If you have had a skin problem like mine, you’d think twice before applying anything to your face. While creams, lotions and salves can increase the risk of aggravating breakouts, face wash and soaps can end up drying the skin. Some soaps can be so harsh, that they can make the skin flake and peel. But that’s just the superficial damage done by soap. Harsh cleansers strip your skin of moisture, making your skin produce more sebum to compensate for the lack of hydration, and too much sebum leads to pimples. It can change the pH and breach the protective acid mantle of your skin, which maintains homeostasis and wards off infection-causing bacteria.
Soaps can even compromise the skin microbiome, leaving it more vulnerable to gram-negative bacteria. The truth is that even tap water can alter your skin’s health, so is washing your skin a smart idea at all? Not to mention, it is a tedious job. At the end of the day, you just want to retire to bed without the hassles of washing and drying your face.
So I decided to experiment with micellar water, a solution containing soft water and suspended globes of oil. Dirt and grime cling to the oil in the micellar water, giving you clean skin in just a single swipe. In recent years, it has replaced cleansing milk as a makeup remover and has fare quite well as a cleanser too. Many women have confessed to using micellar water instead of face wash and soaps and were stunned by the results. Acne, dry skin and other assorted skin conditions associated with using soaps and cleansers disappeared. In addition, their skin looked healthier and hydrated. With so many great testimonials, I decided to lay off my cleanser for a while and use micellar water to clean my face instead.
Before starting out, we asked Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermatosurgeon, SL Raheja Hospital, A Fortis Associate whether it is a good idea to use micellar water in place of a cleanser and she approved. “Yes, micellar water is a good substitute for a face wash as it is suitable for most skin types including sensitive skin,” said Dr Kapoor. So armed with a bottle of micellar water and a big wad of cotton, I was ready to take on the “no face wash challenge.”
Without soap or cleanser, I was quite sure that my skin may break out. But to my surprise, in one week of using micellar water instead of the face wash, my skin didn’t see any major breakouts. In fact, it looked hydrated and healthy. Since I use a retinol cream every night, skin peeling is a constant problem I faced. I had to apply a water-based moisturising cream to stop the flaking. But I was surprised to see that the peeling stopped after I started using micellar water. I didn’t need the moisturiser anymore.
In my experience, yes micellar water works fine as a skin cleanser. It brought about some amazing changes to my skin and my breakouts reduced to a great extent. However, the long-term effects of using the solution instead of soap is not known because no one has used it for that long. So exercise caution and ask your dermatologist first before you swap your face wash for micellar water.