One of my favorite products right now is the cleansing water. I wasn’t too familiar with them until I tried Dr. Jart’s Micro Water and that was an epic game-changer for me!
The first time I came across the concept of a micellar water was while reading Garance Doré’s blog, she wrote about how her dermatologist recommended that she basically avoid putting tap water on her face, even in the shower! Water quality in skincare seems to be a slightly unexplored frontier but that’s where things like French thermal mists—which are fortified with naturally occurring minerals—come into play.
Depending on where you live your tap water can be harsh, I know when I travel to different cities or countries my skin and hair feel super different and much healthier. In some parts of the world I can get away with not applying body lotion because the water was soft and didn’t completely strip my skin.
Washing your face with water upsets the ph balance and can strip the skin of oils that protect it. Hard water in the US can trigger products to clog our pores, make your skin dry, itchy and flakey.
The amount of dirt that micellar waters can remove from the skin is impressive and they can leave your skin feeling even more clean than if you’d used water and a foaming face wash. I also really like how they don’t leave your face feeling stiff, dry and stripped.
How I use cleansing waters:
- As a first cleanser to remove makeup
- Or or a second cleanser after washing face w/ gel cleanser
- Or as a third cleanser or toner after double cleansing w/ oil & water cleanser
- To remove any oils and refresh face in lieu of washing (if I haven’t worn makeup)
- As a 3-in-1 makeup remover/cleanser/toner if I’m super lazy or tired and don’t feel like doing the 10-step routine and washing my face at all.
Here are three different ones that I’ve tried:
Dr. Jart Micro Water
This is one blew my socks off the first time I used it! It’s one of the most versatile cleansing products that I own, and one of my best finds from last year.
I first came across it in the Dr. Jart “A BB C” travel kit at Sephora, which also includes the Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer and the Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45. I was so impressed the first time I used it and just how thoroughly it took off my makeup AND how moisturized it left my skin.
If you use it as a first cleanser you can head right to toner because it leaves the face feeling super refreshed and ready for all subsequent skincare steps. It feels very gentle on the skin and you can totally get all up in your eye to gently remove waterproof mascara and it won’t irritate it. I highly recommend it!
Stand out ingredients: Active Hydrogen Water: Provides deep cleansing to remove impurities. Galactomyces: Smooths and improves skin texture. Yeast Fermentation Extract: Provides antioxidant protection. Sepicalm VG (Patented Ingredient): Brightens and tones. Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake), Pearl Powder. Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Royal Jelly Extract
Son & Park Beauty Water
I’d been on the fence about buying this product for ages, something in the ingredients list was giving me pause and I wasn’t sure that my skin would like it, but I decided to give it a try as overall it has a lot of positive reviews. I did not like this at all, like I’ve never disliked using a product more.
It’s supposed to be a 3-in-1 product so I’m reviewing it on the basis of it working as a cleanser, makeup remover and exfoliating toner. I tried it first to remove makeup, HUGE mistake, my face felt like it was on fire and I just wanted to put on the most hydrating face mask I could find, don’t try removing any makeup with this, it’s not suited for that despite the packaging saying so. I gave it a second try as a toner same deal, it left my skin feeling so dry. Like it just felt super harsh on my skin, it’s an exfoliant for sure but I wouldn’t say it leaves the skin refreshed at all.
The Beauty Water has a lot of good reviews and fans, but unfortunately it was not for my skin type, I think people with very oily skin might find it gives them good results. Whatever is in here that’s providing the exfoliation (maybe the willow bark and papaya extract) is super strong. If you have sensitive skin you might use this every other day as an exfoliating toner.
I’d really recommend taking a pass on this because it has a bunch of parabens in it and there’s no reason to expose your skin unnecessarily to toxins if they are just plain better alternatives that are healthier for your skin.
Standout ingredients: Willow Bark and Papaya Extract: help renew skin’s surface by lifting impurities and dead skin cells for brighter, smoother skin. Rose Flower Water, Orange Fruit Extract, and Lavender Water: Deliver intense hydration.
La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Ultra
Micellar waters are no rinse cleansers that take their name from micelles, the microscopic cleansing agents that are used in their formulas. These micelles have a lipophilic core that attract oil and impurities, they naturally lift dirt, oil, makeup, and even pollution on contact with no harsh rubbing necessary.
The first time I used this 3-in-1 cleanser I was blown away! It took off all my makeup, left my face feeling hydrated, soothed and refreshed, it’s very gentle and there’s so rinsing needed—you don’t feel the need to rinse either—since it has glycerin you can also get away with forgoing moisturizer if you’re super lazy. It works well on removing waterproof mascara.
Out of the three cleansing waters listed you get the most bang for your buck with this one from La Roche-Posay as it costs less and there’s more product.
After having used this I totally get how you could use products like these for an extended period of time and not have tap water be a part of your life. Some cleansers leave your skin feeling tight and they still leave some mucky residue that you have to finish off cleansing with toner.
Standout ingredients: Thermal spring water (this one is particular being rich in Selenium, a rare and powerful natural antioxidant), it has no soap, no colorants, no alcohol and no parabens! And it’s gentle and perfect for sensitive skin.