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Micellar Water

micellar water

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To learn more about cleansing and removing make-up with a micellar water, explore responses from dermatologists and allergists to questions submitted by internet users during chat sessions organised by Bioderma.

Normally, the dermatologist who does the procedure will give you post-laser skincare advice. The skincare product will depend on the type of laser used because there are various lasers. 
There are lasers that respect the skin’s integrity; they are non-ablative. They treat the inside, whether it’s for couperosis or hair removal. You don’t need to change your make-up removal routine. For couperosis, for example, the laser treats deeper vessels, but the skin itself won’t be affected. You will need to use gentle skincare products so you don’t irritate it. 
However, ablative lasers damage the skin a bit for a specific purpose. Your make-up removal routine will be completely different. For example, if you do a laser resurfacing procedure (fractional CO2), the skin will be really perforated, a bit pockmarked, and the make-up removal routine must be more gentle and adapted. 
So, ask your dermatologist what post-procedure skin care products you should use.

A dermatological bar is a soap-free soap. It is known as a syndet, a synthetic detergent. It lathers very little and has few surfactants. It is good for very sensitive skin. It works best for cleansing fragile skin, rather than removing make-up. To remove make-up, the product must contain surfactants, which emulsify make-up particles so they can be removed. If you use something ultra-mild, it won’t remove your make-up. A dermatological bar is useful for cleansing skin without make-up on it, so I would not recommend it for removing make-up.

Since micellar water is a make-up removing water, you would be removing make-up twice. Toner removes milk residues. So, you should either use a make-up-removing milk with a lotion when the milk needs to be rinsed or use a micellar water by itself. It won’t hurt you to use both products, but since they do the same thing, you don’t need to.

Perhaps a better question is, “Should I use the same moisturising cream or make-up in every season?” You need a richer moisturising cream in winter and one that is more fluid in summer. But for removing make-up, in general you can use the same make-up remover all year long. 

Not unless you’ve forgotten to do so the night before. There’s no reason to since you don’t have any make-up on. You should rinse with some water or mist face with some water for freshness, but you shouldn’t use make-up remover or rub skin. Rubbing too hard or irritating skin can lead to reactional seborrhoea if you have fragile skin. In general, you should remove make-up in the evening. In the morning, follow your cleansing routine, but don’t use a make-up remover. Use special cleansing products if you have very oily skin you need to wash.

You do need to wash your face, at least in the evening. If you don’t wear make-up, once a day is plenty. But you do need to cleanse skin to remove traces of pollution, sweat, etc. I recommend washing in the evening. In the morning, you can simply mist water on your face with an atomiser or rinse while in the shower for a clean feeling. No need to wash it again. Even if you don’t wear make-up, it’s a good idea to wash your face in the evening because it has been exposed to the air.

It depends on how much make-up you’re wearing, but usually one or two cotton wools are enough. Some people rub a lot to remove every last trace.
Try this: rub a cotton wool on your arm where you’re not wearing make-up and it will pick up dark traces. This isn’t necessarily dirt. It’s likely the superficial skin layers that your body is shedding. They are filled with pigment, so they have a bit of colour. If you keep using cotton wools until they come back clean, it’s like a mini-scrub every evening and that may be too much for your skin. So, one or two passes is enough. As soon as you aren’t seeing any make-up, you’ve cleansed your skin enough.

It’s a dilemma because if you can’t see anything when you’re taking make-up off, you won’t do a good job. But, it’s still better to remove lenses before cleansing because the product may get into your eyes and damage or cloud the lenses.

An internet user’s question

Do wipes cleanse better than a cotton wool?

Cotton wool does a good job, but wipes can be more practical because they are pre-moistened. I suggest only using wipes occasionally or when travelling because the ones you find in supermarkets have preservatives to prevent bacterial contamination. When you open a package and using it for a month or two, these preservatives can sometimes be irritating or lead to allergic reactions. If you are going to use the wipes, buy a small package. And just use them for emergencies while travelling. Otherwise, a cotton wool is perfectly suitable. 

For mature skin, I suggest using a milk, followed by a moisturising lotion, because you might be wearing a bit more make-up than someone with younger skin. So you will want to remove it completely and gently with creamy milks. And be sure to put on a good night cream. You’ll want to be sure your face is well prepared by removing all make-up so that your skin can absorb all of the active ingredients.

You should treat oily skin with blackheads using a cream. Micellar water and foaming gel are cleansing products, but they don’t really treat blackheads. There are creams for oily skin that work very well to close pores or improve skin texture. Your cleansing routine, which lasts for 5 to 10 seconds, is a complementary step in this case. So, using a micellar water designed for oily skin or a foaming gel is a good idea, but you also need to use an oily-skin treatment product every day.

