They started life as the elusive skin saviours we spied in every model and makeup artists' kit but could only actually buy whenever we hopped across the Channel to France. But before we even learnt to pronounce them properly (the French say 'me-sell-air' so we'll go with that) Micellar water suddenly became the biggest buzzword in beauty.
Micellar waters have actually been around for several decades (in France at least) and what makes these magical no-need-to-rinse make-up removers different from other cleansers is their unique composition.
'Micelles' are molecules made up of 'fatty acid esters' (or tiny oil droplets to you and me) which are suspended in soft water. These micelles expertly attract dirt, oil and grime, drawing out impurities in the skin and picking up residue that not even a double cleanse can touch and all without drying the skin or having to rinse (we're sold!). Here are the ones that made our edit...
Triple purified water is enriched with multi-vitamins and minerals to leave skin feeling refreshed and hydrated - simples.
A toner, make-up remover and skin soother all on one and great value for money to boot.
The creme de la creme of cleansers, YSL’s Micellar water works to dissolve make-up and impurities to leave a radiant complexion.
The one that first got us hooked on Micellar cleansers (and the one you'll find in every make-up artist's kit) it swipes away every trace of make-up on the most sensitive of skins. (We're also super-excited about their new 'White Objective H2O' micellar water which corrects and prevents pigmentation but is still just as kind to sensitive skin.
Organic grape water forms the basis of this hypo-allergenic micellar formula. We love the fresh fragrance (think orange and lemon blossom, watermelon and mint leaves) which makes it a perfect holiday companion.
Fragrance free and perfect for sensitive souls, this gentle micellar water works to instantly lift away dirt, make-up and grime. And with Garnier promising 200 uses from just one bottle it's easy on the purse-strings too.
The almost gel-like texture feels great on the skin, cleansing and removing makeup in one quick swoop whilst leaving your complexion toned and hydrated.
Super Facialist by Una Brennan Probiotic Micellar Cleansing Water, £6.99
This ultra-gentle cleansing water is perfect for stressed skin thanks to the balancing probiotic technology. With added hyaluronic acid, anti-aging actives and skin-soothing naturals it actually feels as though you're doing your skin some good.
Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur, £23.50
A make-up artist hero, the super-gentle formula is enriched with White Lotus and Rose De France.
Another French pharmacy fav, this skin nasties and paraben-free solution contains soothing Thermal Spa Water and is often recommended by derms.
The New Micellar Waters
Ok, so you've finally got to grips with what the heck a micellar water is and then... they go and reinvent themselves. Below are the next gen of micellar products to hit the market. Cue Vichy's new Micellar oil, La Roche Posay's new Micellar gel and Garnier's Micellar wipes. So what's the difference? Here's what you need to know...
Formulated with an anti-pollution 'purisoft' complex, this non-greasy oil expertly removes all traces of the daily grind as well as making light work of even the toughest water-proof make-up.
Soaked in soothing micellar water, these gentle wipes are a first to market. Removing make-up and grime in one fell sweep they're also enhanced with 5% silk fibres to ensure they don't drag the skin making them suitable even for sensitive types.
Harnessing all the good bits from Micellar Water Technology (like the no-rinsing part), but without the, well, wateriness, we love the fresh, bubbly texture of this gel cleanser.
Soap and alcohol free and fortified with Dr Weil's signature Mega-Mushroom blend and antioxidant-rich Berry Ferment, this is the cleanser saving your skin from all that city centre pollution.
Micellar water in the bag? Here's how to get a gorgeous, radiant glow...