Micellar water, what is that actually?

Let’s take a look at the science behind micellar water, delving into the chemical depth of hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties.

Micellar water comes from the word micelles, and the word micelle is derived from the Latin micella, from mica (grain).

Micellar water is water in which very small droplets of oil float. But why is this such an effective cleanser? To understand that, we need to look at the chemistry behind it.

Water and oil are normally not a good match. This is due to their chemical properties: water is a polar substance, which means it has a charge and dissolves well in other polar substances, while oil is nonpolar and does not dissolve well in water. This is why regular soap is needed to remove oil from your skin – soap contains substances that can bind both water and oil.

Here comes the interesting part: micellar water contains substances that have both hydrophobic (water-fearing) and hydrophilic (water-loving) properties. These substances, known as surfactants or emulsifiers, have a unique structure where one part of the molecule repels water and another part attracts water.

When you use micellar water, these surfactants spread through the water. Due to their structure, they orient themselves so that the hydrophobic parts point inward and the hydrophilic parts point outward. This way, they form small spheres called micelles, in which the hydrophobic oily particles are trapped.

This is where micellar water gets its powerful cleansing properties. The micelles act like tiny magnets, with the hydrophobic parts attracting dirt and oil, while the hydrophilic parts remain facing outward, in contact with the water.

The result? A gentle yet effective cleansing of the skin, removing dirt, makeup, and excess sebum without stripping the skin’s natural protective oils. This also explains why micellar water is often perceived as less irritating than traditional soap, as it better maintains the natural balance of the skin.

So, in summary, micellar water uses the science of hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions to provide a gentle and effective cleansing solution that removes dirt and oil from the skin without drying or irritating it. It is a smart innovation in skincare that combines science with beauty.