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By: Christine Chow/Lifestyle Writer

After a long and draining day of classes, cleaning your face properly is the last thing you want to do before getting carried away by the sweet, blissful oblivion of sleep. Makeup wipes are the midnight pizzas of the skincare world. They’re quick, they get the job done and they’re terrible for you in a gazillion ways you never wanted to know.

Wipes are convenient for that ten-second tidy, but they’re often loaded with chemicals to extend their shelf life and to get makeup to come off easier. The problem lies in the residual chemicals that stay on your face when you don’t wash them off, and when you take that into account how abrasive wiping motions can be, it’s safe to say you’re doing an A+ job of making your skin hate you.

There is, however, no need for despair. Meet micellar water, the breakout star of the skincare industry and the answer to all your woes. For anyone who’s taken a course in biology, the theory behind micelles should be familiar. The oil molecules in micellar water, which form the hydrophobic (water-hating) interior, break down the dirt and oil on your face. The soft water, which forms the hydrophilic (water-loving) exterior by encasing oil molecules, then sweeps away the impurities. All in all, the two make a pretty kick-ass team.

Like make-up wipes, using micellar water is a one-step process. You apply a small amount of the water to a cotton ball, and you swipe it across your face, no rinsing required. But that’s where the similarities end. A softer alternative to the ‘90s harsh water crisis in Paris, micellar water contains only mild surfactants and is therefore free of any harsh chemicals that dry out or irritate sensitive skin.

Their targeted design makes them gentle and effective, removing other oils that contribute to future breakouts.

Prices for micellar water range anywhere from five to 50 dollars, depending on the brand. If you’re willing to splurge 30 dollars, try Bioderma Sensibio H2O: it started the micellar water trend, and is vouched for by many celebrities and their makeup artists, such as Gwyneth Paltrow. For the sceptics who simply want to test the waters, Simple offers a more affordable deal at seven dollars. Just keep in mind that not all types of micellar water are meant to be used on waterproof or long-lasting makeup, or you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.

The main problem with makeup wipes stems from the assumption that they’re supposed to replace your daily skin cleansing routine, when they’re really just a quick fix. Although micellar water is a step-up from wipes, it’s still exactly just that: a quick fix. Use it while travelling, and when in a hurry, but make the effort to do the full routine every once in a while. Your skin will thank you down the road.

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