How to Build a Clean Skincare Routine with Micellar Water

clean beauty French micellar water benefits

Are you looking to simplify your skincare routine and make it CLEANER? These benefits can both be achieved in one step with Micellar Water.

Now, what is CLEAN skincare? Do you know what exactly clean beauty means or are you relying on brands to self-identify as clean?

Before I moved to Los Angeles, my skin-care routine was anything but simple and not focused on “clean.” In fact, my routine was 10-steps, and I wanted to simplify it to make it cleaner and more sustainable. In this article, I’ll share with you how I achieved this with Micellar Water.

First, let’s make sure you’re clear on what the concept of CLEAN means in the beauty industry. 

What is Clean Beauty?

clean beauty skincare in bowls with plants

What is “clean” beauty? Since there is no clear definition of what clean beauty is yet, the answer to the question varies depending on who we ask.

However, most companies and experts in the beauty industry use the phrase when a product is made without any controversial or suspected toxic ingredients.

Countless numbers of beauty products don’t hesitate to market their products as “clean” because today’s socially conscious shoppers respond to it. The term “clean” represents a billion-dollar industry, but it is still a murky label. Accordingly, shoppers still want clarity about several things. 

What products should I use to simplify and avoid unnecessary ingredients? What are some effective tips to maximize your clean skincare regimen? 

How to start your clean beauty routine

face drawing with French flag colors and Eiffel tower

In this context, it’s no wonder that many skincare users don’t know what the correct order of skincare products is to create a clean beauty regimen. Which product should be the first step to build a clean beauty routine?

The answer lies in using “micellar water” as a cleanser. It has been one of the best-kept beauty secrets of French women for over a century.(1)

Why is micellar water the perfect first step for building a clean skin care routine? I’m here to tell you because my skin is the proof.

K-beauty Girl Meets French Beauty in Los Angeles

two faces with French and Korean flags

While K-beauty has globally created the most beauty buzz with its own ‘skin-first’ philosophy, the popularity of French skincare and beauty aesthetics has been experienced among Korean consumers during the last decade.

Compared to the K-Beauty’s overwhelmingly sophisticated skincare routine usually involves 8-12 steps, the French philosophy brags about its effortlessly cool approach to skincare with a simple 3-5-step regimen.(2)  

As French pharmacy cosmetics, also known as dermocosmetics, hit the Korean beauty industry, French Micellar Water has become extremely popular.(3) This iconic French’s-treasured skincare product is still loved for its soap-free, non-irritating formulas by Korean sensitive skincare enthusiasts.

When I was in South Korea 5 years ago, most of my friends added micellar water to their skin-care routine steps. However, at that time, I was very skeptical about all-in-one formulas. I incorrectly thought that only sensitive, acne-prone skin could benefit from micellar water.

I believed that using a 10-step skincare routine every day would improve my skin’s health and maximize its hydration level.

Los Angeles as a Beauty Mixing Pot

Micellar water with Eiffel tower sketch and palm tree in LA

However, this scenario totally changed once I moved from South Korea, and I started to live a busy life here in Los Angeles. It was for me impossible to apply a bunch of skincare products to my skin because I didn’t have much spare time being overwhelmed with school and work.

I was used to waiting about 30 seconds to 1 minute between each skincare step as a K-beauty practice in order to help each product absorb into the skin.

In addition, after layering 8 to 10 different products in my daily skin-care routine — both for day and night, a number of cotton pads were tossed in the trash. I felt that if I did this every day, and all of my friends did this, this couldn’t be good for the environment.

I felt that I needed to change up and simplify my skincare routine, and micellar water made that possible. It would save me time and be more sustainable.

That’s when I started using micellar water and fell in love! Now, I highly recommend incorporating micellar water into every daily skincare routine. It’s really amazing for simplifying your routine! Here’s why I love it. 

Benefits of Micellar Water

Micellar water can be used as a light makeup remover, cleanser, and toner, and it allowed me to build an easy, yet effective skincare routine.

In addition, it has prevented the hard water in Southern California from damaging my skin barrier. Hard water can contribute to redness and dry skin.(4)

Micellar water benefits my skin because I don’t need to use hard water. The micellar water I use instantly re-hydrates my thirsty skin, which is prone to dryness, even after water-only washing.

Since I use fewer steps now, micellar water has helped me reduce the number of cotton pads that I use, helping me to make my skincare routine more sustainable. I know that there are reusable cotton pads available that you can toss in the washing machine as well.

