Why You Should Switch to Water Free Skin Care

I have been cursed with really dry skin, and as a result, have alternated between different facial cleansers (foams, milks, washes, even straight up bar soap) trying to find the one that won't dry out my skin even more. I've also tried different moisturizers, from light lotions, to heavy creams, to oils. But that was only treating the symptoms — it didn't actually solve the problem. When something goes wrong with our skin, we're all too quick to blame our skincare routine, but sometimes the issue is a little closer to home — like literally, in your faucet. In case you haven't heard, water can cause breakouts and dry skin, which is why I switched to micellar water for washing my face. It's a water-free skincare routine that really, truly works.

Six months ago, I was in a period where I was almost never at home. I'd alternate between traveling, my apartment, friend's houses, and eventually, I even moved to a new city. I started noticing that my skin was markedly different during the three days I was at my apartment then it was when I was staying at my parent's home a week later. The dryness would vary based on where I was, and I concluded (after much online research) that it must be the water, because my cleanser never changed. Apparently, harsh chemicals in tap water attack collagen fibers in the skin, causing acne, redness, and irritation. I didn't think much of it, I mean, I can't change the water, right? But then my normally zit-free face started breaking out. The excessive dryness caused breakouts, because your skin starts to produce extra oil to heal itself, hence causing blocked pores.

So I did something totally drastic. I stopped letting tap water touch my face. I'd read about micellar water, but shrugged it off as some new-fangled beauty trend that no doubtedly was ineffective, but boy, was I wrong. Micellar water removes makeup and cleanses the skin without rinsing. It works with micelles, tiny round balls of cleansing molecules floating in the water, that come into contact with oil and dirt on your face and sweep them away. It's gentle, but effective.

La Roche Posay Micellar Water, $52, Skin Store

I bought a bottle of La Roche Posay micellar water (though there are several brands that make it) for $52 and switched to using just that with a cotton pad, morning and night.

I can safely say it removes all of my makeup, and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or tight, like cleansers often do. And I was also surprised at how much dirt and grime builds up on our faces just from everyday living that normal cleansers do not remove (therefore causing more breakouts!)

For the purpose of this article, I deviated from my now normally water-free routine and used a makeup remover pad and a drugstore cleanser at night, then used the micellar water as soon as I woke up.

There's still plenty of gunk the water pulled from my skin in the AM, even after cleansing completely the night before. Yuck.

Three months after starting my waterless routine, my skin is hydrated and blemish free. I mean it. I never would have thought a product like this would work (I subscribed to the "if it don't sting, it ain't working" philosophy), but I couldn't be more pleased with the results. Now my skincare routine takes 30 seconds max and costs a lot less. That's not to say micellar water will work for everyone, I myself have dry skin and someone with more oily skin may need a full-on cleanser, but it's worth switching to it at least once a day and seeing how it works, because there's really no need to cleanse both morning and night.

Images: Getty Images; Sienna Fantozzi