“Good things happen to those who double cleanse.”
I have always been fascinated by French women’s beauty — they have a certain je ne sais quoi and seem to always have glowing skin. What’s their secret? Simple beauty routine (cleanse, tone, and moisturize) and water-based skincare products… Micellar water and Toner.
What is Micellar Water?
The French invented Micellar water. Apparently, French tap water especially in Paris is extremely harsh on the skin. It contains large deposit of minerals that made their skin look dull. So, they came up with eau micellaire. This beauty product has since built a cult following worldwide and has set a trend as the ultimate cleanser.
Micellar water is basically a combination of oil and water. It is both hydrophobic (oil loving) and hydrophilic (water loving.) The tiny oil droplets called micelles are suspended into soft water and draw out dirt, oil, and grime from the face, leaving it clean and hydrated. It also removes makeup, including waterproof eye make-up.
When do you use it?
Use micellar water before anything else. It’s the first step in your skincare routine. Pour some micellar water on a cotton pad and glide it over your face to clean it. It’s basically a really gentle cleanser that’s super hydrating and often contains rebalancing ingredients like probiotics, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, rose and cornflower extract. Follow this step with a rinse off wash and then go ahead and use a toner.
Toners on the other hand have a bad reputation. I often have clients tell me that they think toners don’t do anything and can be drying on the skin. They are not totally wrong as the toners in the past had high levels of alcohol that removed oil and sucked every bit of moisture out of your skin.
Modern toners, however, are formulated to be more gentle. Still, you might be wondering, what do toners actually do? They prevent dirt build-up by minimizing the size of the pores and remove dust particles stuck in them. With the right blend of ingredients, a toner can leave your skin smooth, bright, and toned. A good toner will also balance out your skin’s pH level, revitalize its protective barrier and prepare the way for your serum or moisturizer.
For combination or oily skin, toners can reduce enlarged pores and excess oil. Look for aloe vera, niacinamide, burdock root, tea tree and vitamin B in the formula.
For normal, dry, or sensitive skin types, toners can lessen redness and flaking. Look for hyaluronic acid, ceramides, panthenol, sea whip and willow herb in the formula.
When do you use it?
Use a toner after you’ve wiped off your makeup, applied micellar water and cleansed your face. It is basically water with skin-loving ingredients like glycerin and antioxidants that prep the skin for the next stage — either a serum or moisturizer or both.
Misting vs cotton pad application
My recommendation is to use cotton wipes am and pm for both micellar water and toner, and mists and hydrosols during the day.
Bonus tip: Swap out your hand sanitizer with this non-drying alternative.
Often alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be drying or irritating to the skin. Micellar water is a wonderful alternative for cleaning your hands in a pinch if you don’t have a sanitizer available — no rinsing required.
Last but certainly not least, you can use micellar water as a brush cleaner. Makeup artist and beauty blogger Hillary Kline explains, “What’s nice about micellar water is that it is made to get rid of dirt and oil, which helps get rid of all that buildup on your makeup brushes.” Just swap out brush cleaner for your choice of micellar water and wash your brushes at least once a week.
Micellar water vs toner isn’t a battle of comparable items. Both serve different purposes: micellar water for cleansing, moisturizing, and toning and toner for, well… toning. You can use micellar water without needing to tone but, if you have oily or breakout-prone skin and you stick with a regular cleanser, you’ll need a toner to restore your pH balance. Ultimately, in this battle of the skincare products, everybody wins.
For more skincare tips, visit our website, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.