Although micellar cleansing waters have been all the rage both in Italy and UK for a long while, I had to go all the way to Romania to try my first one. It happened last month, when I I went to visit my good friend Tavia of Chic Profile (if you aren’t already following her, do so now to be up-to-date with all the latest beauty news) in Bucharest.
There, we attended the Makeup Secret Santa event organized by Ana Maria of Beauty Barometer, and came home with more goodie bags than we could carry (thanks Ana)! Among the gifts was the Avene Micellar Lotion.
Why hadn’t I tried it before?
1. I don’t like the idea of using something I don’t rinse off to remove my makeup.
2. These days, I’m obsessed with oil-based cleansers.
3. Micellar cleansing waters are good, but not this amazing, revolutionary invention the press makes them out to be, so why stray from my beloved aforementioned oil-based cleansers?
But, when something lands on my lap, there’s just no excuse for me not to try it. So, did I change my mind about micellar cleansing waters?
Yes and no. Micellar cleansing waters are basically soapy water. They are made up mostly of water (obviously!) and one or more surfactants. In the case of Avene Micellar Lotion, this is PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides. It’s a mixture of mono-, di-, and tri- glycerides of caprylic and capric acids mixed with ethylene glycol used to carry oils into water-based systems.
Here’s how it works. Surfactants have two ends (or a head and a tail). The head is hydroliphic (attracts water and repels oils), while the end is lipoliphic (attracts oils and repels water). Oils and waters, like you probably know if you’ve tried to wash a greasy plate with water alone, don’t mix.
When enough surfactant is added to water, its molecules assemble into little groups called micelles. Their arrangement, though, isn’t random. The hydroliphic, water-loving heads are pointed outwards, towards the water, while the lipoliphic, water-hating tails face inwards, well away from it.
Enter cotton. Like the surfactants’ heads, cotton loves water too. So, when micellar water is poured onto cotton, the water-loving heads are instantly attracted to it. They firmly stick to the cotton, while the oil-loving tails are now pointing outwards, towards your face.When you massage the cotton onto your face, the tails are able to dissolve the oils in your makeup and the excess sebum on your skin.
Of course, there is only so much grease the oil-loving tails can attract and remove. That’s why you need to use quite a lot of product and several cotton pads to take all your makeup off with a micellar water. Yes, that includes Avene Micellar Lotion too
I tried using it as a makeup remover, just to test Avene’s claim that it can be used that way, too. But, as I suspected, it did a crappy job. After the first cotton pad, my mascara and half my foundatios were still comfortably hanging onto my lashes and skin. It took too much product, effort, and time than I care to spend to take everything off.
But I still recommend it. Avene Micellar Lotion, I mean. Just not as a makeup remover. Instead, it’s a great morning cleanser for lazy girls (ahem….) and women on-the-go. In the morning, our faces are pretty clean. We still haven’t put on makeup and sunscreen so there isn’t much to remove (unless you slept with your full face on, but I’m sure you know better than that, right?).
I just pour some lotion on the cotton pad, cleanse my skin, and follow up with moisturizer (I don’t do toners). It’s a lazy girl’s dream, and it’s ideal for when you’re late and want to cut your morning routine short. As long as you’re not trying to remove makeup, especially the waterproof kind, Avene Micellar Lotion cleanses your face well enough.
And without irritating your skin, which is really important, especially when the product, like this one, is formulated for sensitive skin.
On that note, I’m disappointed to see it’s fragranced. Although its scent is pretty light and fresh, fragrances are among the most irritating ingredients used in cosmetics and have no place, in my opinion, in skincare products for sensitive skin. Having said that, this fragrance didn’t irritate my skin, but then mine isn’t sensitive.
So, if you’re looking for an on-the-go cleanser that does the job quickly, micellar cleansing waters like Avene Micellar Lotion, are your friends. But, if you want something that can remove your makeup too, you’ll have to look elsewhere. They’re too gentle to do that well.
Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Pentylene Glycol, PEG-6 Caprylic/ Capric Glycerides, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sclerotium Gum, Soidium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Pros: Cleanses skin well in the morning; Doesn’t irritate skin.
Cons: Can’t be used as a makeup remover; Fragranced.
Summary: Avene Micellar Lotion is the laziest, effective way to wash your face in the morning. But, despite its claims, it doesn’t double up as a makeup remover.