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Micellar Water, Most Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

One important product nowadays to remove makeup is micellar water. Some people think this product is the best to remove makeup whereas others prefer the K-beauty double cleansing. Despite this debate, micellar water is one essential product in most vanities. Do you want to know why? I am going to reveal this in this post.

What is micellar water?

Micellar water is a lightweight cleanser which has its origins in Paris in the early 1900s. Balnearies started to offer this product to provide soft water to ladies. At this time the local water was really harsh to the skin. However, it gained popularity in the 1990 decade thanks to the founder of the French company Bioderma, Jean-Noël Thorel. He is known as the inventor of micellar water. As a curiosity, Biodema sells one unit of micellar water every second.

Micellar water is a product made of aggregates called micelles. These micelles help to clear dirt, sweat, oil and makeup from the skin. It is a blend of purified water, glycerin and surfactants. The surfactants are responsible for the formation of the micelles.

A micelle is an aggregate which consists of two parts. They have a hydrophilic region which is in contact with the water and a hydrophobic area in the centre of the micelle. They are normally spherical in shape and form a colloidal suspension with other micelles.


These micelles have, therefore, a double function consequence of bipolarity. That makes them ideal for removing makeup and cleansing the face. The hydrophilic area removes aqueous dirt as sweat, whereas the hydrophobic region is a magnet for oil-based impurities such as sebum and makeup. In a few words, a micelle can dissolve water and oil-based dirt at the same time.


Which are the main uses of this product?

The main use of micellar water is to cleanse the skin and the pores. However, some people use it to remove makeup also.

I like to use micellar water as part of my night-time skincare routine. I use it to eliminate eye makeup before using the cleansing balm. Glitter eyeshadows are an important part of my daily makeup, and micellar water helps me to remove the glitter. Otherwise, the glitter will make a mess everywhere.

I like to use micellar water also when I travel or when I go to the gym. Micellar water makes the role of my cleansing balm and water-based cleanser. That way, I only need to carry one product to keep my face clean.

Benefits of micellar water

Micellar water has so much more benefits than you can think.

  • Removes excess oil from the skin while keeping it hydrated at the same time
  • Does not contain harsh chemicals or detergents and, therefore, it is ideal for people with sensitive skin.
  • It is a multi-tasking product
  • Does not contain perfumes or colourants
  • Makes a deep skin cleansing
  • Keeps the skin soft and supple
  • Helps to maintain the skin tone
  • Delays wrinkles appearance
Picture from Pexels by Anna Nekrashevid

How to use it?

Micellar water is very easy to use. Simply dispense some product on cotton or reusable pad and sweep over your face and eyes. You can continue then with the rest of your cleansing routine if you want to use other cleanser products. Otherwise, you can apply the rest of your routine. Micellar water is an excellent option when you don’t have access to water.

Apply the product in circular movements from the centre to the outside areas of the face. Do not sweep towards the centre as you will be dragging the dirt to this area.

Common mistakes when using micellar water

The most common mistakes people make when using micellar water and you should avoid are:

  • Do not rinse it

Although most of the micellar water you can buy says on the packaging “do not rinse” it is convenient to rinse after applying it. The reason is that rest of the dirt can remain on the skin if you don’t rinse. When sweeping the micellar water with the cotton or reusable pad you risk moving the dirt instead of eliminating it. The accumulation of this dirt can clog the pores.

  • Apply micellar water after creams or serums

Micellar water is a cleansing product and, therefore, you should apply it before applying the products your skin will absorb.

  • Rub very hard

If you rub very hard with the pad you are not cleansing the skin but dragging the dirt everywhere instead. That is the reason why you should rinse the micellar water if you can.

  • Use micellar water as a toner

Micellar water and toner share some ingredients but both product work in different ways. First of all, the tone will never deeply clean your skin. Then you should consider that despite micellar water tonify the skin to some extent, it will never tone it as the toner does.

Picture from Pexels by Angela Roma.

Other interesting facts about micellar water

  • Micellar water does not contain colourants, perfumes, parabens, detergents or alcohols. They are 0% harsh with the skin and, therefore, suitable for all skin types.
  • It does not leave an oily or sticky feeling on the skin. Although I mentioned before that it is convenient to rinse it off, you can leave it on the skin if you don’t have water available, for example, if you are camping.
  • Micellar water can remove even waterproof makeup.
  • If you are not wearing makeup, you can use micellar water during the day as a face mist to refresh your skin.
  • The main CON of micellar water is that you need cotton or a reusable pad to apply it. You cannot apply micellar water with your hands or using a tissue.

My favourite micellar water products


Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

A micellar water cleanser developed for sensitive skin, to remove makeup and impurities.

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Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water

Developed specifically for sensitive skin, the Sensibio H2O Solution from Bioderma effectively removes dirt and makeup from the face and eye area.

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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Micellar Water

This refreshing formula will leave your skin feeling clean and primed for skincare application. Micellar particles act like magnets, attracting, trapping and removing particles of dirt, oil and makeup for a truly thorough cleanse, with minimal scrubbing or tugging at the skin. 

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Caudalie Vinoclean Micellar Water

A lightweight, water-like formula, Caudalie’s cleanser helps to lift makeup away from your skin, leaving behind a supple, clarified canvas. Soothing and gentle, it’s ideal for using on sensitive skin types that are prone to irritation.

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Do you use micellar water as part of your skincare routine? Which is your favourite product? Let me know in the comments.


Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

I love beauty and skincare, try new products, and share my opinion with you. All my knowledge comes from years of experience and reading articles. I have dry skin, Fitzpatrick type IV, warm undertone, and my main concern is hyperpigmentation. Keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you. We are all different and products can have different results on your skin. Want to talk? Email me at contact@irenebeautyandmore.com

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