If you use a micellar water, after wiping with one or two cotton wools, the cotton loses its white colour. That’s how you can tell you’ve removed all make-up. Be careful not to rub too hard. Sometimes, people strip the superficial horny layer and those residues show up on the cotton. This isn’t make-up but the skin itself. Unless you’re using theatrical make-up or corrective make-up to cover dark spots, angioma, scars, you only need to make one or two passes with the cotton. 

An internet user’s question

How long does micellar water last?

Normally, the expiration date is indicated on the packaging. And if you use it regularly, a bottle will last a few weeks to a few months without any problems. Of course, you probably shouldn’t keep a bottle of micellar water that’s been open for five years.

It’s less a question of time than of quality. If you wear very little make-up, it won’t take long at all. There’s no ideal length. Just make sure to wipe the entire face. If there are traces of make-up on the cotton wool, you should wipe a second time. Sometimes people say they don’t have time to remove their make-up. In reality, we can always make time because it’s quick to do. It’s like saying, “I don’t have time to breath”! Obviously, removing make-up is less important than breathing. But it’s still something that takes very little time, especially once you’re in the habit. So, the amount of time doesn’t matter, it’s how well you cleanse skin.

Most micellar waters can be used to remove eye make-up, but not all of them. This will be indicated on the product. Some made for oily skin have active ingredients that may irritate eyes. But you can use most micellar waters to remove non-waterproof or light eye make-up. They won’t work well if you have on lots of make-up. In that case, a special solution for waterproof make-up or cotton wool soaked in make-up remover would be better.

Avoid sunburns because they’re bad for the skin. Above all, do not wear make-up after a sunburn, even if you want to hide it, because this is a superficial burn and you will irritate your skin even more. If you are still determined to wear make-up, put on a bit of powder and remove make-up with a light milk or lotion product. Be sure you don’t rub. But, again, it’s best not to get a sunburn! There are some very good sun creams, even some with tints that give you a radiant complexion.

You can use either one. To be clear, we’re not talking about a milk OR a lotion, but a milk + lotion combo or just a micellar water. Don’t confuse a lotion with micellar water. The lotion is used to remove milk, since the milk is a suspension of oily particles. Micellar water is a make-up remover in liquid form. So, for combination skin, either a milk + lotion combo or a micellar water will work well for removing make-up.

You can still wear make-up, even if you have intolerant skin. You will just need to test products. Go to a pharmacy and ask for samples that you can test on the inside of your arm. This is where skin is most sensitive. Above all, you should use moisturising creams adapted to sensitive skin. There are also micellar water or milk make-up removers formulated for fragile, sensitive skin. In my personal opinion, milk still feels the best. But I also have lots of patients who love using micellar water on their very sensitive skin. It’s up to you! You’re the only that can decide what texture and product works best.

Your skin may actually be quite clean, but there is a subjective side to make-up removal. This comes up often and many people wash their faces after removing make-up. If you’re feeling this way, switch to something foaming or a micellar water that doesn’t leave an oily feel. But whether you remove make-up with a milk + lotion combo or a micellar water, both options are gentle and effective. It’s simply a matter of preference.

The perfect product is the one you like. In other words, it’s the one that you enjoy using and that gives you a feeling of well-being. For some people, this will be a scented make-up remover; for others, not. Some might like a creamy texture while others will prefer a texture that doesn’t feel oily. Some people like to use water to feel fresher and others just like using a cotton wool. The perfect make-up remover is one that leaves skin looking nice and that you feel good about using each night.

Masks should be applied on make-up free skin because you want it the active ingredients to be absorbed deeply. So, you need to remove make-up before using a mask with micellar water or a milk and lotion combination. What’s most important is to have clean skin so you are not putting the mask on over make-up. After you’ve removed the mask, you don’t need to use a make-up remover, but you can use a product like micellar water or a milk to remove the last mask residues from your skin. 

An internet user’s question

Is it important to dry the face?

Yes, you should dry your face. First of all, leaving your skin wet doesn’t feel very nice. But more importantly, it dehydrates the skin. So, be sure to dry your face. Then apply a night cream. Not everyone uses one, but if you do, you should choose a nourishing night cream. If you have acne-prone skin, use a treating cream and apply it to dry skin so it absorbs better. 

It’s true that products are made to be used together, so that would be more logical. However, you don’t have to use the entire range for skin care, make-up removal and cleansing. It can vary… in terms of a make-up remover, for example, a milk/toner combo can work well. And if one product from a particular range works well on your skin, you know there will be the same type of ingredients in another. This means you can minimise the risk of intolerance or other problems. 

