What is micellar water?

Say bonjour to this overseas star

It’s become a bathroom staple for removing stubborn make-up after a night on the tiles, but do you know what micellar water actually is? More importantly, do you know what it does to your skin? Whether your answer is oui or non, it’s time to kiss this French skincare marvel on both cheeks as you get acquainted with your new beauty BFF. 

So what exactly is it?

Simply put, micellar water is classed as a skin cleanser. Pronounced ‘my-sell-er’, this cult skincare product first originated in French pharmacies and only arrived in the UK in 2013 (feels longer, right?) when Bioderma’s Sensibo H2O Micellar Water splashed onto the scene, and the rest is history. Micellar water looks just like the water you’d run a bath with, but if you apply a little to your fingers you’ll notice it has a completely different texture. This is because it contains tiny balls of cleansing molecules called micelles (you can see where the name came from now…) which help to attract dirt and oil and draw out any impurities from the skins surface – clever eh?

These mighty spheres are drawn to your make-up like a magnet, and help to leave your skin feeling refreshed and squeaky clean.

How is it different to other cleansers?

It really depends on the formula, as micellar waters now come in oil and milky formats to name a few. Cleansers are able to do just that – cleanse the skin more deeply and go beyond the skins surface. Whereas micellar water is much lighter and stays on top of your skin, meaning the moisturising ingredients can stay behind and be easily absorbed – think of them as a hydrating treat for your skin after a long day of rocking your flawless make-up.

We recommend double cleansing when using micellar water, as one sweep with a cotton pad may just move dirt and oil around your face. So our top tip is to remove the impurities with micellar water; letting those micelles work their magic, then apply a cleanser of your choice to really help remove everlasting traces of make-up.

Can it be used on all skin types?

As with all skincare, there’s a perfect fit for you. But it can sometimes be trial and error before you find your micellar match. Here are our top tips on finding the one for you:

Normal to dry skin: If your skin is somewhere in between normal and dry, then look out for micellar waters which have soothing and moisturising properties

Oily and combination skin: The aim here is to help reduce that shine, so look for micellar water which helps to mattify and remove those impurities

Sensitive skin: Micellar water is known for being gentle on the skin, but if you often feel the effects of skincare, then look for micellar water which is perfume free as this will help to reduce any irritation 

How do you use micellar water?

It has to be the simplest skincare product to use, as there’s one easy step which takes less than a minute. Take a cotton pad and apply enough product so it feels wet but not soaked, then gently sweep across your face to remove make-up and any impurities. Micellar water is so gentle it can be used across your eyes and lips, so you can help to remove the days look with ease.

How is it different to other cleansers?

Back in 2013, when Bioderma’s Micellar Water landed on our shores, water was the only element on everyone’s lips, eyes and face! But fast forward six years and we’re welcoming different formats to the skincare fold, including: 

• Milky micellar water

• Oil infused micellar water

• Gel based micellar water

• Foaming micellar water

• Micellar facial wipes

Now you’ve dipped your toe into the world of micellar water, why not dive in and discover the perfect one for you?