Should You Use a Special Water to Wash Your Face?

water to wash your face

Washing your face with micellar water and other special facial cleansing waters has become popular lately, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily need these products to have great skin. In this article, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann will explain the differences between regular tap water and special water cleansing products, as well as how to use each option.

What’s Wrong with Cleansing with Regular Tap Water?

There really is nothing wrong with using tap water to cleanse your skin, unless you have extremely sensitive skin. Unliked filtered water, tap water contains a variety of minerals and other substances, which could cause a skin reaction for people with sensitive skin types. Miami water, for example, contains high levels of chlorine that can cause skin irritation for some people. New York City water is known for having high calcium levels. Other tap waters have high levels of fluoride.

You only need to worry about finding an alternative to tap water if your sensitive skin has an adverse reaction after washing your face.  You will notice redness or itching after showering or washing your face in the sink. If this occurs over 25% of the time after exposing your skin to tap water, you should consider using an alternate source of water.

How To Use A Special water On your Skin

Spray the water on your skin right before applying your cleanser. Then rub the cleanser into your skin by making small circular motions with the tips of your fingers. When you’re finished washing your face, spray more water onto your skin and then use a soft towel to remove the cleanser. It is best to repeat this process three times to make sure all cleanser is removed. Special waters can also be sprayed on the skin on an airplane to help keep skin hydrated.  The trick to hydrating your skin on a plane is to spray the water on your face every hour and cover with a barrier repair moisturizer.

Water Choices for Sensitive Skin

The first step is to try using a water filter on your faucet to filter out the “hard” substances in your water. You can buy these at any hardware store.  If this does not solve the problem, there are also a variety of special facial cleansing waters out there that you could try.


  • Evian natural mineral water. This product comes in a spray bottle and can be kept in the fridge so it stays cool if it feels good to your skin to apply cool water.
  • Vichy mineralizing thermal water. This facial water contains sulphur and other anti-inflammatory ingredients to help soothe your skin, making it a good choice for sensitive, inflamed. Vichy water also works especially well for people with acne-prone skin. This product also comes in a convenient spray bottle. Men can even use Vichy thermal water after shaving to help soothe irritated, inflamed skin.
  • La Roche-Posay thermal spring water. This face cleansing water has selenium in it, which is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that works great for eczema and rosacea-prone skin types. You can even spray this soothing water on your skin throughout the day when you’re not washing your face, especially if you are experiencing a flare-up of rosacea or eczema symptoms. After applying the water, you can cover with a moisturizer that is chosen for your Baumann Skin Type®.
  • Pellegrino. This water has chromium in it, which may help to soothe stinging skin. Pellegrino is carbonated, however, and some people may not like that sensation on their face.


How Important Is Your Choice of Cleanser?

Your choice of cleanser is more important than whether or not you choose to try a facial cleansing water. If you are using the wrong kind of cleanser for your Baumann Skin Type, you could be contributing to problems like acne, dryness, flaking, and even rosacea flare-ups. Before you decide on a special facial water, be sure you are using the right cleanser.

You can read more about choosing a face wash for various skin types in this blog. Generally speaking, dry skin types will want to avoid foaming cleansers, which strip away excess oils from your skin. Oily types, on the other hand, can benefit from these types of cleansers.

If you have sensitive skin, look for a creamy cleanser that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients such as feverfew, argan oil, chamomile, and green tea.

Bottom Line

While using a facial cleansing water with your cleanser instead of regular tap water is not a necessary part of everyone’s skin care routine, it may be able to help people with sensitive skin types, including acne-prone, rosacea-prone, burning and stinging, and allergic reactions. More importantly than using a facial water, however, is making sure you are using the right cleanser for your skin.

For more skin care tips and advice, as well as Dr. Baumann’s answers to common skin care questions like this one, be sure to follow Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


© MetaBeauty Inc.

July 9, 2018 Skincare