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The Cleansing Waters Are Rising


Last year, I did something revolutionary with my skincare routine: I stopped using soap and water to clean my face. Motivated by the theory that a lot of cleansers strip your skin of necessary oils and that tap water leaves behind trace minerals that can cause dryness and irritation, I kicked my daily cleanser to the curb in favor of—wait for it—cleansing water. The dirt-removing no-rinse washes that double as makeup removers and toners are not news to anyone who has spent a lot of time in Paris, where Bioderma’s Solution Micellaire Créaline TS H20 is king. Somehow, despite its popularity, Bioderma is not distributed on this side of the pond, but cleansing waters are gaining steam stateside thanks in large part to their prevalence backstage during fashion week. Makeup artists like James Kaliardos and Lucia Pieroni always have a bottle of the gentle, skin-purifying and -softening liquid at their respective stations, and the more they use it to refresh models’ travel-weary skin in between shows, the more said models adopt it as a regular part of their own regimens. Most Parisian pharmacy brands, like Klorane and Avene, count cleansing waters as an essential part of their product lineup, and now bigger American brands are following suit. Introducing NARS Makeup Removing Water. A soap-free, oil-free, and alcohol-free liquid, the lightly scented, cucumber-infused elixir sweeps away impurities without having to use abrasive scrubs or cloths. The brand recommends following the splash with a cleanser, although in my experience, a few cotton pads soaked with the fluid alone should do you right. (Editor’s note: If you’re feeling particularly grimy or are partial to wearing particularly heavy makeup, wash with a gentle cleanser at night and revert to a cleansing water-only regimen when you wake up in the morning.)

Photo: Courtesy of NARS Cosmetics

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