Bye-bye sunscreen: Can micellar water remove sunscreen effectively?

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Whether you’re a beach bum, a hiking enthusiast, or just love a good sunny day you know how important it is to wear sunscreen to help protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but let’s be honest, at the end of a long day, sunscreen can be a pain to remove.

Sometimes you just want to go to bed. That’s where micellar water comes in!

Micellar is pretty awesome.

Known for its ability to quickly remove makeup and cleanse the skin without rinsing or without drying it out, micellar water is a popular staple in skincare routines for a reason.

can micellar water remove sunscreen

But can micellar water remove sunscreen as well?

Yes; however, there are some caveats.

What is micellar water?

Alright, let’s break it down!

Micellar water in a nutshell is a gentle and effective cleanser that’s perfect when you don’t have access to water, or for lazy days (or lazy people) who want clean, fresh skin without a lot of fuss.

It’s made up of teeny-tiny oil molecules called micelles, which are suspended in water.

When you apply micellar water to your skin, the micelles get to work attracting and trapping dirt, oil, and makeup.

The cool thing about micelles is that they’re hydrophobic (a fancy word for “water-hating”), so they’re naturally attracted to anything on your skin that’s oily or greasy.

Once the micelles have done their job you simply wipe it away with a cotton pad. No need to rinse, no need to scrub – just wipe and go.

But what’s in micellar water, you ask?

Well, that depends on the brand.

Most micellar waters are made up of water, a gentle surfactant (which is what helps the micelles attract and trap dirt), and sometimes other skin-soothing ingredients like glycerin or aloe vera.

Some brands also include additional skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid or vitamin C, which can help hydrate and brighten your skin.

See also: Can you use salicylic acid with vitamin C? Can mixing them damage your skin barrier and age your skin?

Can micellar water remove sunscreen?

Alright, so now that we know what micellar water is and its basic ingredients, the big question is: can micellar water remove sunscreen, really?

Yes, but with some caveats.

Micellar water can help remove sunscreen, but it’s not a foolproof method, especially if you’re wearing a lot of layers or using heavy-duty sunscreen.

Micellar water can definitely help remove sunscreen from your skin, thanks to its powerful micelles. These little oil molecules can break down and trap the oily and greasy components of sunscreen, making it easy to wipe away with a cotton pad.

However, there are some limitations to the effectiveness of micellar water in removing sunscreen.

Limitations

For one, if you’re wearing a heavy-duty waterproof sunscreen, micellar water may not be enough to get the job done. In that case, you may need a more heavy-duty cleanser or a makeup remover designed specifically for waterproof products.

Additionally, if you’re wearing a lot of layers of sunscreen, like if you’ve reapplied several times throughout the day, micellar water may struggle to fully remove all of it.

In that case, it’s a good idea to use a double cleansing method, where you first use micellar water to remove the bulk of the sunscreen, and then follow up with a regular cleanser to make sure everything is fully washed away.

See also: Cleansing oil vs makeup remover: which one is better for your skin?

Other factors

Finally, there are some factors that can affect the effectiveness of micellar water in removing sunscreen.

For example, if you have very dry skin, micellar water may not be the best option, as it can be a little drying.

Similarly, if you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, you may want to look for micellar water that’s designed specifically for your skin type, as some formulas can be irritating or pore-clogging.

Can micellar water remove zinc sunscreen?

Zinc oxide is a common ingredient in many sunscreens, especially those marketed as “physical” or “mineral” sunscreens. It’s a great ingredient for sun protection, but can micellar water remove zinc sunscreen?

It depends.

Micellar water can definitely help remove zinc sunscreen from your skin, but the effectiveness can vary depending on the formula, how thick or how much sunscreen you used.

Zinc sunscreen can be a bit more challenging to remove than traditional chemical sunscreensa because it’s designed to form a barrier on your skin to physically block the sun’s rays.

That being said, micellar water can still be an effective way to remove it.

Just be prepared to use a little extra product and put in a bit more elbow grease to make sure it all comes off. And as always, make sure to follow up with the rest of your skincare routine to keep your skin healthy and happy!

Can I use Garnier micellar water to remove sunscreen?

If you’re a fan of Garnier micellar water and you’re wondering if you can use it specifically to remove sunscreen. The good news is, the answer is yes!

Garnier micellar water is a popular option for makeup removal and general cleansing, but it can also be a great way to remove your sunscreen at the end of the day.

However, as mentioned earlier, there are some limitations to micellar water’s effectiveness in removing sunscreen.

It may take a bit more effort to remove zinc-based sunscreens or water-resistant formulas, and you may need to use a little extra micellar water or follow up with a second cleansing step.

Overall, though, Garnier micellar water is a great option for removing sunscreen, especially if you’re looking for a gentle, non-irritating way to do so.

