Micellar Water in Eye: What to Do, and Is it Bad?

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If you get micellar water in your eye, https://www.poison.org/ recommends the following:

If someone experiences eye irritation after getting micellar water in their eyes, gently rinse the exposed eye with room temperature water for 10-15 minutes. Any persistent eye pain or symptoms might need medical examination and treatment.

Ok, now that the immediate concerns are addressed, let’s talk about how Micellar Water is used to remove makeup, and how that relates to eye makeup and the eyes in general.

Micellar water is one of the latest products in skincare many claim is a magic elixir that can pretty much replace your entire line of skincare products. Micellar water is said to be able to act as a make-up remover, cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.

As of late, there have been articles popping up online about the risks of eye health with micellar water.

In this article, we are going to discuss what micellar water is, how it’s used, whether or not it’s as much of a miracle product as it’s been touted, and examine the risks of micellar water to eye health.


What To Do If You Get Micellar Water In Your Eye

Bioderma Micellar Water

As mentioned above, rinse your eyes for 10-15 minutes with warm (but not hot) water. Everything should flush out. But if not, seek medical treatment if pain and discomfort persist.

Can I use Micellar Water As Eye Makeup Remover?

There’s probably a reason that French women in the early 1900s gave up using it when better products became available!

Micellar water can be used to remove light eye makeup but it’s not very effective at removing heavy, waterproof cosmetics like waterproof mascara and the like.

Is it safe to use micellar water to remove eye makeup?

The main problem with micellar water is that it’s oil-based. There are micellar waters that claim to be oil-free, but that’s not actually possible. Micellar water is called micellar water because of its use of micelles, which are tiny cleansing-oil molecules suspended in soft water (more on that later).

The problem with an oil-based cleanser is that it can not only clog pores, but if you’re using it around the eyes, it can also clog the oil glands that provide lubricant to your eyes. This can lead to styes and can make the eyes feel dry and irritated.

Oil-based cleansers are commonly used to remove heavy-duty makeup, especially waterproof makeup that is harder to remove.

Micellar water, because it’s oil-based, seems a natural choice if you are trying to remove heavy or waterproof eye makeup.

The irony is that, despite being oil-based, micellar water isn’t very good at removing waterproof or heavy cosmetics.

Not removing your eye makeup properly can lead to the oil glands on your eyelids clogging, which in turn can lead to styes, itching, swelling, and dryness. It can also cause bacterial overgrowth, which can lead to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).

MGD is a serious condition that causes damage, inflammation, and/or atrophy of the eyelid’s oil glands. When these oil glands are damaged, it makes the eyes feel gritty, dry, irritated, and can cause blurry vision.

If you have this type of reaction to micellar water and continue to use it, it can lead to permanent damage. Imagine walking around the rest of your life with blurry vision and feeling like you have sand in your eyes!

In addition, EDTA is one of the most commonly used preservatives in micellar water, which can be extremely irritating to the surface of the eye.

Given all of the possible risks of using micellar water for removing eye makeup, the better option would be to use an ophthalmologist-tested, water-based eye makeup remover that effectively removes makeup with minimal oils and preservatives.

Here are a few options:

What is Micellar Water?

Micellar Water

Although micellar water has gained a lot of notoriety lately, it has actually been used in France since the 1900s, when tap water was harsh on the skin and not always easily accessible. As technology (and indoor plumbing) improved, it fell out of favor, to be replaced by fancy new products.

After all these years, it’s made a comeback.

Micellar water is marketed as a multi-use cleansing product made of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in soft water.

We all know that normally, water and oil don’t mix. But micelles are so microscopic that you don’t notice them and micellar water just looks like regular water. It looks the same and has the same viscosity of water, but it has a slightly different texture on the skin.

The idea behind micellar water is that the micelles in micellar water are attracted to dirt and oil. They are able to draw out impurities without drying out the skin.

When a cotton pad with micellar water is wiped across the face, the micelles adhere to the cotton while pulling makeup, dirt and other impurities. They do this without drying and stripping the skin of natural oils.

Micellar water is also marketed as the perfect travel beauty product for when running water is not readily available.

Micellar water has been formulated so you are able to cleanse and hydrate without having to use water.

Do I still need to wash my face after using micellar water?

Micellar water can be used as a facial wash, light makeup, and sunscreen remover (most micellar water will not remove water-proof makeup and heavy foundation), toner, and moisturizer on its own in emergency situations.

So if you are somehow caught out without running water and need a quick fix, this will do the trick. But micellar water is not meant to replace all of your skincare products and be used in that way, all the time.

Micellar water is promoted as performing multiple functions without the need for water. The idea that micellar water can be used to remove makeup, give your face a refresh, and moisturize all at the same time, has had people turning to micellar water to replace their regular skin care products for this one-step time-saving miracle.

If you have no access to running water, it’s much better to use micellar water to clean your face and give it some hydration, than to do nothing at all.

BUT you should not use micellar water as a permanent substitute for washing your face! Just like you wouldn’t use hand sanitizer when you have access to running water and soap.

The ingredients used in some micellar waters can leave a surface residue on the skin which can act as a film, blocking pores and disrupting oil production, especially for those with oily skin or prone to acne.

If you are going to use micellar water, it should be used as a first step addition to your skin care routine, before you use facial cleanser and toner, then moisturizer.

It should not be used to replace your entire skin care regime.

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).