Today we’re continuing our soothing series with this formula for a gentle Soothing Micellar Water. You’ll find many of the same soothing ingredients we’ve been using throughout the series, creating a soothing and softly scented facial cleanser. Micellar water is a gentle one-step cleanser designed to be swiped across the skin on a cotton pad—no rinsing needed. I love it for many things, but find it is extra brilliant for travelling (it’s a must for an on-the-plane overnight flight skin care routine). Paired with our Soothing Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum and our Soothing Facial Lotion we’re starting to have the makings of a full-on soothing skin care routine!
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One of the challenges with micellar water is resisting the urge to add too much stuff—too many ingredients. Micellar water is a leave-on product, so the dry-down skin feel is really important, and I find even relatively small amounts of things can dramatically impact that sensation. The biggest one I’ve noticed is the surfactant—both the particular one and the amount used are important. When I was working on micellar water last year I tried every liquid surfactant/solubilizer I own, and the only one that produced good results is the one we’re using today: PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (USA / Canada). Please do not change this out. I also found I could tell a difference between 0.4% and 0.5%, so I would recommend making sure you are using an accurate scale for this DIY.
After the surfactant you want to take care not to go overboard with humectants, which can feel tacky in surprisingly small amounts in a watery product like micellar water. I’ve kept the amounts to 0.5% each, using sodium lactate and Propanediol 1,3, both of which aren’t notoriously tacky. A titch of calendula extract and panthenol amp up the soothing goodness of this micellar water without making it sticky.
The bulk of this formula is water and other watery things—namely aloe vera juice, chamomile hydrosol, and cucumber distillate. All three and soothing, and each brings different calming and refreshing properties to the end product. The chamomile hydrosol and cucumber distillate are also our scenting ingredients, in keeping with all the other products in our soothing series. Ingredients like essential oils and fragrance oils can be irritating to sensitive skin, so I made sure to skip those for this series.
The making part is crazy easy—you can make it right in the bottle. Weigh, cap, shake, et voila! You’ll be almost instantly rewarded with a bottle of super awesome Soothing Micellar Water 😄 Enjoy!
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Soothing Micellar Water
55.92g | 46.6% distilled water
24g | 20% aloe vera juice
0.48g | 0.4% PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (USA / Canada)
24g | 20% chamomile hydrosol
12g | 10% cucumber hydrosol
1.2g | 1% panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
0.6g | 0.5% calendula extract
0.6g | 0.5% sodium lactate
0.6g | 0.5% Propanediol 1,3 (USA / Canada)
0.6g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
Weigh everything into a 120ml/4oz squeeze bottle. Cap and shake to combine. That’s it!
To use, soak a cotton pad in micellar water, and wipe it over your face. Repeat with fresh cotton until it comes away clean (I usually need two).
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this micellar water contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 120g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there!
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this page.
- The theme of this formula is soothing and hydrating; keep that in mind when choosing alternative ingredients.
- Because micellar water is a leave-on cleanser I find the leave-on skin feel is extremely important; it’s also very easy to make a micellar water with an unpleasant leave-on feel, be it too sticky or too tight. Avoid sticky ingredients wherever possible.
- You can try different hydrosol(s) in place of the aloe vera juice, chamomile hydrosol, and/or cucumber distillate. Try to choose things that will smell nice together! You can also use more distilled water in place of the aloe or hydrosols.
- You can try a different botanical extract instead of calendula.
- Read the encyclopedia page on panthenol for some substitution ideas; don’t use anything tacky.
- You can use vegetable glycerine instead of propanediol. I don’t recommend using something stickier than sodium lactate in place of the sodium lactate; sodium PCA could be a good choice.
- If you choose to alter the surfactant you’re on your own. I experimented with every surfactant I own and PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides is the only one that produced good results.
The cucumber distillate was gifted by Essential Wholesale.