It is difficult to imagine any modern woman’s cosmetic bag without a makeup remover. The palm tree in all the abundance of such cleansers belongs to micellar water, which has been a hit in the beauty industry in recent years. However, despite the popularity of the beauty product, many are still wondering how to use micellar water correctly, how to choose a decent formula and, of course, whether it is worth rinsing it off.
Fortunately for manufacturers, regular water refreshes the skin, but it does not always wash off makeup. Well, cosmetic companies have the opportunity to offer their own version of “magic water” – micellar. Ten years ago, it was enough just to put it on the shelf – and the bottles were snapped up like free champagne. Now, to get consumers interested, you have to be creative. Exfoliation, matting and pore tightening are added to the standard “cleanse” property. Pure water in the base and even thermal water is already too boring and ordinary. Therefore, they began to offer micellar cleansing based on flower waters, melt water from Arctic glaciers and even a “micro-water enriched with hydrogen”. How to understand this diversity is a question worthy of close attention.
Hamlet’s question: to wash or not to wash?
One of the buying misconceptions about micellar water is actually water. It is on it that the confidence is based that such a product does not need to be washed off the skin. It may well be that the labeling on the bottle does not require rinsing. But this does not mean that this recommendation should always be followed. Let me explain in more detail why.
A micellar liquid is an “under-cream” that is “disguised” as a micro-cream. In its production, the same raw materials are used as for the cream (oil, emulsifiers, moisturizers, preservative, perfume). Only droplets of oil with an emulsifier in a micellar liquid are so small that it looks like water. Due to the fact that such water contains oil, it is possible to dissolve the persistent components of the makeup, and the emulsifier allows all this to be easily washed off the face. It is in the qualitative characteristics of the emulsifier, as they say, that the dog is buried, that is, in them lies the solution to the question – to wash off or not to wash off the agent.
The first versions of micellar fluids contained very mild emulsifiers based on poloxamers (Poloxamer 188, Poloxamer 407). They were “called” into cosmetics from pharmaceuticals, where they are still used in eye drops (“artificial tears”), as a filler for tablets and as a base for ointments / emulsions. But since poloxamers are an example of “pure and uncomplicated biosynthesis” (an artificially synthesized component), science was looking for a “green” alternative to it.
Now such are derivatives of vegetable oil and cane sugar – Lauryl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Lauroyl Methyl Glucamide, Capryloyl / Caproyl Methyl Glucamide and other “sugar chemistry”, on the basis of which natural and organic cosmetics are made. Products with poloxamers and glucosides are so mild and delicate that they can write on the label “does not require rinsing”.
Take it off immediately
True, later a good and noble idea had to be “optimized” a little. And all because micellar liquids based on them are extremely capricious. They strive to become cloudy and spoil their appearance in every possible way during storage. Therefore, chemists began to stabilize them with more “heavy artillery”. A classic example of such stabilizing emulsifiers is ethoxylated fatty alcohols and polysorbates (PEG-8 Stearate, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polysorbate-20, etc.).
To achieve greater stability of the system, the emulsifier is combined with a large amount of co-surfactants (butylene glycol, propylene glycol, lower alcohols, etc.). As a result, the presentation of the products has become decent, but the compatibility with the skin is not so ideal. This is because, together with makeup, these emulsifiers “capture” the good lipids of our skin. They do it especially successfully when nothing bothers them (“the product is not washed off”).
Now I will voice one a very unpopular thing. The result of systematic non-washing of micellar liquid with the words PEG and Polysorbate may very well be dryness of certain areas of the skin, its redness and increased skin sensitivity. Hence the conclusion: you see these words “do not wash off the product” on the label, be reinsured, no matter what the manufacturer writes. By the way, if in one bottle you see a “cocktail” of Poloxamer and PEG (hThis is often done to improve the formula that helps remove waterproof makeup), I also recommend rinsing off this tool.
Water in water
It’s time to talk about the composition of water – after all, in a micellar liquid it can be up to 95%, therefore the qualitative composition of micellar directly affects the condition of the skin.
In a situation of sensitive skin, when “burned and blowing on water”, it is possible and necessary to look for formulations minimally “loaded” with active ingredients. They can contain both pure purified and thermal water. In the first case, simply cleansing will take place, in the second, the mineral salts of thermal water will have a calming effect. For those who want to “get confused” and use the product on glacial water, it makes sense to think about the ratio of the price and the properties obtained. The mineral composition of the glaciers is losing thermal water, but wins in terms of “just water”.
For additional hydration and toning, various flower waters are good – a by-product of obtaining essential oils. That is why, in addition to a pleasant smell, they also have an aromatherapy effect. Micellar waters based on them are a successful combination of a beautiful marketing story and real benefits for the skin.
Water from another planet
The Asian market has its own view of water in micellar water. When studying the bestseller from Dr. Jart + literally amazes with the inscription: “Microwave, which contains 85% of active hydrogen.” Both parts of this description sound like “WTF”. In the sense that this is some kind of pseudoscientific inscription. To clear my conscience, I start looking for research on “hydrogen-rich water” and … I discover a new planet. It turns out that such water really exists. It is artificially “saturated” with hydrogen (a process called electrolysis). Hydrogen-enriched water has the properties of a strong antioxidant, with a selective effect: it neutralizes the most aggressive free radicals (with the -OH group) and leaves the weaker ones (they serve as a “weapon” for our immune cells).
Japanese and Chinese scientists publish many works on the benefits of taking “hydrogen water” in the treatment of various diseases (heart attack, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes and many more diseases associated with oxidative stress). For cosmetic purposes, it is used to relieve inflammation and accelerate healing. I would not venture to call “hydrogen water” a panacea, but as an interesting and promising direction, it is definitely “yes”. The only “fat” minus that I see is its high instability. Hydrogen escapes from the water literally in minutes, so you need to use very sealed packages and build complex production cycles. But this is already a trifle compared to the world revolution that scientists are about to bring into our lives.
Featured image on unsplash.com