- Makeup remover can cause irritation if not rinsed in people with sensitive skin
- Micellar water contains molecules that act as magnets for dirt and makeup
- READ MORE: What is micellar cleansing water and which is the best?
Dermatologists and makeup lovers know the cardinal rule well: always wash your face before bed.
And few products make that easier than micellar water, an H20-based solution that works like a magnet to remove eye and face makeup in a few easy sweeps of a cotton round.
But dermatologists now say that products’ no-rinse-required billing is leaving people with blotchy, irritated skin and watery eyes.
Micellar water is made up of tiny spheres of molecules called micelles that attract and remove dirt from the skin.
But micelles can disrupt the structure of the skin, according to New York-based dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, who said: ‘My recommendation is to always rinse micellar water off just to be safe.’
Dermatologists are warning that not rinsing micellar water off can cause irritation in people with sensitive skin
Micellar water has become a major money maker for cosmetics brands. Garnier’s micellar water is flying off the shelves at a rate of 15 bottles per minute.
That’s 900 bottles an hour, 21,600 bottles a day, 151,200 a week, and nearly eight million bottles every year.
The molecules inside the liquid are called surfactant molecules, found in most detergents.
These molecules have two ends. One attracts water and one that attracts oils, meaning the product is able to bring together two ingredients that normally do not combine.
Micellar water also contains another chemical called a humectant that attracts and bind moisture to the skin.
But people with sensitive skin should beware.
Dr Nazarian said: ‘Although most people can tolerate surfactants on skin (especially if they are the gentle kind), some are irritating, and some people may even have an allergy to them.
‘If you have an allergy to surfactants you may find your skin becomes red, itchy, or puffy with repeated use.’
If a product has fragrance added, that could add to irritation too.
Dr Shirley Chi, a board-certified dermatologist in California, said: ‘There are a few people out there that can’t leave anything on their skin because they’re so reactive, so these people would have to rinse off micellar water.’
Experts add that this irritation can be particularly acute in the eye area.
Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Julia T Hunter says failing to rinse your face could leave makeup residue on the sensitive eye skin, potentially clogging in the oil glands on your eyelids.
This can lead to infection, which can lead to itching, swelling, dryness and, ultimately, watery eyes.
Micellar water is recommended for all skin types and is highly effective at removing most makeup. However, it may take an oil or traditional cleanser and water to remove stubborn waterproof mascara and a thick foundation layer.
New York-based dermatologist Dr Shereene Idriss, said: ‘If you wear makeup, heavier makeup or even light makeup, if you take a white towel after using a cotton pad of micellar water you might see some residue left behind. That’s why I personally use it as a first cleanse in my routine.’