Micellar water is made of tiny cleansing oil particles, called micelles, that are said to draw out the dirt and oil while hydrating your skin at the same time. It is a skincare secret, but not for long as it has been gaining attention because of its benefits.

What Is Micellar Water Used For?

Micellar Water

Micellar water is a multi-purpose facial product that can be used as a cleanser, tonic, or even a makeup remover. It has micelles which are like a magnet for the oil and dirt from the skin, which helps in cleansing the face. It can be a great moisturizer as well.

It typically contains purified water, mild surfactants, and some hydrating ingredients. [1]  Though it may look like water, the texture is quite different, and you’ll feel the difference once you start applying it to your face. It is also a popular travel must-have as it is compact so it’s perfect to bring along while on vacation or even camping.

Benefits of Micellar Water

Benefits of Micellar Water

This small and handy product packs a lot of benefits that you will love especially if you are very particular when it comes to your facial products. It is a great alternative to other cleansers that are harsher on the skin. It can also work for a variety of skin types like those with sensitive skin. 

Here are some specific benefits of micellar water:

As Toner

It is a great overall toner as the micelles in it can help draw out the dirt and oil from your skin. [2] It basically acts as a sponge to get rid of those impurities that are found on the surface of the skin. It can act as an effective cleanser as well since it does not have oil-stripping ingredients that can be harsh and damage your skin if used excessively.

For Skin Hydration

Glycerin, which is a hydrating ingredient, is typically found in most micellar water. It is one of the components that helps moisturize the skin more effectively. One study even mentioned that glycerin could hydrate the skin and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. [3]

It’s great to bring on the go as it can be a perfect refresher during the day since there is no rinsing required. It’s very simple to use after a workout or when you need a refresher after a long meeting at work.

Variety of Skin Types

Micellar water is an extremely versatile product and can work its magic regardless of your skin type. It does not matter if you have oily, dry, normal, or sensitive skin.  Most micellar water is alcohol-free so it’s great for the ones who have sensitive or dry skin since it’s hydrating and gentle for the skin.

The components of micellar water can help reduce the irritation of skin or in some cases, even inflammation. This is not just hearsay as a study showed that glycerin can reduce skin irritation and decrease inflammation during an experiment. [4]

Micellar Water As Makeup Remover

Removing makeup should not require some hard work that might end up irritating the skin and micellar water has definitely made it easier. It has become a staple product for make-up artists and aficionados to carry around since it can remove makeup without leaving your face oily, as do some cleansers or removers. 

Since micellar has no alcohol, removing makeup around your eyes won’t sting anymore. It also won’t smear your makeup as some wipes or removers do. You just put it on a cotton pad and gently sweep your face, but you might have to press the cotton around your eyes for a couple of seconds to loosen up the makeup around that area.

For Acne Treatment

When your pores become full of bacteria or oil, it triggers inflammation that results in redness and acne. If you have acne-prone skin, micellar water just might help you get rid of it. It has components that can clean up the clogged pores and soak up the oil and dirt from the face. [5]

One of the best benefits of micellar water is that, unlike other toners or cleansers, using it won’t strip the essential oils in the skin. You might be thinking, aren’t oils bad anyways? Well, the skin still needs to retain some of it, otherwise, your body might overcompensate and release more oils which can lead to pimple or acne breakouts.

How To Use Micellar Water

How To Use Micellar Water

Given the information about micellar water, how do you use it? Well, it’s quite straightforward. Here are the steps on how to apply it to your skin:

  • Get a cotton ball or pad and put a generous amount of micellar water product on it.
  • Gently press it on your skin and just gently swipe it across to remove the dirt, oil, or makeup.
  • Itdoes not need rinsing.
  • After applying it to your face, you can move on to the next step of your facial routine. 

Micellar Water vs. Toner


The difference between micellar water and toner might not be clear, even to skincare enthusiasts, especially since some of the benefits are the same. We’ve talked about micellar water, so now, here is a little information about toner.

It is a facial product used to cleanse your face and remove dead skin cells, but it requires rinsing. It also contains components that tighten your skin pores and balance the skin’s pH level.

You can definitely use both if you want to. Just use micellar water before you proceed to the next steps of your skincare routine. It prepares and refreshes your skin before applying other products. You can use micellar water as your toner if you do not have any other choice since it also helps tone your skin.

Toners are specially made to address certain skin issues with their combination of components. So, unless you absolutely have to, it’s better to use both but micellar water is still a great alternative.


Micellar water is quite a handy facial/skin product that provides a lot of benefits. It acts as a cleanser, makeup remover, and it’s a great alternative to toner. It has become a staple for skincare aficionados over the years, especially since it’s great for any skin type. It also won’t affect or interfere with the other facial products you use for your skincare routine.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Sensitive skin compatibility of micellar water. (2017). Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 76(6), AB233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.04.904
  • Atrux-Tallau, N., Romagny, C., Padois, K., Denis, A., Haftek, M., Falson, F., Pirot, F., & Maibach, H. I. (2010). Effects of glycerol on human skin damaged by acute sodium lauryl sulphate treatment. Archives of dermatological research302(6), 435–441. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-009-1021-z
  • Szél, E., Polyánka, H., Szabó, K., Hartmann, P., Degovics, D., Balázs, B., Németh, I. B., Korponyai, C., Csányi, E., Kaszaki, J., Dikstein, S., Nagy, K., Kemény, L., & Erős, G. (2015). Anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory effects of glycerol and xylitol in sodium lauryl sulphate-induced acute irritation. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV29(12), 2333–2341. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13225
  • National Library Of Medicine. (2022). Acne: Overview. Retrieved August 20, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279211/


  • Beatriz Galang

    Beatriz is an exceptional freelance medical writer. This is a craft she has been honing since her university years. Beatriz also has experience writing content in the health and wellness field, which she is extremely passionate about. She aims to help her readers understand their health and wellness deeper and make better health-related decisions. LinkedIn


Beatriz is an exceptional freelance medical writer. This is a craft she has been honing since her university years. Beatriz also has experience writing content in the health and wellness field, which she is extremely passionate about. She aims to help her readers understand their health and wellness deeper and make better health-related decisions. LinkedIn