Meet the cleanser you never knew you needed
DON’T LET THE CLEAR liquid deceive you; there’s a lot happening inside a bottle of micellar water. Touted by skin experts as a beauty essential, the rinse-free scientific potion works like a magnet. A certain concentration of surfactants (commonly used cleansing agents) gather in spheres to form micelles, which have water-loving and oil-loving components, says Olivier Martias, medical director for Bioderma North America, the brand behind the 1995 discovery.
“When micellar water is poured onto a cotton pad, micelles open up: the hydrophilic head of the surfactants is fixed to the cotton, while the lipophilic chain is directed outwards,” he says. When that cotton pad is applied on the skin, the lipophilic chain catches lipids — think makeup, excess sebum and pollution residue. Then, thanks to the surfactants, the impurities cling to the cotton pad, not your skin, he explains.
A multitasking star — it can also be used after cleansing to remove excess dirt, he says — micellar water wins big because of what it won’t do: irritate skin. Formulated to protect skin’s barrier and deliver anti-inflammatory benefits, a micellar cleanser combines efficacy with tolerance, even for the most sensitive skin types. With a hefty fan base behind the iconic original — one bottle of Bioderma Sensibio H20 is sold globally every two seconds — concoctions that address specific objectives such as controlling oil or increasing hydration have made a splash, too. ALYSSA BALL, ASSISTANT WEB EDITOR COURTNEY REILLY LARKE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR LISA SNOW, PRODUCTION MANAGER BETH THOMPSON, EDITOR IN CHIEF LISA HANNAM, WEB EDITOR
“My skin (especially around my eyes) becomes easily irritated, and it’s hard to find a cleanser that won’t leave some sort of rash. After using this at night for a while, it’s safe to say that nothing appeared. I was also amazed at how it hydrated.”...