We know that micellar waters and cleansing waters are used to remove make up or sunscreen and they are a type of first cleanser in double cleansing method. First off, let’s look at what a micellar water really is and what a cleansing water really is:
“Cleansing water is purified H20 that has different components infused into it, giving it cleansing properties without the need to lather product on your skin. Micellar water has oily micelles that helps it clean the surface of your skin and remove makeup.”
Eventhough the formulations and the pragmatics are intertwined, they are usually both used for just about the same purpose: to remove makeup or suncreens. It’s the first primary step in any skincare routine, and there is definitely more to that than just being first cleansers. It is the backbone of our skincare routine in which the wrong micellar/cleansing water can really mess up and spoil all the toners and essences and serums and ampoules and sheetmasks and whatnots that we put on our skin later in the routine. We all choose them carefully, don’t we?
Well I would like to walk you through the things that I take into consideration before making any purchase:
I guess this goes without saying, because this is how we tend to pick all skincare products; tailoring to our skin types and conditions. Not all micellar waters are made the same: some are gentle and hydrating, some are high strength made for waterproof lip stains and mascaras, and some have more ingredients than others. I believe that it’s a rule of thumb that dry and sensitive skin should look for a gentle and hydrating ones without “harsh surfactants in cleansers can cause irritation, barrier damage, dryness, tightness, and even itch” (according to herbaldynamicsbeauty.com).
For dry skin and sensitive skin, I feel it is best to choose the ones with minimal ingredients to minimize risk of irritation. Some of the gentle cleansing waters that I have used and I think is suitable for this skin type are:
Simple Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Water
Purevivi Cleansing Lotion
For oily skin on the other hand, certain gentle micellar waters can feel like it is not cleansing enough. I know that a lot of beauty gurus suggest that oily skin should stick with cleansing oils or cleansing balms. But, just in case you feel that some micellar waters are too gentle or you feel like they are not enough for your oily skin, there are other micellar waters with high removal power available. This is one I have used and I think oily skin users would love:
Eucerin Dermo Purifier Acne & Makeup Cleansing Water For Acne Prone Skin
Personally, I don’t really use foundation and full makeup on a daily basis. Usually I just put on sunscreen, a flick of eyebrow pencil and some lipstick or lip tint so I prefer to use micellar waters that can take them all off without irritating my skin. I believe this is what most people my age (I am thirty and a mother by the way) prefer too! Therefore, when you are choosing your micellar water, make sure that it also does its job to remove those makeups that you wear daily, especially your eye and lip makeup. Perhaps there is a micellar water that your skin loves but it doesn’t remove those eyeliner or liquid lipsticks you own. The best ones that I have tried and does the makeup removing job excellently is this one:
Faith in Face Truly Waterly Cleansing Water
This Bioderma Sensibio H2O one removes those stubborn makeup excellently (but not as strong as Faith in Face) but still feels gentle on the skin. I think that it will be great for those with sensitive skin (I only tried a sample so no picture):
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Makeup Removing Micelle Solution
A close second to that Bioderma one would be this famous pink Garnier:
Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water [#Gentle]
However, for heavy foundations or stubborn eye makeup like waterproof mascara, you are advised to use cleansing oils or cleansing balm. There are also separate eye & lip makeup remover available, like this one I have tried:
Maybelline Eye+Lip Make Up Remover
However, I don’t really like this one as it needs a bit of wrinkle-tugging actions on the eyelids especially but if you don’t think it is an issue to you then you might wanna try it.
Fragrance or No Fragrance?
This is more of a concern for sensitive or redness-prone skin, especially if fragrance is listed among the top ingredients. However, according to Paula’s Choice website; fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, is a common sensitizing ingredient for all skin types. “You might not see the damage on skin’s surface, but it can be silently occurring every day, causing minor problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term.” (paulaschoice.com)
So yeah, you might wanna read through the ingredients list carefully before picking up that bottle of cleansing/micellar water and heading to the payment counter! One more thing that I’m concerned about is that some strong fragrance really turns me off and makes me dizzy so this is why I tend to check for that.
Alcohol? Sans Alcohol?
Not all alcohol is bad, and a lot of micellar waters these days do not contain alcohol but still there are some that do contain bad alcohols such as alcohol denat so make sure you check that out first, okay? As for me, I find that the “alcohol-free” packaging and marketing got me sold. The reason being that alcohol can strip the moisture off your skin and leave your skin feeling tight and taut. Now we don’t want that, do we?
This is such a popular topic, as everyone reacts differently to essential oils like argan oil, olive oil, lavender oil, and so on and so forth. They are usually found in micellar water wipes so I tend to avoid it for fear of having a bad reaction with essential oil. As I also worry it could clog my pores, so yeah I tend to avoid micellar water wipes with essential oils.
Is It Drying?
This is mentioned in point number four regarding alcohol and the drying effects but if you have dry skin you might want to try the ones that also have moisturising or hydrating properties to make sure it doesn’t remove the water content and natural oil off your face; or even if it does, there are ingredients to rehydrate and put the moisture balance in check. These are 2 of the most hydrating micellar waters that I have tried:
Blithe Anti-Polluaging Cleansing Water with Himalayan Pink Salt
Simple Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Water
Is It Expensive?
Yes I also take into account the cost-effectiveness of the micelar water that I use because unlike eye creams or serums or ampoules, this is one of those items that I use quite an amount everyday and is one of my most frequently purchased items. Here are some of the ones that won’t burn a hole in your pocket:
Does It Sting My Eyes?
Yes, some micellar waters may sting your eyes! I have tried this Blithe Anti-Polluaging Cleansing Water with Himalayan Pink Salt which is gentle but stings my eyes a bit so yeah I find that it is kind of off-putting so I only use it on days I don’t use eye shadows, eyeliners or any mascara.
Check out some of the micellar waters I have used and am currently using: