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    No beauty regime these days is complete without Micellar water, introduced to us by French women with impeccable skin. It’s a staple on the makeup tables of Bollywood stars, models, celebrities, and makeup artists, and its main job is to remove makeup, cleanse, and tone the skin without irritating it.

    But what exactly is it? A combination of purified water with hydrating ingredients like glycerin and mild surfectants, these molecules come together and act like a magnet for dirt and oil. So when you wipe your face with a cotton pad doused with Micellar water, it removes sebum, grease, and makeup easily, and makes your skin look fresh. What makes Micellar water work over heavier makeup removers is its lightness – gentle on the skin, there is no need to rinse them off after. It also preps the skin so other products can be easily absorbed and made more effective. Best of all, it is perfect for those with acne-prone skin, and never dries out your face.

    micellar water

    Bioderma, the original micellar cleanser is a staple at French pharmacies, and Garnier recently launched its own oil-based micellar water; then there is a newly minted herbal micellar water from Kiehl’s. There’s a wipe-version from M.A.C, and the latest take on the product is Ayurvedic brands coming out with their own versions. So if it’s a staple across Europe, can we create one that works on our own skin and performs the same duties by being more Ayurvedic and plant-based?

    Just Herbs is an indie label that created a version recently by crowdsourcing feedback- their Sapta Jal (Rs 845) is already gaining momentum. Made with 99 percent natural ingredients, it hydrates, nourishes, and tones the skin. It contains plant waters of Triphala (Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki), Tulsi, Shallaki, Chandan, Khus, Gulab and Narangi Phool, which act as the base that holds oil droplets of Indian frankincense, jasmine, myrrh, and wheatgerm, which draw out impurities. And the latest entrant is the Forest Essentials Cleansing Micellar Spring Water (Rs 1,450), that is fast gaining foothold as a go-to cleanser.

    micellar water

     Unlike regular micellar waters, their Ayurvedic counterparts boast deep cleansing, hydration, nourishing and soothing effects through doshas and plant-based ingredients. According to Ayurveda, one needs these three sub-doshas in their body: Vyana Vata, which controls circulation; Bhrajaka Pitta, which governs the metabolic and biochemical activity of the skin; and Shleshaka Kapha, which is responsible for the balance of moisture. The Forest Essentials Cleansing Micellar Spring Water balances these three sub-doshas and preps the skin and maintains its effectiveness without drying. It’s alcohol-free and is made with pure Himalayan Spring Water. The product also balances the skin’s pH level while using ingredients that Indian skin happily embraces – steam distilled rose water, lavender flower oil, and Gotu Kola (known to boost collagen). We tried it, and felt that the narangi gave the micellar water a fresh twist, while the Ashwagandha root extract restored the skin’s moisture and plumped it. A tiny bit of tumeric also adds a glow.

    forest essentials

    Finally, micellar waters that work with Indian skin and ingredients also address our hyperpigmentation issues, and the problems caused by our harsher climates and pollution-ridden cities. Not to mention the freshness these herbs guarantee, and the potency of their organic ingredients. They are formulated without alcohol, sulfates, harsh detergents, artificial fragrances, and chemical preservatives.  

    micellar water

    How to use the Cleansing Micellar Spring water?

    • Squeeze a few drops of the water onto a cotton pad and gently sweep over entire face to remove makeup by going into the nooks and crannies of the face. If you are removing eye makeup, place two cotton pads on the eyes for a minute so the heavy eye makeup gets absorbed into the pad. Then wipe slowly.
    • Go twice, if you’re wearing heavy makeup. 
    • Do not rinse. Instead, pat dry with a small towel and apply a toner or rose water or any hydrating mist to give that dewy effect.
    Latha Sunadh
    Deputy Editor
    When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.