Any product with the word "water" in the title can sound a big dodgy - that stuff comes free out of the tap, right? Yes, but water really is the original when it comes to hydration, and coconut, regular or micellar, they all have their place in nourishing the body somehow. So, what the hell is micellar water, and do you really need to use it ?
Micellar water is made up of micelles: tiny little droplets of cleansing oil molecules, suspended in water. Micelles are great for pulling out oil and dirt from pores because they are attracted to these kinds of impurities. They are also good at doing this, without drying out your skin (see, water of any kind: the best in hydration).
Micellar water should have a slightly different feel to regular drinking water, especially if you run it through your fingers. It’s a pretty versatile product, because it can work as a cleanser, makeup remover and moisturiser, all at once. Lots of beauty brands have cottoned on to this, and it is now mass marketed as on of the next big things in skincare.
So it all sounds good when you believe the hype, but does the theory stack up to the practical?
Well, like all beauty secrets and miracles, we’ve found that this product works better on some people than others, and everybody’s skin reacts different, so you’ll never really know unless you try it. But, generally speaking, if you’ve got oiler skin for instance, maybe go for a gel cleanser as well, because micellar might leave you feeling not quite as clean as you would like. If you wear a lot of heavy eye makeup and foundation during the day, it’s also not as efficient as a remover specific product, and might require a larger amount for stubborn and waterproof eyeliners and mascaras. If you’re acne prone, this might also not be enough to keep your pimples at bay. Try a tea tree cleanser, or something with antibacterial properties.
So who does it usually work wonders for? Well, because the fatty molecules in your skin – dirt, oil and some makeup – are drawn out of your pores by the micelles so gently (it is water-based, after all) it can be great on sensitive, dry skin. It’s convenient and you can just swipe it on with a cotton pad, no need to wash off like conventional cleanser. Plus, it’s three-in-one.
What are your experiences with micellar water? Love it or hate it? Hype-worthy or talked up too much?
Let us know in our Mermaid community.