Long long ago in a land far away, I once used Garnier’s Micellar Water and spoke high praise about its makeup removing abilities. But if you asked me today, my opinion has shifted greatly. So you may ask, what happened? What’s wrong the problem with the popular micellar water? Let’s go over it.
First, let’s go over what micellar water is. Micellar water is applied on a cotton round to gently lift up dirt and makeup from the skin. It’s made up of micelles (tiny balls of oil molecules) suspended in soft water. It looks like water and has the viscosity of water but when you put it on your finger and feel, it has a different texture than water. About five years ago it was a largely unfamiliar concept to the average skin-care shopper. However, now, it’s a household name in so many bathroom vanities. And the most popular of them all? Garnier’s Micellar Water collection. So popular, in fact, that one is sold every five seconds! So what’s the problem with the seemingly amazing and very popular cleansing water?
Garnier’s Micellar Water contains an ingredient called polyaminopropyl biguanide. Also known as polyhexamethylene biguanide, or PHMB, this ingredient is in many popular products in the USA but is actually banned from use in cosmetics in other countries. Even though PHMB has proven antibacterial properties, it has also been shown to be harmful. A study was done on both humans and animals showed that PHMB is carcinogenic (causing cancer), mutagenic (causing gene mutation), and toxic. Yikes! When asked about the ingredient on Twitter, Garnier replied:
While they are confident in their product, studies have proved otherwise. Even though it’s banned for use in many other countries, some people still debate if PHMB is really that bad. So because it’s still legal here in the US, companies will insist that it’s safe. If you’re worried about using products with PHMB, check out this list of products known to include the ingredient. Always read product labels to be sure whether PHMB (may be listed as polyaminopropyl biguanide or polyhexamethylene biguanide) is not in your skincare/beauty care products.