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ESC: Miceller

If you're a makeup maven or just walked down a beauty aisle recently, you've probably heard of micellar water. Every brand these days seems to have some sort of wash or wipe marketing the stuff.  

Question is: Do you know what it actually is? Don't worry—not many do.

Micellar water is made of tiny cleansing oil molecules called micelles. These little babies are suspended in soft water, just hanging out until they meet dirt and oil. It just happens that micelles are attracted to these impurities and draw them out of your skin. Think: a magnet that sucks up makeup residue and atmospheric pollutants. Bonus: You don't even have to wash your face after. The cleansing water dissolves impurities while hydrating your skin. Miracle product? We think so.

It may be big business for the beauty industry now, but micellar water originated in France decades ago as an alternative (Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution is a national favorite) to the country's harsh water and plumbing system. While it's great for all skin types, it's particularly useful for those with dry or sensitive skin (hard H20 can take its toll).

The main drawback? On its own, micellar water won't completely remove makeup, which is why many brands have started combining these magic molecules with formulas that will break down even yesterday's waterproof mascara. Most micellar water are oil-free and don't require any additional water (lazy folks, rejoice!), but some are oil based and do require a rinse after.

Which ones work the best? Shop our favorites below.

ESC: Miceller

The mushroom blend leaves your skin surprisingly silky-smooth. 

Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser, $31

ESC: Miceller

Finally, a makeup remover wipe you don't have to rub and tug to get results. 

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Makeup Removing Towelettes, $5.97

ESC: Miceller

Many users have suggested using this product as toner. A little goes a long way with this one. 

Lancome Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleasing Water, $39

ESC: Miceller

The orange and lemon blossom, watermelon and mint scent leaves a lasting impression. 

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water, $28

ESC: Miceller

You will need to rinse after using this oil-based product, but it will remove makeup residue well!

Decleor Aroma Cleanse Micellar Oil, $36

ESC: Miceller

This brand touts it can remove 99 percent of long-wear foundation. That's impressive!

La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Ultra, 19.99

ESC: Miceller

This drugstore buy is particularly amazing for dry or normal skin. 

L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water, $9.99

ESC: Miceller

We're loving the cucumbers (for skin cooling) and sea kelp (for detoxifying) ingredients. 

Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Micellar Cleansing Water, $6.99

If it saves water and takes less time, it's definitely worth a try!