Micellar water is a multi-purpose skincare product that helps remove makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin.
It’s made using purified water, moisturizers like glycerin, and mild surfactants, which are compounds used for cleansing.
The molecules of these mild surfactants join to form micelles, a type of spherical chemical structure that helps dissolve dirt and oil with ease.
These products basically look like water and have the viscosity of water, but when you apply a little bit on your skin and touch it with your fingers, you will feel they have a different texture than plain water.
Micellar water is one of my personal favorite makeup-removal methods. I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with acne or whose skin gets congested from oils and makeup-removing balms.
However, even though it seems like micellar waters are a pretty straightforward product, there are still a few mistakes you want to avoid when using these as a part of your skincare routine.
Which is why in this article, I am going to talk about six mistakes to avoid with micellar water and why you should be more careful when using micellar waters in general.
Don’t Scrub Too Vigorously
To effectively remove your makeup, you need to apply some amount of micellar water to a cotton round and then proceed to swipe the cotton round across your face gently.
However, one mistake that occurs very commonly is the vigorous scrubbing people put into this process to remove their makeup thoroughly.
This is actually why many people are put off of using micellar waters because they think they have to hurt their face to remove heavy or waterproof makeup effectively.
But this isn’t true, and it is, in fact, very harmful to the skin.
Not only does friction, tugging, and pulling damage and irritate the skin in the short term, but these vigorous motions can also lead to early loss of collagen and premature signs of aging, including saggy skin.
These vigorous motions can also be extremely harmful to someone dealing with acne because they will certainly irritate and inflame the spots even more and make them appear red and angry.
Additionally, if you have many pustules, you may also risk popping these and dragging the infected pus in other areas.
To avoid this, you first need to buy micellar water that will effectively remove your makeup.
If you wear heavy makeup, look for micellar waters that are on the oily side. You will easily notice these because you will see the oil floating on top of the water inside the packaging.
If you wear waterproof makeup, you should look for micellar waters that remove waterproof makeup.
If your skin is sensitive and you are currently dealing with acne, you should look for something that’s suitable for sensitive and reactive skin.
Next, you should apply a bit more product and actually have the cotton round soaked in micellar water before continuing to swipe it across the skin slowly and very gently.
Don’t Leave Micellar Water On Your Skin
Almost every micellar water I’ve ever used has had the same words printed on the packaging: “No-Rinse Formula”; “Leave-On Formula,” etc.
However, this is not how you should use micellar water, and it is one of the fastest and easiest ways to help clog your pores and cause yourself an acne breakout to deal with.
As I already mentioned in the intro, micelles are not the same as plain water, and they do, in fact, leave a residue on the skin.
In this residue, there could also be traces of makeup, dirt, and oil, or all those things the micellar water was supposed to remove, right?
You can even see this residue if you look in the mirror after removing your makeup with micellar water. You can even feel the slightly oily residue coming off as you wash your face with plain water after removing your makeup with micellar water.
So don’t think that this residue is beneficial or hydrating – it’s rather just a residue that contains traces of makeup, oil, and dirt.
Now imagine following that up with a serum, a moisturizer, and an oil? It sounds like you just bought yourself a one-way ticket to Clogging City to me.
After removing your makeup with micellar water, you should follow it up with a second cleanse.
You can use a gel or foam cleanser if your skin is on the oily side and you are dealing with acne, or you can use a gentler cream cleanser if your skin is on the dry side.
Whatever you do, make sure there is no residue from micellar water left on your skin.
Don’t Use Harsh Micellar Waters
When buying micellar waters, you need to make sure you opt for something that doesn’t contain harsh ingredients such as alcohol and witch hazel.
These are ingredients that are often found in micellar waters marketed towards oily and acne-prone skin, but, in reality, these will only dry out and dehydrate your skin and trigger it into producing more oil to compensate for the dryness.
Besides that, imagine removing your eye makeup with something that contains alcohol or a strong-smelling astringent such as witch hazel. Sounds like irritation much? It sure does sound like that to me.
You should also avoid micellar waters containing perfume, fragrance, or other fragrant components such as essential oils, especially if you have very sensitive and reactive skin or are dealing with contact dermatitis.
Don’t Buy Micellar Waters That Contain Actives
Micellar waters that contain actives such as vitamin C and niacinamide are also useless, especially if the actives are what drives the price of the product even higher.
These actives are great for the skin, especially when it comes to addressing sun damage or hyperpigmentation caused by inflammatory conditions such as acne.
However, in order to do that, these actives need to remain on the skin for some time, and by having them in micellar water, you are not giving them enough time to do what they are supposed to do.
Micellar water stays on your skin for a minute or a few until you wash it off with water and follow it up with a second cleanse.
Therefore, you are getting zero benefits from having these actives inside a product that you will wash off after a few minutes.
So if you see micellar water that contains active ingredients and claims to brighten the skin and eliminate hyperpigmentation, know that you should save your money unless you really like how that particular product works for you.
Get a Separate Product For Removing Eye Makeup
Getting separate micellar water intended for removing eye makeup was a game-changer for me, and I will never stop recommending it to everyone.
Regular micellar water works just fine; however, if you have the chance, you should definitely invest in a separate product for the eyes.
Micellar water intended for removing eye makeup feels gentler, glides on the skin easier, tends to be a bit oilier so it removes heavy eye makeup with less tugging and friction, and it doesn’t burn and irritate the eyes.
10/10 would recommend you do this!
Don’t Use Micellar Water In The Morning
If you have thoroughly removed your makeup in the evening, followed up with a second cleanse, and did your skincare routine before going to bed – you certainly don’t need to use micellar water in the morning.
If your skin gets very oily and sweaty throughout the night, you can cleanse with your regular cleanser, or you can just swipe a toner across your face.
On the other hand, if your skin feels normal in the morning, you can just splash plain, tepid water, and you are good to go with your morning routine.
My Favorite Micellar Waters
Here is a list of my favorite micellar waters:
Garnier SkinActive – For All Skin Types
The Garnier SkinActive For All Skin Types is my favorite micellar water because it efficiently removes my makeup without irritating my skin.
It doesn’t have a scent, it’s suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin, and it’s super-affordable and accessible.
Garnier SkinActive – For Waterproof Makeup
The Garnier SkinActive For Waterproof Makeup is very similar to the above-mentioned micellar water, and I sometimes pick it up when my regular is out of stock.
It’s pretty much the same but more efficient in removing waterproof mascara and heavy makeup.
Bioderma – Sensibio H2O
The Bioderma Sensibio H2O is the more expensive version of the Garnier SkinActive for all skin types. It feels virtually the same, but there are some minor differences in the ingredient list.
The Bioderma is suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin and is very efficient in removing stubborn makeup.
CeraVe – Micellar Water
The CeraVe Micellar Water is also a good product that’s not going to irritate sensitive and acne-prone skin. It doesn’t contain fragrance or perfume, and it contains a few beneficial ingredients such as ceramides.
It also contains niacinamide, which is fine, I guess, but it doesn’t do much in a wash-off product.
It’s worth trying if you are not put off by it being more expensive than the Garnier one.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
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