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Micellar Water 101: The Ideal Match for Your Skin and Its Needs

Micellar Water 101: The Ideal Match for Your Skin and Its Needs
SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert10 months ago
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If there's ever been a more practical skincare product for all skin types, it's the super popular micellar water. The French beauty staple has made a name for itself as a non-stripping cleanser, toner and makeup remover. While some fans of micellar water sing its praises for removing makeup without irritating the skin or disrupting its pH levels, others like that they cleanse the skin without rinsing it off, making micellar water a lazy girl's dream come true.

The secret ingredient in micellar water, which resembles a toner's texture, is super lightweight oil molecules, a.k.a. micelles, that work like a sponge to gently attract and trap oil, makeup, debris, and dirt to dissolve them from the skin. Simply apply micellar water to the skin with a cotton ball in a sweeping motion to wipe away the day while adding a dose of light hydration.

To make the most of the magical water, it's essential to find one that compliments your skin type so that it's left feeling clean and fresh. No matter if acne, dry skin, oiliness, or aging skin is your concern, there's a micellar water that works for your skin. Ahead, we share the best micellar waters for every skin concern.

Best Micellar Water for Acne

Acne-prone skin responds well to non-comedogenic skincare products, making micellar water for acne a perfect fit. skyn ICELAND Micellar Cleansing Water with Arctic Algae acts as a cleanser and skin refresher in one without compromising acneic skin. It even contains soothing aloe leaf juice and skin-strengthening amino acids to leave the skin toned and hydrated.

Best Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin

Unfortunately, sensitive skin can be easily kicked into overdrive when using anything too harsh, drying, or irritating on the skin. Unlike skin-stripping cleansers, Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water soothes sensitive skin while whisking away dirt, oil, pollution, and makeup. But here's the best part: no matter how much of this glyceride-rich micellar water you use, it never stings, burns or irritates the skin. The fragrance-free water is gentle enough to swipe across your eyelids to remove every last trace of eye makeup.

Best Micellar Water for Oily Skin

While most people with oily skin think they need to strip the skin of its natural oils to mattify it, it's actually the opposite. Removing excess oil can render oily skin even oilier by sending the sebaceous glands into overdrive to compensate for the lack of natural sebum. But cleansing the skin with micellar water for oily skin, such as La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micellar Water, removes excess sebum from the surface without disrupting the skin's natural function. This gentle, watery formulation can even be swiped over the lips and eyes to tone and cleanse them, and it never leaves behind a greasy feeling.

Best Micellar Water for Dry Skin

Keeping dry skin well hydrated is challenging. Even if you load the skin with moisturizers, the wrong cleanser can undo your efforts. That's why dermatologists recommend micellar water, like Bioderma Hydrabio H20 Micellar Water, for perpetually dry skin. This hydrating version cleans and tones dry skin and incorporates the Aquagenium™ patented complex to improve skin hydration by targeting its natural moisturizing abilities and retaining moisture.

Best Micellar Water for Rosacea

Those suffering from rosacea know how debilitating the wrong skincare ingredients can be. Anything too harsh, acidic, drying, or abrasive can render the skin red and raw. Rosacea-prone skin needs TLC and micellar water, and the cult classic Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water does the trick.

This non-stripping formulation, which contains micelles similar in structure to the skin's natural makeup, cleans the skin without disrupting the skin's natural moisture barrier, which is important to easily irritated rosacea complexions. Furthermore, it feels silky on the skin, even after it dries down.

Best Micellar Water for Aging Skin

It’s normal for mature skin experiencing menopause to encounter breakouts and dryness. That's why including micellar water, like Filorga Anti-Aging Micellar Cleansing Solution, enhanced with moisturizing and soothing ingredients like glycerides and zinc PCA, is a must to incorporate into your daily cleansing routine.

Best Micellar Water for Combination Skin

Micellar water for combination skin is essential for healthy skin since combination skin requires an equal mix of hydration and oil control with exfoliation. A well-balanced micellar water acts as a makeup remover, cleanser, and source of light hydration for combination skin, hitting on all of its needs. Whereas traditional soaps and cleansers can upset combination skin's pH levels and lead to more dryness and oil in the T-zone, micellar water for combination skin, such as Vichy Pureté Thermale Mineral Micellar Cleansing Water, keeps everything in balance. This easy-to-use, quick-to-dissolve makeup micellar water formulation contains salicylic and lactic acids for a mild exfoliating benefit and the brand's popular Vichy Mineralizing Water to hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier.

[Bonus] Best Micellar Waters for Removing Makeup 

When using micellar water to remove makeup, especially eye makeup, you'll be hard-pressed to find one that irritates the skin and the eyes. That's because the best micellar waters for removing makeup contain a low amount of mild detergent and micelles that allow the makeup to be removed thoroughly. Even those micellar water can wipe away almost every last trace of makeup. Some formulations, like waterproof mascara and stage makeup, can be hard to remove with micellar water alone. In those cases, reach for micellar water as the first step in a double-cleanse routine or as a prep for traditional makeup remover.

ISDIN Micellar Solution 4-in-1 Makeup Remover Micellar Cleansing Water is suitable for removing makeup on even the most sensitive skin types. Swipe the gentle, alcohol-free formulation onto the skin for a clean, hydrated feeling. Then, continue with the next steps in your skincare routine, per usual.

Avène Make-Up Removing Micellar Water removes every last trace of makeup on the eyes, lips, cheeks, and skin for a clean feeling. Plus, it pulls out dirt and oil that can lead to breakouts, all while softening and soothing the skin thanks to a mix of glycerin and plant-based moisturizers.

With its delicate floral scent and a trio of soothing floral waters, Embryolisse Makeup Remover Micellar Lotion is a 95% natural micellar water that gently yet effectively removes makeup from the skin. All left behind after using is clean, soft, and soothed skin and nary a trace of dirt, oil, or makeup.

Shop all Micellar Water Cleansers on SkinStore.

SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert
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Our team of beauty experts cover everything from skincare to makeup, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the SkinStore blog, and find all your essentials in one place.