French women are known and envied for their beauty je ne sais quoi. Just take a look at their effortless, lived-in hair, flawless complexions, and know-how with red lipstick. In fact, their pared-down skincare routines have often left us wondering if their radiant skin is a product of something in the water and it turns out it is—literally.
Born out of a necessity as a solution to France’s harsh tap water, micellar water has been in French women’s beauty arsenals since the ‘90s. The multi-tasking product cleanses, hydrates, while removing dirt and makeup by use of micellar technology. (Micellars are small clusters of fatty acid esters that attach to oil and dirt while simultaneously dissolving impurities—kind of like how dishwashing detergent breaks down kitchen grease.)
Since arriving in the U.S., micellar waters quickly garnered a cult following as a streamlining product with miraculous results. Now, with more and more options popping up in beauty aisles, the power of micellar water is beginning to catch on. We’ve broken down why micellar water deserves a spot in your bathroom cabinet, along with a few of our favorite formulas.