Just make sure to choose a formula that’s appropriate for your skin type, and always follow up with your regular skincare routine after.

See also: Can you skip moisturizer and just use sunscreen?

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The best micellar waters to help you remove your sunscreen

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water

This French pharmacy favorite is beloved for its gentle yet effective cleansing abilities. This product is suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive ones.

La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Ultra

La Roche-Posay is known for its dermatologist-recommended skincare products, and its micellar water is no exception. It’s a great choice if you have oily or combination skin.

Lancôme Eau Fraîche Douceur Micellar Water

This luxurious micellar water from Lancôme is a bit pricier, but it’s well worth the splurge. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin and has a lovely, refreshing scent.

Dior Hydra Life Micellar Water

Another high-end option, this micellar water from Dior is designed to deeply cleanse and hydrate the skin. It’s a great choice if you have very dry or dehydrated skin.

Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 Micellar Water

Vichy’s micellar water is formulated with thermal water, which helps to soothe and hydrate your skin. It’s also a great option for sensitive or reactive skin.

Shiseido Refreshing Cleansing Water

Shiseido’s micellar water is a refreshing, lightweight option that’s perfect for removing sunscreen and other impurities. It’s great for all skin types, especially if you’re prone to oiliness.

Clinique Take The Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes

If you prefer a wipe format, these micellar towelettes from Clinique are a great option. They’re gentle on the skin and effective at removing stubborn sunscreen and other makeup.

How to use micellar water to remove sunscreen step-by-step

Now that we know micellar water can be used to remove sunscreen, let’s talk about how to actually use it!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your micellar water when it comes to removing sunscreen:

Step 1: Soak a cotton pad in micellar water

Step 2: Gently wipe your face with the cotton pad. Using gentle circular motions, wipe the cotton pad over your face

Step 3: Repeat as needed. Depending on how much sunscreen you’ve applied and how well it’s coming off, you may need to use more than one cotton pad to fully remove all of it.

See also: Does sunscreen only last two hours?

Step 4: Follow up with your regular skincare routine. Once you’ve removed all the sunscreen with micellar water, make sure to follow up with the rest of your skincare routine, like an additional cleanser, moisturizer or serum, to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

Tips for using micellar water effectively

Of course, there are some tips and tricks to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting the most out of your micellar water:

  • Make sure to choose a micellar water formula that’s suitable for your skin type. If you have dry or sensitive skin, look for a formula that’s gentle and hydrating.
  • Use a fresh/clean cotton pad each time you use micellar water. This will help prevent bacteria from transferring onto your skin.
  • If you’re having trouble getting all the sunscreen off, try using a double cleansing method, where you follow up with a regular cleanser to make sure everything is fully removed.
  • Don’t forget to rinse your face with water after using micellar water, as any residue can potentially cause irritation.

What is sunscreen?

Sunscreen is like a shield for your skin against the sun’s harmful rays. It works by absorbing or reflecting UV radiation before it can penetrate your skin and cause damage.

Sunscreen comes in different forms, like lotions, sprays, or sticks, and it’s typically rated by its SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number. The higher the SPF, the more protection it provides against UVB rays, which are the ones that cause sunburn.

How does sunscreen actually work?

Well, it’s all thanks to the ingredients it’s made of. Sunscreen usually contains a combination of physical and chemical UV filters that work together to protect your skin.

Physical filters like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sit on top of your skin and physically block or scatter the UV radiation. Chemical filters like avobenzone or oxybenzone work by absorbing the UV radiation and converting it into heat, which is then released from your skin.

Some sunscreens also include additional ingredients like antioxidants or anti-inflammatory agents, which can help soothe and protect your skin from other types of damage.

With so many different types and formulas to choose from, there’s no excuse not to slather it on before you head out.

Final thoughts

Micellar water can definitely be an effective way to remove sunscreen from your skin, thanks to its gentle cleansing properties and ability to break down impurities.

However, there are some limitations to its effectiveness, especially when it comes to water-resistant or zinc-based sunscreens.

If you’re using micellar water to remove sunscreen, it’s important to choose a high-quality formula and follow a thorough cleansing routine to make sure all of the product is removed from your skin.

And if you’re struggling to remove a particularly stubborn sunscreen, don’t be afraid to follow up with a second cleansing step or switch to a different product.

Overall, using micellar water to remove sunscreen is a great option for those who want a gentle, non-irritating way to cleanse their skin.

Just remember to choose a formula that’s appropriate for your skin type and always follow up with your regular skincare routine to keep your skin looking and feeling its best!

Jennifer G.

Jennifer G.

Jenn is the head writer here @Thezenish. She loves Marvel and is likely rewatching one of the films for the umpteenth time! She loves ice cream, and fashion. Her skincare routine is super minimalistic and so is her makeup!