In the past few months, I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin, and no- it’s not because I’m pregnant. I’ve had fewer breakouts, less redness, and fewer issues with oily skin. So what’s my secret? I stopped using all skincare except one product: Micellar Water.
Essentially, micellar water is a liquid cleanser and moisturizer, consisting of tiny beads of oil, suspended in water. The oil attracts dirt and debris, while leaving skin lightly moisturized. There are several brands available, and is gaining in popularity here in the U.S., but it originates from France, where tap water was notoriously harsh on skin. So far, I like this one and this one.
Before I elaborate on my routine, I’m going to walk you through 24 hours in my skin, before I made the switch.
5:30 am: Wake up to very oily skin, wash with cleanser. Face feels tight. Apply light moisturizer. Skin appears red. Apply heavy foundation to cover acne scars, irritation, and general unevenness.
10:30 am: Face starts to get shiny. Blot with oil absorbing papers.
1:00 pm: Shiny again. Blot again.
3:00 pm: Notice that makeup has started to breakdown due to oil production. Give up for the day unless I’m going out for the evening.
5:00 pm: If going out, apply a generous layer of powder for coverage.
9:00 pm: Remove makeup with micellar water. Wash face with cleanser. Depending on the night, I may exfoliate, mask, apply anti-aging serum, apply anti-acne serum, apply eye cream, and apply moisturizer.
Basically, my entire skin care routine consisted of removing oil, covering my actual skin, and fighting my skin woes with more product. I always had clogged pores, redness, and some level of irritation.
At some point over the summer, I stopped. It was mostly laziness, but I noticed that my face didn’t feel dry or tight after I removed my makeup with just the micellar water. However, I did notice the slightest amount of clogged pores, so I started rinsing my face after cleansing with just water and a washcloth to provide gentle exfoliation.
Now that the weather is a little cooler, I’m finding that I don’t need to rinse, my skin welcomes the little bit of moisture.
The biggest difference is now how my skin behaves in 24 hours. Here’s what a day looks like:
5:30 am: Wake up. Apply micellar water to cotton pad, swipe over skin. Let dry. Skin is calm. Apply light-weight foundation to even color.
All Day: Have skin on face. Don’t think about it.
9:00 pm: Remove makeup with one or two pads soaked in micellar water. If any the need for exfoliation arrises, use Clarisonic with just water. Apply eye cream.
The results have been an upward cycle. Since my skin is in better shape, I can wear less makeup. Less makeup = clearer skin = fewer skin care products required. In fact, sometimes I even skip foundation on the weekends – something I would NEVER do before, but allows my skin some time to “breathe.”
Here’s a before and after:
Now, I realize this may not work for everybody, but I discovered something important about my own skin – it’s sensitive, and less is more. While I wasn’t actively allergic to my skin care routine, it was causing chronic inflammation and irritation. Adding more products was not helping, it was just more. In addition, the process of stripping my skin and adding moisture was contributing to the oil factory on my face. Cleansers took too much off and moisturizers put too much on.
I should also acknowledge that this goes against everything I’ve ever been taught about skin care. It even goes against information I’ve shared with you, my readers. But all I can say it that my skin looks better, and that has to be worth something.
I can’t say for sure if this is going to work always and forever, but it’s certainly a good start. As we venture in to the colder months, I could see a scenario where my skin may need more moisture. If that happens, I’ll update you and let you know what works.
Micellar Water might work for you if: You have sensitive skin, prone to irritation. You wear light to medium coverage makeup. You are willing to make small adjustments as the weather changes. If you have very dry skin, this would be an excellent cleansing option, but you would likely still need another moisturizer.
Micellar Water may not work for you if: You regularly wear very heavy foundation and several layers of makeup. You may still want a gentle cleanser to remove remnant makeup.
Hope this helps a few of you out there find your best skin!