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Everything You Must Know About Micellar Water


I have had a skincare routine since I was a little girl. I remember one of the novels I read had a main character, a much older girl, who had a practically religious obsession with her skincare. I needed to be like her. At 12, I was not much concerned about my skin looking younger or having more glow. I never really had an interest in makeup (I still don’t). But I needed to have that kind of pure adoration of caring for myself with cleansing and moisturizing products. I would save my allowance, buy myself a jar of Noxzema, slather the cool minty cream on my face each night, get the water in the bathroom sink hot to rinse it off, then dunk my face in an ice bath to close my pores. At 12. Yes, I was a bit dramatic even then. So it shook me the first time I went camping with my husband many years ago: wait, how am I supposed to clean my face with no running water? Micellar water certainly would have saved me back then.  

Table of Contents:  

  • What Is Micellar Water?  
  • How Micellar Water Is Different from Other Cleansers 
  • Top 5 Benefits of Adding Micellar Water to Your Routine 
  • Buy All Natural 

What Is Micellar Water? 

Yea, when I was camping, I had to find alcohol-based wipes, try to scrub my face in front of a spigot, or just not wear makeup the whole time and hope for the best. It was not great. I always came home feeling grimy. Micellar water comes to the rescue. Today, I can bring a bottle of micellar water for cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Win/win/win. 

Micellar water is a skincare product that combines purified water, moisturizers, and mild surfactants. The surfactants are made up of micelles, a spherical chemical structure that pulls dirt and oil away from your skin. This magical mixture, when applied with a cotton swab, allows you to clean your face and neck without water. And you do not even have to moisturize afterward! So if you are out in the middle of nowhere enjoying amazing scenery on an epic hike or camping trip, you do not ever even have to physically touch your face with your hands, and you still get soft, clean skin. For the 65% of women who reportedly have a solid skincare routine, micellar water is good news. 

It was designed originally in France, over one hundred years ago. The selling point, of course, was the absence of a need for running water. The French have traditionally hard water, so this much softer version was all the rave. You can now find it on the shelves and counters of makeup artists, models, and actresses, who need to wipe a clean surface before applying a fresh coat of makeup. 

How Micellar Water is Different from Other Cleansers 

With other cleansers, you usually need water, you must apply the soap with your hand or with a brush, and you must towel dry your face. That is a lot of equipment, especially if you just want to get to bed quickly or you do not have access to your usual equipment.  

The downside is that micellar water will not remove heavy foundation or eye makeup. If you tend to glam up, even for camping, consider also carrying a makeup remover to apply before washing with micellar water.  

Top 5 Benefits of Adding Micellar Water to Your Routine 

So, should you or should you not? Below are five great reasons to consider adding micellar water to your skincare routine, at the very least for travel, camping, and lazy nights.  

1. No Water Required 

Again, this was the big selling point for me with micellar water. Anytime I am on the road and do not have access to running water, this product is a lifesaver.  

2. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate 

If you have ever read anything I have written on self-care, you know hydration is a big deal for me. Inside and out, hydration is critical to so many of our bodily functions, especially our skin. Because micellar water is a combination of oil-based moisturizers, like glycerin, and water, you get added hydration with your wash.  

3. Great for Sensitive Skin 

Because no harsh chemicals are present in micellar water, those of us with sensitive skin do not need to worry about inflammation that irritates and dries out the skin.  

4. The Need for Speed! 

Swipe and you are done. Some nights, as a working mom, I just need it to be that simple. Though I no longer follow the long, drawn-out Noxzema ritual, my nighttime routine is still lengthy, and micellar water saves me a ton of time while still letting me feel pampered.  

5. Clean and Clear 

Last but certainly not least, micellar water keeps your skin clean and clear. It is critical to go to bed each night with a clean face, so you avoid adding the dirt and grime of the day to your precious pillow while you sleep. A quick, easy, gentle, all-natural way to keep your pores from clogging up, this cleanser is tough to beat. 

Buy All Natural 

As always, this plant-loving writer is going to recommend you find the most all-natural, plant-based product you can. Remember, what you put on your skin is as important as what you put in your body. I try hard to be mindful of both. For that reason, I am grateful Wow Skin Science has added coconut micellar water to their beauty line. I can feel good about what I put on my skin and about the all-natural, vegan-based company I support.  

In the end, you cannot lose with micellar water in your beauty kit. It will save you time, be good to your skin, and maybe even save you money in the long run. Here’s to fabulous, glowing, clean skin.

Shanna Mendez

Shanna Mathews Mendez is a freelance writer and blogger on topics related to self-care, naturopathy, female empowerment, and motherhood. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children, where she enjoys traveling, being active outdoors, and studying herbalism and plant-based remedies in her free time. Drawing on her graduate degree in comparative literature and her own life experiences, she is currently writing her first book. She can be found online at her website

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