Hey hey! Guess what? I have a pretty sweet new cleanser for you to try out if you have acne prone skin — it’s micellar water!
If you are prone to acne breakouts, what you wash your face with is very important.
The way we usually do it ain’t so helpful when it comes to stopping acne. Harsh chemical cleansers that strip your skin leave you prone to oil over-production and bacterial invasion.
If you want to stop acne breakouts, then you want to look for a cleanser that:
- Leaves the skin hydrated and does not strip all its water and oil (so that your skin doesn’t feel the need to overproduce oil to compensate — or get so dehydrated that the pores trap clogs in them)
- Has the proper PH – ie. slightly acidic – as to preserve the healthy skin barrier function (to keep bacteria out and water in)
- Is free of harsh chemicals (chemicals are, at the very least, not nourishing to the skin, at the worst potentially damaging)
- Does a great job of easily removing makeup and dirt
- Doesn’t require intense exfoliation, hot water, or steaming to rinse makeup and cleanser off (ahem, oil cleansing)
This is actually a really tall order.
Honey is My Go-To Acne Cleanser, But Micellar Water May Change That
For years, raw honey has been my go-to recommendation for skin cleansing. It’s got the right PH, it’s gentle and non-stripping, obviously free of harsh chemicals, and has healing nutrients for the skin. It rinses off freely too.
While it works wonderfully for many people who agree it has greatly improved their skin, the enzymes in it can be a little too much for some people if your skin is super sensitive (more so if it’s a stronger honey like manuka).
It can make your bathroom counter all sticky, and it’s also not the most convenient thing to pack around if you’re traveling or staying over somewhere.
But also it just doesn’t always do the best job at fully removing makeup, especially if you use thick, full coverage.
So then people have to add in a ton of extra oils, exfoliation, or chemical makeup removers just to get their makeup off.
And honestly, the simpler the better when it comes to healing your skin from acne.
Contrary to what you think will kill acne (the stronger the better! More products! More products! More products!)— the more complicated your routine is, the more products and ingredients and elbow grease you have to put into it, the more likely it is to contribute to acne breakouts.
Repeat after me: Simple. Gentle. Non-stripping. As few products as possible.
So I really wanted to find something natural with the right PH that would remove makeup, cleanse, tone, not strip the skin, and just be convenient — all in one product.
Micellar water may just be that!
So what is Micellar Water and Why Does my Acne Prone Skin Care?
Micellar water is soft water with some sciencey thing called micelles suspended in it (“an aggregate of molecules in a colloidal solution, such as those formed by detergents” … so… you know, whatever that means).
Whatever micelles really are, what we care about is that they attract dirt and oil to them without stripping your skin.
How Do I Use Micellar Water to Cleanse my Acne Prone Skin?
It is a liquidy product, so you want to just squirt some onto a cotton pad and then gently swipe it all over your face.
As needed, keep adding more micellar water to the pad (and/or rinsing it under the tap) and running over your face and eyes until your face is clear of makeup. It shouldn’t take too much to do it.
Now here’s where my opinion differs slightly to the micellar water instructions.
Micellar water claims that it’s a cleanser that does not involve water. Ie. you don’t have to rinse it off after you’re done.
To me, it seems kind of weird as to why you would bother to lift up all this dirt and makeup, and then just essentially leave all the residue on your face.
So I highly recommend just a quick splash or two after you’re done to get rid of that. Some people will probably break out if they skip this step.
If your water supply isn’t so bangin’, then you may want to use filtered or spring water just for this part.
And then you’re done. Makeup removed, cleansed, toned, all in one go. Proceed to moisturizing.
Which Micellar Water is Best for Acne Prone Skin?
So here’s the thing.
Micellar water is not a “natural” product in itself (which is another reason I recommend rinsing it off after and not just leaving it on).
In fact, most micellar waters (popular ones like Garnier) are full of typical skin-damaging chemicals. Completely clean, natural micellar waters are very few and far between.
Unfortunately, if you aren’t in the United States, that one has stupid high shipping to other countries. (why you do dat?)
There is one that is more widely available, which is very close to making the mark (enough to let it slide in light of all its good qualities).
It’s called Bioderma H20 Sensibio Micellar Water (<– Amazon.com link).
In Canada you can get it at Shopper’s Drug Mart. In the UK, you can get it at Boots. Looks like it’s available in Australia too, and the rest of Europe (it’s from France).
My Experience Using Micellar Water for my Acne Prone Skin
So, while I used to use honey, nowadays I don’t wash my face with anything other than water 99% of the time.
I’m grateful to have healthy skin now, so no need for full makeup, and I don’t live in a dirty city.
So I just splash with water twice a day and then moisturize (a humectant combination of aloe and glycerin, followed by a drop of an oil mixture to lock the moisture in, all applied while skin is still wet) and that’s it.
It’s super simple and this keeps my skin very balanced without stripping it or making it feel tight.
(No matter what your skin’s like now or where you live, I highly recommend you also just splash with water in the morning and then apply moisturizer. There’s really no need to cleanse in the morning — it’s just adding an unnecessary step)
However, I find that when I do wear makeup on the rare occasion, no matter what I do to get it off, leaves my skin feeling tight. That’s whether it’s using a natural foaming cleanser, or oil cleansing, it doesn’t matter. My skin basically feels tight if you look at it wrong.
I did buy some of the Bioderma Micellar Water and slathered my face in thick foundation so I could test it out and see how it performed.
True to its word, it took off all the makeup easily AND my skin did not feel stripped at all. It felt nice and hydrated when I was done (even before moisturizing).
So it gets a big gold star from me!!
Have you tried micellar water yet to cleanse your acne prone skin? Get one of those more natural options (and rinse it off at the end) and I think it’s pretty darn cool.