Does TikTok's Foaming Micellar Water Trick Actually Work?

It could be a game-changer.

Split of woman trying micellar water foam hack and micellar water


As a kid, blowing bubbles was a simple thing that brought so much joy. Ready to feel that unfettered happiness again? We just might have found the grown-up version thanks to TikTok (hint: micellar water is involved)— and now removing your makeup will never be the same.

“The micellar water bubble hack has a lot of visual appeal,” says Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, FAAD, board-certified cosmetic and medical dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. “It’s captivating in a way. And the idea of easily producing a foam on your own is exciting. Who doesn’t want to try it once they have seen it!”

Read on for everything you need to know about the micellar water hack taking over TikTok.

What is the micellar water bubble hack?

All you have to do is pour some micellar water onto a cotton pad and gently blow through it until a light-as-a-feather delicate foam forms on the other side. Think of it as souped-up micellar water—the foam makes it even easier to remove makeup, dirt, oil, pollutants and other impurities from your skin, leaving your complexion squeaky clean, but not stripped.

Does this trick change the formula?

Nope! “The ingredients are of course the same, and essentially the product will work the same for the most part,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. “You may be able to get a deeper cleanse from the foamed product, but truly the micellar water should work to remove oils from the skin well as a solution or a foam. That is, you don’t need to make a foam to get the cleansing action from your micellar water.” In other words, pulling off this micellar water magic trick is all about the experience.   

What are the perks of the micellar water bubble hack?

We hate to break it to you, but the biggest benefit of turning your micellar water into a foaming format is the fun of the process itself. Some people claim you may be able to get a deeper cleanse with a foamed micellar, but Dr. Murphy-Rose isn’t convinced. “I am not certain there is truth to that,” she says. “Micellar water in its solution form is typically effective for removing oils and makeup. Micellar water works best for the cleansing of sensitive or dry skin, or as the first step of a double cleanse for normal or oily skin types, paired with another facial cleanser.” 

However, one bonus is that some people might find micellar water in foaming form more convenient. “A foam is easier to apply than a solution when you don’t have an applicator pad to use. However, with this hack an applicator pad is required so you would already have one on hand,” points out Dr. Murphy-Rose.

Esthetician Sofie Pavitt shared the hack on Instagram, and explained another benefit for those with acne-prone skin. "I stand by my words that breakout prone clients are best leaving the oil cleansers out of their routines, but some don’t like the feel of a toner-esque micellar water," she says in the caption. "Blow some BUBS through it and turn it into a foamy cozy cleanser."

Is the micellar water bubble hack safe?

Thanks to COVID-19, many of us are still on high germ alert and unfortunately this hack sets off the alarm. “The one consideration may be the contamination of oral microbes into the foamed micellar water from blowing into it,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. “The transfer of microbes onto skin could promote infection in theory, however I am not aware of any negative effects.”

Ultimately, the foaming micellar water hack is safe for most skin types. “Micellar water employs very gentle surfactants, and is very suited to dry or sensitive skin, more so than a regular foaming cleanser,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. 

Plus, all you need is a few cotton rounds, a micellar water and a set of lungs. “Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($19) is a go-to micellar water,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. “It is fragrance-free and paraben-free and effectively removes oils and makeup while leaving skin feeling clean and hydrated. There are also slightly more complex and inventive micellar waters that include additional skin soothing ingredients. Payot has developed a micellar water ($22) with watercress extract and orange blossom floral water to help restore softness while achieving the gentle cleansing benefits of a micellar. And I love that there is a refillable option.” Yon-Ka Eau Micellaire ($48) is a botanical blend featuring 92% ingredients of natural origin, while Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water ($8) is a drugstore standby that breaks up dirt and oil without busting the bank.

No matter which micellar water you choose, you can blow it out of the water.

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