Not really, because products either have preservatives – which aren’t dangerous anymore because they’re highly regulated – or have special airless packaging that keeps air from entering to preserve freshness. Overall, products are made to be kept at room temperature, so you won’t have problems unless you leave a product on a shelf above a heater in the bathroom or in a glove compartment (this also applies to sun creams). Some products, like masks or make-up removers, are kept in the fridge so they feel fresh when you put them on. Or people with couperosis sometimes do this so the products feel more soothing. But in general, there’s no need to store products in the fridge.

An internet user’s question

Should micellar water be rinsed off?

No. Micellar water is a solution with a huge number of small surfactant spheres that catch dirt. Unlike a milk, the product does not remain suspended on the skin. Many people rinse off micellar waters because it they feel like it makes their skin extra fresh, but there’s really no need to. You can just dry skin after using it. 

An internet user’s question

What does “micellar water” mean?

Micellar water is a water with little micelles in it. Micelles are small surfactant particles that capture dirt, then deposit it on the cotton wool. Micelles trap make-up particles. They remain suspended in water indefinitely but do a good job removing make-up. And, of course, they’re invisible to the naked eye. That’s why it’s called micellar water.

If you only wear a small amount of make-up, use a foaming gel, which is nice for oily skin. if you have more make-up on, you can use a relatively thin, fluid milk that you will finish off with a lightly astringent lotion. Lotions made for removing milks come in all varieties: soothing, astringent, etc. When used in relation to milk, “tonic lotion” is a generic term. You can use any kind of lotion you want, as long as it is made for your skin type. For oily skin, you can use a milk/tonic lotion combination or a micellar water made for oily skin. 

For sensitive skin, you may want to avoid foaming gel, which may be too aggressive. Instead, you should use a rinse-off milk + soothing lotion combo or a micellar water specifically made for sensitive skin. 

For atopic skin, you should use comforting products because skin is dry and has a tendency to become irritated. I generally suggest using a micellar water for fragile skin or a make-up-removing milk that you would rinse off using a gentle lotion instead of an astringent lotion. But before we focus on removing make-up, let’s look at make-up itself. Be careful about what products you use; avoid products that dry out the skin. Long lasting tinted foundations are usually fairly drying. However, there are several BB Creams made especially for sensitive or atopic skin. So, I recommend looking for gentle products for make-up and make-up removal.

We have lots of choices. Foaming gels are better for cleansing than removing make-up, but then can work if you don’t wear much make-up (if you just use a bit of powder, for example). There are two types of milks: no-rinse milks and milks you wipe off with lotions, which are called toners Even if they aren’t always toning, these lotions can be soothing, calming or astringent. As for micellar waters, they are make-up removers that don’t need to be rinsed. People often like to wash their face after using a micellar water, but it isn’t necessary. 
So, you can choose from among several possibilities. 
A foaming texture has to be used with water; it must be rinsed well. Men usually prefer this type of product. Our patients tell us the like the feeling of freshness and cleanliness that the foamy texture provides. The advantage to using a make-up-removing milk is that residues are visible on the cotton wool and it’s a comfortable product. A micellar water is very practical. It removes make-up and cleanses in one step.
It all depends which product you choose. If you use a foaming product, you should lightly dampen your face, lather the product, rinse it off and dry your face. If you’ve chosen a milk, moisten a cotton wool with it and wipe your face, then apply a lotion. You don’t need to wash anything off. Washing with soap is overrated. You shouldn’t scrub your skin; it’s a sensitive area and this can irritate it. A milk and lotion work together to remove make-up and cleanse skin.
A micellar water is easier because it removes make-up in one step. You may need to make two passes, but micellar water does a good job removing make-up and cleanses skin at the same time. Plus, it doesn’t have to be rinsed off. 

It sounds like you’ve used the same product to remove eye make-up as you used on your face. And if you have waterproof make-up, you would have to rub a lot, unless it was just the a rough cotton wool you used… I suggest you use a product made specifically for eyes, such as an emulsion or oil-based product, which will do a good job dissolving make-up. Then you can follow up with a regular make-up remover on your face and rise afterwards. The idea is to use two different products to remove make-up on your eyes and face.

It’s important because removing make-up cleanses skin and prepares it for the next day. It also prepares the skin in the evening to absorb a moisturising cream if you have dry skin and gets skin ready for putting on make-up the next morning. This is important because if you put make-up on skin that hasn’t been properly cleansed, you risk triggering allergies, irritation, intolerance, acne and clogged pores. Removing your make-up is just as important in your cleansing routine as washing skin. 

Not if it just happens once. But a British journalist conducted an extreme experiment: for one month, she didn’t remove her make-up at all; she simply put new make-up on top each day. You can find the before and after photos online and it’s quite terrible. The result? Her skin was full of wrinkles because the moisturising cream didn’t absorb and the tinted foundation dried out her skin. So, yes, your skin will age if you never remove make-up. If it happens occasionally, your skin may get irritated or develop a few pimples. So, it’s better to remove make-up every day.