What exactly is micellar water and can it really replace your cleanser?

We’ve all heard of micellar water. Hey, we all use micellar water. It’s a total skincare staple found on bathroom shelves far and wide, and we all love it for its ability to remove all the kinds of makeup found in your beauty advent calendars and cleanse our faces. But what actually is it? And why is it so special?

As with lots of amazing skincare, micellar water (pronounced my-sell-or, in case you were wondering), originated in French pharmacies, where it had already enjoyed huge popularity for decades and was responsible for many-a-trip across the channel.

It was only in 2013 when the French delicacy was made available in the UK, marked by the introduction of Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O Micellar Water into British pharmacy John Bell & Croydon, much to the joy of every beauty editor and skincare junkie in town. Since then, the humble micellar water has reached stratospheric heights, as well as the shelves of every high street drug-store nationwide.

The beauty in it all comes down to the science (obvs). The basis of all micellar waters is purified water to irradiate the minerals and heavy metals found in tap water.

The water is then infused with various hydrating ingredients and mild surfactants (compounds that break down oils), which group together to form tiny little balls of things called micelles. These little spheres attract all the makeup, excess sebum and daily grime on the surface of your skin – like a magnet – leaving it clean and refreshed. Simple, really.

If you’re wondering if this means you can replace your daily cleanser with micellar water, the short answer is yes… BUT.

Amanda Von Dem Hagen, International educator and skin specialist at Glo Skin Beauty says:

So either follow with a second swipe of micellar once all your makeup is removed, or follow with your favourite cleanser to give your skin the deep clean it deserves.

Check out the GLAMOUR round up of our favourite micellar waters to find one that suits your skin. You’re welcome.