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Doctor Explains Benefits Of Micellar Water As Product's Popularity Grows

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It's something we all do, in the morning and at night - wash our faces.

Feeling fresh often begins with a clean face.

"It definitely is very important that we wash our faces twice a day, and when we do that, we're trying to remove all the impurities from lotions, make up, sunscreen and environmental pollution as well," said Dr. Susan Obagi, a dermatologist and plastic surgeon with UPMC.

Women often wash their faces to remove makeup and before applying sunscreen or moisturizer. Dr. Obagi says how you wash your face is equally as important as what you use to cleanse it.

With so many products on the market, how does one choose?

"For most patients, anything that foams up on the skin is a good cleanser," said Dr. Obagi. "If it can foam and remove your makeup and remove your oils in one step."

A product becoming more popular is Micellar water. It's often advertised to remove makeup, clean and moisturize, all in one step.

"Micelles in general are things that we know about from chemistry. These are little round balls of oils, or lipids, so if you take that Micellar water and drop it in a cup water, you'll see the little oil droplets form on top," Dr. Obagi said.

Dr. Obagi says the micelles, or oil droplets suspended in water, attract makeup and dirt on the face.

"What that does when you apply it to the skin, it will bind to your makeup and it will help remove that makeup in one swipe and because it's oil based, it leaves behind a surface coat of oil on the skin that makes you feel hydrated," Dr. Obagi said.

KDKA asked Dana, a busy mom of two, to try Micellar water.

"I can see right now that it's taking some of my makeup off," she said, looking at the makeup residue on a cotton ball.

About her skin, Dana said, "It feels very wet, not oily, which I was thinking it may be more oily."

Could Micellar water be a replacement for your daily facial cleanser? Dr. Obagi says no.

"No, because what the Micellar water is doing, it's binding everything it can bind that will hold on to oil, "Dr. Obagi said. "So, it will remove your makeup, it may remove some of your oil form your skin, but it's leaving behind a sheen of oil."
"It just cleaned my skin and left it feeling soft, and moisturized. It feels moisturized," said Dana.

The oil that Micellar water leaves behind, said Dr. Obagi, can block other products, like anti-aging creams, from penetrating the skin.

"If you start wiping your skin with the Micellar water for example, and it leaves that oil sheen on the surface, you're going to have trouble with that skin care regimen penetrating the way we want," Dr. Obagi said.

"If I were to use it," said Dana, "I think I would use it only if I didn't have the time to do my full face routine. I like a little deeper of a moisturizer, especially at night."

The doctor recommends using the Micellar water if you're on the go, but not as a daily facial cleanser and moisturizer.

"I'm a purist," said Dr. Obagi, "I love people to cleanse their skin well, I love people to cleanse their skin well and then to apply whatever they need to after that to a clean palate."

"It's just an easy way to wash your face and feel clean without having to use water," said Dana.

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