© Getty Images

© Getty Images

Turn that tap off - Cleansing micellar water could replace regular water

To cleanse with tap water or not to cleanse with tap water? That is the question – we answer it.

French women have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ and are regularly praised for their beauty routines and skincare secrets. So it’s no surprise that they’re often credited with using micellar waters (aka cleansing waters) way before they were even considered cool by the rest of the world. But what are they and are these waters right for you? We spoke with Aurelie Decroux, scientific coordinator for Biotherm Laboratories so that we could dive in and clear things up, exclusively for you.

What is micellar water anyway?

Micellar water is a no rinse, soap-free skincare product that cleanses the skin and removes makeup. Aurelie explains, ‘’A micellar water is a totally aqueous formula containing an ideal amount of mild surfactants, enough for an efficient cleansing action while being gentle. For example, our BIOSOURCE cleansing water contains poloxamers, surfactants used in eye lotions (collyriums) or in contact lenses. From a certain concentration (Critical Micellar Concentration = CMC), surfactants stick together in micelles turned in on themselves within the formula. A micelle is a spheroidal aggregate with a water-loving surface and an oil-loving heart. Micelles act like impurities magnets: they are able to attract impurities at the skin’s surface (dirt, make-up, sebum…) to encapsulate them, allowing their removal in a very efficient way, without rubbing.’’

Who these magical waters are for

It’s a good idea to use micellar water if you live in an area where the tap water is ‘hard water.’ The calcium and magnesium in it prevents soap from being able to lather correctly, so it can aggravate skin that’s sensitive or acne-prone: ‘’Hard water interacts with surfactants that may lead to a deterioration of skin barrier function and may amplify skin irritation. Furthermore, several studies demonstrated that hard water increases the frequency of some skin pathologies such as atopic dermatitis,’’ says Aurelie. To determine if your tap water is hard or soft, check out this map.

Micellar water is a great option for almost everyone, however if your skin is oily then you may find that some formulas are too gentle and don’t get your face clean enough. If that’s the case then try out a few different waters to find the one that’s right for you.

How to use micellar water

Micellar water is perfect to use in the morning, after the gym, or even during a flight. It’s also wonderful to use at night after a double cleanse. To use micellar water, liberally soak a cotton pad with it. Next, swipe it all over your face and then lightly blot your skin with a towel. Never let the water air dry on your face, as it could be drying, and who would want that? Not us. We’re trying to help you save your skin here, not make it worse!

Depending on your skin type and preferences, micellar water’s a great alternative to wash your face with – move over tap water, there’s a new kind of water in town.

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