Is micellar water good for seborrheic dermatitis?

It seems like every other day a new skincare trend pops up on social media. From charcoal to snake venom, it can be hard to keep track of what’s worth trying and what’s just a load of hype. One product that has been generating a lot of buzz lately is micellar water. So, what is it and does it actually work?

Micellar water is made up of tiny micelles. These tiny oil bubbles helps to remove oil and debris from the skin. Micellar water is good for treating seborrheic dermatitis because it reduces sebum production and soothes the skin. However, it leaves an oily film and needs to be washed off with a traditional cleanser to avoid clogged pores and seborrheic dermatitis flares. 

Let’s take a deep dive:

What is micellar water?

Micellar water is made with purified water, moisturizers, and mild surfactants which are compounds used for cleansing. It was originally developed in France as a makeup remover, but people are now using it as their everyday cleanser because it’s so gentle.

Micellar water doesn’t require any rinsing, making it super easy to use. Plus, since it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals or perfumes, it’s perfect for people with sensitive skin.

It is made up of tiny micelles, which are attracted to dirt, oil and makeup, allowing them to be removed from the skin’s surface easily. Micellar water can be used on all parts of the body, including the face, neck and even the scalp.

Bioderma was the first brand to market micellar water:

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Soothing Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Removing Solution for Sensitive Skin, Face and EyesCheck it out on Amazon

Or buy it from Dermstore

Is micellar water good for seborrheic dermatitis?

One of micellar water’s main benefits is its ability to reduce sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance that is secreted by the sebaceous glands in order to lubricate and protect the skin. However, too much sebum can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Micellar water’s anti-sebum properties make it a great choice for those who suffer from seborrheic dermatitis .

Micellar water is particularly effective in cleaning grime. The micelles in the water work to remove excess oils and dead skin cells. Micellar water is also gentle on the skin and does not usually cause any irritation or dryness.

However, there are no studies on whether micellar water improves seborrheic dermatitis. Only one review has mentioned micellar water’s benefits in patients with dry, sensitive and inflammed SD skin.

Indeed, I’ve found micellar water leaves an oily film after use. Even though some people with dry skin solely use micellar water as their only skin cleanser, most people will find they need to cleanse with a traditional cleanser afterwards.

This is especially important if you have SD. The oily film left behind will clog your pores and potentially trigger a flare in SD.

Simple Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Water for Sensitive Skin Twin PackCheck it out on Amazon

One of the only situations where I would say to use micellar water by itself is if your skin is reacting to hard water. It may be best to avoid washing your face with traditional cleansers and hard water until you’ve softened it. 

Side effects of using micellar water

Micellar water is known for being gentle and hypo-allergenic. In fact, it’s perfect for sensitive skin!

But is it?

The concept behind micellar water is pure and some micellar water brands are definitely better than others. Unfortunately, many brands have jumped on the micellar water bandwagon, producing substandard products filled with alcohols and other irritating chemicals that can worsen SD.

Some potential side effects include hair loss, dry skin, and skin irritation. People have also reported clogged pores, more acne and seborrheic dermatitis flares, especially if they don’t double cleanse. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using micellar water immediately. Or at least start cleaning it off your face after use.

What are some tips for using micellar water to treat seborrheic dermatitis?

Micellar water is a great option for treating seborrheic dermatitis, and it can be found at your local grocery store. There are two main ways to use micellar water: as a pre-cleanser and makeup remover or as a leave-on solution.

Using micellar water as a pre-cleanser

When using micellar water as a cleanser and makeup remover, shake the bottle well before application. Pour onto a cotton pad and wipe over your face until all of your makeup is removed. Use your traditional cleanser afterward to finish the clean and remove micellar water from your skin.

Squalane oil is also a really good option for pre-cleansing.

Using micellar water as a toner

To use micellar water as a leave-on solution like a toner, pour 1-2 tablespoons into palms of hands or a cotton pad and apply evenly over entire face morning or night. If you have SD, I don’t recommend leaving micellar water on your face as it will more than likely make your SD worse.

Is it OK to use micellar water everyday?

Micellar water is a popular choice for people who want to quickly and easily remove their makeup. It’s gentle enough that you can use it every day, but there are some drawbacks. First, using micellar water daily can cause redness, dehydration and overtime increase the skin’s sensitivity and irritation. Second, it leaves a residue on the skin which will block pores. I see so many people that use it because it’s quick but just make sure that it doesn’t introduce more oils to the skin, aggravating SD. 

Why you shouldn’t use micellar water

Micellar water has become popular in recent years as a makeup remover and skin cleanser. However, there are some potential drawbacks to using this type of product. 

One concern is that micellar waters can be bad news for people with congested skin that’s prone to seborrheic dermatitis. This is because the ingredients used in micellar waters leave an oily film of residue on the skin, blocking pores and disrupting oil production.

Some people also find micellar water drying or irritating to their skin. So if you’re thinking of giving it a go, try it out on a small area of your face first.

Klorane - Micellar Water With Organically Farmed Cornflower - Cleanser, Makeup Remover, & Toner - For Sensitive Skin - Free of Parabens, Fragrance, & Alcohol - 13.5 fl. ozCheck it out on Amazon

Or buy it from Dermstore

To wrap up

Micellar water is a gentle, yet effective, way to cleanse the skin and remove excess oils and sebum. It’s even gentle enough for seborrheic dermatitis sufferers with sensitive skin. Just make sure to use a micellar water that is pH balanced and free of harsh chemicals, such as alcohol, sulfates and phthalates.

5 thoughts on “Is micellar water good for seborrheic dermatitis?”

  1. Pingback: Is squalane oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?

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  4. Hi I have rosacea/dry/seborrheic dermatitis skin and I use Garnier I think its how it’s spelled its in the store I use the one with deep pink lid its gentle and don’t have alcohol or fragrance in it..I usually wash it off with cerave hydrating cleasner aftwards..was wondering if its OK to use the miceller water during seborrheic dermatitis flare

    1. Hi Ladonna, thank you for reading, and for your question. Micellar water is fine to use during an SD flare, especially if you’ve been using it from before and it hasn’t irritated your skin.

      However, if you’ve never used micellar water, don’t start when you’re actively having a flare. Some people can be sensitive to the preservatives and other chemicals in micellar water even if it is labelled ‘alcohol-free’.

      For other readers who are wondering which product Ladonna is talking about, it’s Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water.

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