Exactly What Is Micellar Water, And Is It Really All You Need For Makeup Removal?

Lately, it’s difficult to watch television for any stretch of time without seeing a commercial for micellar water. But what exactly is this water that is being touted as everything from a makeup remover to a cure for acne, or all the skin care you will ever need? Is micellar a new thing, or has it been around for a while, and is now being repurposed as a beauty must-have?

The Huffington Post reports that micellar water, pronounced mi-CELL-ar, is tiny cells of oil, or micelles, suspended in soft water. And micellar water is nothing new, but in the United States, it’s new to us. The micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, and they can draw out impurities without drying your skin. For this reason it can be a makeup remover, moisturizer, and facial wash all in one.

“It looks like water, it has the viscosity of water but when you put it on your finger and feel, it has a different texture than water,” says Tabasum Mir, a skincare physician in cosmetic dermatology and cosmetic laser surgery.

Now, it seems like every cosmetics company is putting out its own micellar water, and the tagline for them is that it is a way to wash your face or remove your makeup without having access to running water. Micellar water is originally from France, and it became popular at a time when conventional plumbing wasn’t the norm, and the water in France was harsh. It has come back because whether in a bottle or in wipes, micellar water takes off makeup and does not leave oily residue behind.

One note about micellar water is that it isn’t the best when it comes to waterproof makeup, heavy eye makeup, and particularly mascara.

Bustle suggests that micellar water is one stop shopping when it comes to adding something new to your beauty kit, and especially your travel bag. To be able to quickly wash and moisturize your face on the go changes everything in terms of your beauty regimen. Though micellar water looks like water, when you rub it between your fingers, it has an almost creamy feeling.

Makeup artists today always have this with them as a quick fix that doesn’t make someone’s skin feel stripped. Taking micellar water with you in your gym bag is great because after a workout, instead of soap and water, micellar water is a great alternative. Whether you carry wipes or use micellar water with cotton pads, it’s not as harsh as scrubbing your face several times a day.

Micellar water is also great when traveling, as you can actually wash your face/moisturize when on a plane, or even somewhere remote like camping. It can clean your skin and give you a bit of moisture in drying situations.

Bustle also addresses using micellar water to treat acne and oily skin. Micellar water is great for all skin types, but it doesn’t treat acne. That said, micellar water to remove excess oil and keep your pores cleaner, removing bacteria, but it doesn’t exactly treat acne.

“The micelles are helpful for clarifying the skin and also to ensure the skin is hydrated,” Weiser says. “The hydration helps to decrease oil gland activity which can be helpful for acne.”

For acne prone skin, micellar water also can thoroughly remove excess makeup, which is often an irritant that causes acne breakouts.

Have you tried micellar water? How do you use it?

[Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images]