To read more about sustainable packaging in beauty, you can read our other article Sustainable Skincare | Options to Reduce Plastic Waste.

Micellar Water Benefits All Skin Types

dry oily sensitive normal skin types with round photos

Micellar water contains tiny micelle molecules that attach to dirt, oil, makeup, and environmental toxins.

Whatever type your skin happens to be, you can use micellar water as a gentle cleanser by itself or as the first step to a double cleansing routine.

It is well suited as the first clean beauty step for literally every skin type because it is gentle and free from harmful and drying ingredients. 

Using micellar water with a cotton pad wipes these impurities away without compromising the skin’s protective acid mantle or moisture barrier.

Accordingly, regardless of whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or normal skin, micellar water effectively cleanses and refreshes your skin without irritating ingredients. 

Stay hydrated + On-the-go convenience + Go Green = Sustainable Skincare

micellar water benefits with check boxes

Micellar water is a no-rinse cleanser, which means you don’t need to rinse your face after you use it. It can work as a makeup remover, cleanser, and all-in-one toner. It is formulated with purified water, extremely mild surfactants, and hydrating ingredients like glycerin.

For these reasons, it is perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle. Micellar water is travel-friendly and especially useful after a tough, sweaty workout. This versatile multitasker helps with quick face freshening without turning on the tap or having access to a restroom to wash your face.

Micellar water can take the place of several other products in your skincare routine, making it a sustainable choice. It will allow you to simplify and create your skincare routine in a more clean, sustainable, and eco-friendly way.

Simple Daily Skincare Routine Tips (ft. Micellar Water)

Simple skincare tips with micellar water benefits from Sonan Autumn Lee

My daily clean skincare routine – one complete with micellar water, cleanser, toner, mask pack, serum, and moisturizer.

These are 5-7 simple steps that I usually do on a daily basis.

Step 1: Micellar Water

I always start my skincare routine with micellar water. This is great, especially for busy mornings. It gently wakes me up and removes dead cells, bacteria, and dirt that accumulated overnight as well as leaving my skin feeling smooth.

At night, I use micellar water as the first step in my double cleansing routine. It helps break down any oil-based makeup, SPF, and toxins on the surface layer of my skin in an easy and effective way, without stripping my skin or leaving a greasy residue.

Step 2: Gel Cleanser

For the second step of the double cleanse, I use a water-based cleanser (usually a gel) to remove any remaining dirt or product residue. However, I usually skip this step at the start of the day.

Step 3: Toner

After cleansing, I use a facial toner to help restore my skin’s pH balance.

Step 4: Mask

Note: This step is for my nighttime skincare routine because in the morning I’m limited on time.

Before I get into the tub at night, I put a face mask on. Then I let it sit on my skin for 15-20 minutes while the rest of my body soaks. This is my self-care time, and it helps me de-stress from the day.

I like to do my mask while I’m taking a bath because my pores easily open up from the warm water and steam, and my skin can more efficiently absorb the beneficial ingredients included in the mask. 

Step 5: Toner

After washing off the mask, I remove whatever’s left of my hair products that may have dripped down on my face by applying the toner again. 

Step 6: Serum

Apply one to two pumps of my serum in dots around my cleansed and toned face. Then I spread it evenly in a gentle circular, upwards motion. The skin should feel soft and have a little slip. However, if it feels sticky like you have a mask on, you’ve used too much.

Step 7: Moisturizer

With a tiny bit of pressure, I give myself a facial massage with my moisturizer by using a gentle upwards, circular motion. I use a moisturizer that contains emollient oils, so I don’t need to use face oil as a separate step. Now I’m done and feeling relaxed!

Lavender flower sketch with Micellar Water benefits

If you’re as excited about Micellar Water as I am, one of my favorites is this one from Organic Radiance Skincare, which has calming lavender! I love this Lavender Micellar Water because this beautiful flower has so many great benefits.

Lavender essential oil has calming, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and detoxifying properties. As you enjoy its amazing scent and Micellar Water benefits, it will help you unwind from your day and achieve glowing skin.

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About the Author:

Sonan Autumn Lee Digital Marketing Specialist

Sonan Autumn Lee is an E-commerce & Digital Marketing Specialist who works with brands such as Purlisse Beauty, YENSAbeauty, and Organic Radiance Skincare. She moved to Los Angeles from South Korea in 2019 to study at FIDM and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Beauty Marketing & Product Development. She has a passion for writing about fashion and beauty and loves pilates & lavender ice cream.

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