The Awful Truth About Micellar Water

If you’ve been visiting Chatty Chums for a while, you know that this place is all about integrity, honesty and education. I’m incredibly sceptical of marketing strategies when it comes to skincare products. Only as an adult, I am now suffering from eczema on my arms and anything with SLS, fragrance, emulsifiers… slash anything synthetic and sensitizing, will cause it to flare up. Even a second of body wash contact on them will mean they go from zero to HALP. I often wake up during the night to the sound of my aggressive scratching and end up with bleeding or scabby skin from all the itching. It sucks. And I’m not the only who has all of a sudden been endowed with sensitized skin.

Anyway, the point is, we need to get our shit together and use the right stuff for our skin and learn from credible professionals in the industry, instead of random self-proclaimed so and so’s with no scientific background to show for it. Or else, you will end up with severe skin conditions that stem from sensitization, like me. Willful ignorance is a choice.

I’m super duper excited to introduce you to Australian cosmetic chemist Ross Macdougald, who has developed over 300 products and active ingredient formulations for large cosmetic conglomerates. You may have heard of his latest endeavour, Biologi – a true industry game-changer that will blow your socks off. And I mean, really blow your socks off all the way to Mars and back.

Most products on the shelf that we see today are marketed with false labelling claims. In reality, brands are diminishing the level of actives by diluting it with 80%+ water, meaning the product that you are buying is non-effective. Ross was, simply put, sick of this money-grubbing bullshit. He would make revolutionary breakthroughs in formulations and the men at the top would go, “Cool! That’s great! Now let’s add a shit tonne of water, preservatives, fragrances and other synthetic chemicals to take care of sensorial demand. We can make big bucks! Go Ross!” Capitalism working at its best.

Ross pioneered a revolutionary plant extraction method dubbed the Closed Liquid Extraction System (CLECS) that can bottle 100% of the plant’s water soluble active liquid matrix and protect phyto-active nutrients from oxidising. Following 7 years of research and development, Ross found that the Phyto-nutrient Protection (PNP) could open the human cell wall membrane and flood the cells with active nutrients and in turn, purge toxins and reduce inflammation in the cells. For example, I use the Bf Serum, $69. It consists of pure finger lime extract and can effectively reduce a plethora of extreme skin sensitivities such as eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, sunburn, radiation burns, as well as reduce stretch marks, cellulite, sun sports, blemishes and dark circles.

Now that you’re well aware of his credibility, and can fully trust his transparent approach to beauty, I will be handing this one over to Ross today to explain the ins and outs and ‘holy shit!’s over the multi-million dollar cleansing solution – micellar water. Take us away Ross! 

It’s been touted as the miracle make up remover, championed by beauty aficionados the world over for its effectiveness in removing dirt and makeup. In fact, so big is micellar water’s following that in 2017, the global micellar water market was valued at about $112.3 million U.S. dollars. The market is forecast to reach $184 million dollars by 2023. There’s no doubt about it, micellar water is a big deal, but do you really know what’s in it?

To understand what Micellar water is, firstly we need to understand the word ‘micelle’. Micelles are oil molecules that arrange themselves in a spherical form in aqueous (water) solutions with the addition of a synthetic emulsifier/surfactant. A micelle is a molecule that has opposite ends where one is attracted to water and the other is attracted to oil. This means that they are able to grab dirt, makeup and residue from the face and rinse away easily. Besides Micellar Water, shampoo is a great example of a true micelle product that acts as a hair cleanser of excess product build up and oil.

There’s no arguing that micelles do a good job at removing dirt, oil and make up residue, however, here is the truth on Micellar Water that nobody ever tells you. It might look like you are putting some innocent looking solution on your face, however this type of product is completely synthetic and not at all natural. Brands are trying to tell you otherwise, using tricky marketing jargon and sales techniques to hide the real truth. What’s worse, some brands of Micellar Water are selling you something a lot more sinister – containing Polyaminopropyl biguanide (PHMB), a cancer-causing ingredient. Yes, you read that right.

Presently, there are 2 types of micellar waters available on the market. Both are marketed as ‘natural’ and ‘clean’ but the truth is that neither of them are these things. In other words, they have been ‘green washed’ by expert marketers who are luring consumers in with unsubstantiated and falsified claims.

1. The first type of Micellar Water is sold by companies that push that they are organic, natural, clean and green. This type of micellar water contains synthetic surfactants and are basically relabelled as a foaming cleanser.

2. The second type of Micellar Water is sold by the multi-national brands who use petrol-chemical derived glycols (Hexylene/Ethylene/Propylene) which are able to remove oil based makeup, but are soluble in water. Glycols were created for industrial purposes and have found their way into cosmetics. To understand this better, Car Coolant is produced from Glycols and do you really want to be putting that on your face?

*Sources: https://www.statista.com/statistics/863223/global-micellar-water-market-value/
https://www.facebook.com/Garnier.Canada/posts/i-just-purchased-the-garnier-micellar-water-and-was-shocked-to-know-it-hs-an-ing/1130236693653788/

Read More: This is Why Your Skin has become Sensitised, Alongside the Rest of the First World

Ross MacDougald

Ross Macdougald is an Australian Cosmetic Chemist who is the founder of Biologi, phytoverse and Plant Extracts.