In addition to being vital to survival, water has long been touted as a key component of beauty. But water isn’t limited to what comes out of your faucet, and it’s definitely not just for cleansing and hydrating. Explore the six other kinds of waters below, and see how your beauty routine can benefit from them.
1. Cleansing/Micellar Water
Long embraced by the French (whose water supply is notoriously harsh on skin), micellar water has been quietly replacing multistep cleansing rituals for years. Featuring tiny molecules of oil known as “micelles” that attract and dissolve dirt, makeup and other impurities from the skin, these soap- and chemical-free waters don’t require rinsing (making them particularly great for travel) and leave the skin hydrated and toned as well as clean. Purists simply sweep it on with a cotton ball and then skip the toner and moisturizer, but micellar water can also be used as the makeup-removal or cleansing step in your regular nighttime or beauty routine.
2. Coconut Water
In addition to containing antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties, coconut water—the clear, sweet liquid tapped from unripe coconuts—has the advantage of being hydrating without being oily, a prime combination for promoting healthy skin and hair. Used as an after-shampoo rinse, coconut water increases blood flow to the scalp, discouraging hair loss and breakage while conditioning locks without chemicals or contaminants. It also cleanses and dissuades shine as a facial toner; promotes healing as an ingredient in masks; and softens skin while stimulating circulation when added to bath water.
3. Glacial Water
Centuries of natural filtration are what give glacial water the extreme level of purity that makes it a coveted ingredient in skin care and cosmetics. Melting and making its way through miles of lava rock, the former glacier ice also absorbs minerals from volcanic bedrock during the process—minerals that reduce acidity and help balance pH levels in your skin, calming inflammation and sensitivity. Icelandic glacial water in particular is some of the cleanest in the world, thanks to the pristine environment from which it comes, providing a naturally contaminant-free base that won’t counteract the potency of your beauty products’ ingredients.
4. Rose Water
This fragrant elixir has been popular since ancient times for it’s gentle antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to soothing and cooling irritated skin, rose water softens and moisturizes with a powerful combination of vitamins and antioxidants. Hydrator sprays revitalize instantly, while rose water splashes calm sensitive skin and help remove redness. Even your hair can benefit from a rinse, which adds shine and conditions—complete with heavenly scent.
Rich with vitamins and minerals that absorb easily through the skin, seawater boasts a range of healing and rejuvenating properties that make it a valuable ingredient in a variety of hair and beauty products. Sensitive and acne-prone skin has been shown to benefit from the high concentration of magnesium in seawater, so bath salts, face washes and toners are among the popular products containing it. Water from the Dead Sea in particular is tied to cell rejuvenation and can be found in enriching shampoos and conditioners as well as facial cleansers, masks, moisturizers and soaps.
6. Thermal Spring Water
Best known for its ability to tame a cadre of skin conditions—eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and other sundry rashes and irritations—thermal spring water combines the benefits of decades of mountain filtration followed by a bacteria-free resting place deep underground. Dense with minerals, antioxidants and carbon dioxide, it softens as it heals and is a key ingredient in anti-redness serums, creams and sprays as well as skin care designed for sensitive skin.