Micellar Water: Cleansing without rinsing

Written by on January 27, 2016 in cetaphil, Cleansing Rosacea Skin, Rosacea Skin Care with 6 Comments

The idea of cleansing without using water, or at least not rinsing with water is not a new, but one that might be worth considering if you suffer from rosacea.

If you are finding it difficult to use a regular water based cleanser, or perhaps you are at your wits end with sensitive skin that just won’t tolerate regular cleansing then the option of cleansing without water is one you might like to explore.

What is Micellar Water?

Just calling something an exotic name already gives the product some air of authority. Micellar Water – oooh what is that, sounds scientific – it must work! But does it work or not ?

The micelles that constitute the actives in micellar water form a colloidal solution that is claimed to be able to remove dirt, oil and makeup whilst being tolerated by the most intolerant skin. Claims further extend to the ability to cleanse without redening the face.

Another description of micellar water calls it “nanosized oil molecules suspended in soft water”. I seriously doubt that the oil molecules are indeed nano scale – oil particles will tend to make globules and won’t be available in nanometre size particles.

The combination of using micellar water with cotton pads is described as an efficient way to cleanse because “the cotton pads are hydrophilic and attract the water loving ends of the micelles. This leaves the hydrophobic tails of the micelles free to attract oil, makeup and other hydrophobic materials”.

So the way to use micellar water is to apply it to a cotton pad and wipe away makeup, sweat and the daily general grime.

Product Availability

All of the dermatological heavy weights have jumped on the micellar water bandwagon – Vichy, Avene, Decleor, Christian Dior, Bioderma, La Roche-Posay, Garnier, L’Oréal Paris to name a few.

`Simple’ are also marketing Micellar Removal Wipes.

For even more possible micellar water options see: micellear water gallery.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water Ingredients


Here is a typical list of ingredients for a micellar water cleanser:

Water, Hexylene Glycol, Glycerin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, DMDM Hydantoin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Cloths

Not consisting of micellar water, but also worth considering is the well regarded gentle cleanser from cetaphil available as a no-rinse cloth –  Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Cloths.

Stop Washing Altogether?

There has been some controversy in the past also from those who would advocate stopping all face washing altogether including water. I don’t think anyone would seriously recommend this for sensitive skin though.

Colloidal Oatmeal

Whilst being somewhat like a regular cleanser that is rinsed off with water, the colloidal oatmeal based cleansers are also worth considering, especially if oily or flaky skin is a concern.

See Colloidal Oatmeal: a Dream Ingredient for Rosacea Sufferers for more information.

Many rosacea sufferers have benefited from Rosacea Care’s Mild Oatmeal Cleanser.

Plenty of Options

So as you can see there are plenty of options if you are looking for a gentle skin cleanser with a low water option, to add to your rosacea beating regime.

If you find something new that you love, do please let us all know below.

User Reviews

oldskibunny tells us about Rosaliac Micellar Cleanser from La Roche Posay –

micellar cleansers

I do like this cleanser because it removes face product like make up and sunscreen and it is soothing though it contains parabens. It does leave my skin feelng clean but not dried out. It’s sort of like a Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser with a cooling effect.

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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6 Reader Comments

  1. John Betts says:

    More snake oil for the unwary.

  2. Lucas A. says:

    Cleansing milks and a damp washcloth work very well for me.

  3. Comment via facebook from Dennise.

    “Simple Micellar Water has been has been a godsend for me.”

  4. Comment via facebook from Emma

    “I use this product & it is very good not had any problems yet!”

  5. “I tried the Garnier Micellar wipes and wasn’t too thrilled. It didn’t irritate my skin but my skin didn’t feel clean enough. Ive used Dove bar for over 20 years and still love it. I will try the cloths again on a day that I wear makeup and see if it works better.”

  6. “I like to use Garner Micellar Cleansing Water. I just take a cotton makeup pad and wipe off. I’ve been using it for a few months and it has never irritated my skin. If my skin feels a little oily and needs an extra boost, I use Avenue Extremely Gentle Cleanser. Good luck! I hope it helps. I know how frustrating it can be to spend a lot of money on products that claim to be gentle but aren’t”

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