The world can thank the French for many things, like Champagne, photography and Coco Chanel. Its language is romantic, its history vast and its unmatched beauty is unlike anything else in the world. Now we can thank the French, yet again, for a product that has taken the American beauty world by storm – micellar water.

This tiny miracle became popular among makeup artists and enthusiasts alike after being used religiously for years by Parisian women to wash their face. In a time when traditional plumbing wasn’t a thing and the harshness of tap water was becoming detrimental to the skin, their solution became micellar water – a combination of micelles suspended in soft water.

The microscopic micelles are tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules and they attract and extract dirt and oil like a magnet. It looks just like regular water, but instead of products full of chemicals stripping away at your skin, micellar water soothes and hydrates while washing away the grim of your day. Because of its softness, it’s a great substitute for those with sensitive skin.

After a recent assignment brought me to the makeup application section of Sephora, I too jumped on the micellar water bandwagon. Not one to normally follow fads, especially those that sound too good to be true, I was completely taken aback when the makeup artist began by cleaning my (what I thought was clean) face with the micellar water. More dirt and excess makeup came off than I ever would have imagined. I bought a bottle at that very moment.

I’ve been using micellar water for about two months now and I can say it’s extremely effective – especially on days when I’ve only applied a small amount of makeup to my face. Though it is not a miracle worker for those, like myself, who have skin issues due to medical issues or certain medications, it still leaves my face feeling hydrated and moisturized. I almost never have to put on extra moisturizer, and only do because it’s part of my nightly routine.

I will note that some brands lean to the more expensive side. I personally use the Dior Hydra Life Micellar Water No Rinse Cleanser, $42 at Sephora. I also want to note that it is not effective on its own when trying to clean off a great amount of makeup. No matter the price or extra use, micellar water has topped my list of French favorites right behind macarons and Marie Antoinette.