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18 Micellar Waters That Remove Makeup and Cleanse Skin in Seconds

They also work wonders for tidying up makeup smudges or wobbly eyeliner.
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Let's be real: Not all of us have the time (or patience) to engage in lengthy, multi-step skin-care routines. But properly removing makeup is one of the most important — and honestly, the most-skipped — parts of basic complexion maintenance. That's where micellar waters, which quickly and easily whisk away makeup, grime and other surface residue, come in: They're lightweight, liquid cleansers that rely on suspended surfactants (aka "micelles") that attract makeup, oil and dirt on skin's surface, kind of like a magnet.

Micellar waters don't always deep-clean pores, so it's a good idea to still follow up with a true cleanser. When it comes to rapidly dissolving mascara and sweeping away all remnants of a smoky eye, though, they're clutch. Plus, makeup artists favor it to help clean up makeup smudges, disappear flakey mascara and tidy up the edges of lipstick or liquid eyeliner.

One other thing to keep in mind: While they're a relatively gentle way to cleanse skin's surface, some micellar water formulas are high in alcohol, meaning they may be drying for those with sensitive, irritation-prone or dry skin. If you fall into those categories, cleansing balms or oil-based makeup removers are probably more suitable.

In the gallery below, our favorite micellar waters to work into your routine.

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