suited to your skin type xx

    Laura | Lala London: Beauty & Lifestyle

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love using Micellar cleanser but after a regular cleanser too, I use micellar mostly on my stubborn make-up!

    http://www.abigailalicex.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I always use a micellar water, but I do try to use a proper cleanser on a night and use the micellar water just to get anything that may have been missed.

    http://beautyskooldropout2013.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  18. Micellar Water definitely has its place in my routine; I use a hot cloth or oil cleanser then use this to get rid of every last bit of makeup afterwards then cleanse my actual skin properly afterwards. I really dislike how Garnier are trying to brand their micellar water as a 'does it all' product (5 in 1 or something equally ridiculous) as that's simply not what it is or what it was intended to be xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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  19. I use my FM micellar lotion on clients and myself and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. However I do always use my Triumph of Orchid face was too and B glucan face serum.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous16.11.15

    I had a terrible experience with the "Rosehip Micellar Water" I purchased. After a thorough cleansing with my Mia Clairsonic Brush, I applied the micellar water with a cotton ball as directed on the bottle. Instantly, my face turned bright red. I don't know what exactly happened there, but I had to rinse my face due to the stinging sensation. Can anyone please offer any advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may be that because you used your brush, you'd removed the top layer of dead skin and then applied essential oils (assuming this is what was in your rosehip product) - that's a common way to cause irritation. I would avoid using the brush before and use it as a first step. It's only meant to take off the first layer of makeup and grime.

      Delete
  21. Micellar water is the best for my skin! I only find out when I couldn't wash my face for a while after my eye surgery. I used only bioderma micellar sebium h20 and it's the best solution for my prone to breakouts skin. I use now face scrub 2 a week and this is all what I use to clean my face. Love it!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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