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Rinçage eau micellaire.

Should micellar water be rinsed off?

A cleansing liquid, micellar water is often praised for the fact that it requires no rinsing, unlike other traditional facial cleansing products. But is this option risk-free? Our experts are here to answer that for you.

What is micellar cleansing water?

Originating from France, themicellar water establishes itself as a daily multifunctional basic care product that requires no rinsing, presented as a makeup remover, a light cleanser, a toner, and a semi-moisturiser. It is gentle on the skin's protective barrier, yet it attracts makeup residues and minor surface dirt on the skin in far fewer steps and with much more ease.

Primarily used for makeup removal, micellar water, however, is not sufficient to remove stubborn and water-resistant makeup. For a more thorough cleansing, it cannot be used as the sole method of washing the face.

Contrary to popular belief, micellar water is not simply re-bottled purified water. It contains non-ionic surfactants (glycol ester, poloxamer 184, coco-glucoside, etc.) which aggregate to form micro-spheres, known as micelles. They act like a magnet to help capture, trap and remove impurities that have accumulated on the skin, including excess sebum, pollution particles, traces of makeup, sunscreen and other cosmetic products, cellular debris or even sweat.

Unlike other types of surfactants, non-ionic surfactants are less likely to cause irritations.

Thanks to its dual affinity with one pole that attracts fats (lipophilic) and another that attracts water (hydrophilic), the unique composition of micellar water thus allows for the gentle removal of numerous residues present on the skin's surface, while ensuring its natural balance and hydration.

Micellar Water: Should it be rinsed off after application?

Contrary to what is often conveyed, our recommendation is that it is better to err on the side of caution andadd a rinsing step after using micellar water. However, this depends on your skin type. While the convenience of this may be appealing, not rinsing off micellar water can potentially cause undesirable effects such as skin irritation, dryness, redness, and itching, if it remains on the skin for a prolonged and repeated period, especially in individuals with sensitive skin. Moreover, this irritation can be particularly acute around the eyes. Indeed, surfactant molecules can disrupt the skin's structure, even if the detergents contained in the formula are of a mild nature and in low concentration.

Most people tolerate the residual surfactants from micellar water on the skin well, but others may find them too irritating. Our advice is to always pay attention to your skin's needs and its reactions to the products applied.


  • HAWKINS S. & al. Sensitive skin compatibility of micellar water. Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology (2017).


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