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Markets & trends

Micellar water gets new usages in the cosmetics industry

Normally used as a makeup remover or a facial cleanser, the solution is now being added to the formula of personal care products such as shampoos and soaps.

Until a few years ago, micellar water was virtually unknown in the Brazilian market. However, it soon claimed its space on shops’ shelves and in consumer’s makeup bags all over the country. Micellar water is considered by many specialists as the “cosmetic product to have” and it is a more practical and less aggressive skin cleanser option.

Inocência Manoel, co-founder and marketing director at Inoar

Inocência Manoel, co-founder and marketing director at Inoar

The product combines water with moisturizing ingredients and soft surfactants, usually in low concentrations. When grouped together, the surfactants create micelles, responsible for removing makeup and other impurities from the skin without causing rashes and without the need to rinse,” says Vanessa Silva, technological coordinator at Cosmotec, a supplier of raw materials to cosmetic manufacturers.

Tatiane Ferreira, marketing manager at Aqia - a chemical plant specializing in beauty ingredients – explains that the micelles attract the dirt, forming clusters. However, that doesn’t mean the product can only be used on the skin, or just on the face. “Using micellar water on hair has the same effect.

That is why Brazilian shampoos and products that care for hair strands have recently begun to use micellar water as a key component. “Shampoos with micellar water are recommended to women who love to wash their hair every day or who have very thin hair, for example. Micellar water properties promote a deep cleanse without making the hair dry,” says Ferreira.

Inoar, a leading hair care brand in Brazil, presented the line Acqua d’Inoar Micelar at the end of 2018. The line features a shampoo and a refreshing hair mask, which promise to leave hair strands lighter and well moisturized. The novelties came a year after the company decided to include micellar water in its portfolio of skin care and body care products.

Micellar water is usually an entrance point for consumers into the world of dermocosmetics,” says Inocência Manoel, co-founder and marketing and creative director at Inoar. “Before the use of micellar water, it was necessary to have a different product for every need, such as a toner for oily skin, specific makeup removers for other impurities…” With the concept “one step and multiple benefits”, last year micellar water was the second bestselling item from Inoar’s dermocosmetics category, representing 12% of the total of sales.

Other brands dedicated to hair care have adopted the trend. At the end of last year Cless Cosméticos launched the line Salon Opus Água Micelar, with shampoo, conditioner, moisturizing mask and a serum. Even industry giants such as Seda and Pantene have joined the trend. “The industry realized micellar cleansing agents are beneficial for the hair and for the scalp,” says Manoel.

Soaps with micellar water are also among some of the recent launches in the sector. Dove, for instance, presented a liquid soap and a soap bar with micellar water to the market, claiming they have anti-stress properties.

Inocência Manoel believes the application of micellar water in the cosmetics industry has a lot of untapped potential. “Since it offers real benefits, we believe there will be a lot of variations of this concept, while maintaining its chemical properties.

Vanessa Silva also sees a future for these formulas and points out two main reasons for it. The first one is a growing perception among Brazilians that they have sensitive skin, therefore looking for alternative products that are indeed softer. Another reason comes from the client’s satisfaction with micellar actives. “Consumers note the benefits of using these products on the face or on hair and they want to continue with this sort of care on other parts of the body,” she says.

Renata Martins

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