Skin care

The beautiful story behind Dara’s Water, Twelve Beauty’s non-micellar cleansing water

“When I first met Dara in San Francisco for our initial meet-up to see if her business would be a good fit as our first US retailer partner, the strangest thing happened. It felt like I had known her my whole life. Little did I know that our meeting would lay the foundation for my first non-micellar cleansing water,” says Pedro Catalá. Dara is none other than Dara Kennedy, the founder of Ayla Beauty, and expert at searching the globe for the best skin-safe yet effective natural beauty products on the market. She sets the benchmark in the sector and marks the standards to follow.

And so, this is how the magical story behind one of Twelve Beauty’s latest launches began. “That lively gathering led to food and a little walk before catching the plane, during which Dara bought up the subject of micellar waters. It was the only category in which she had trouble finding a product that met her high standards. Subsequently, the subject has popped up in every conversation we have had since,” continues Pedro.

As a pharmacist and formulation expert, creating a skin-safe and effective cleansing water was somewhat of a challenge. “So, I found the courage to start investigating and experimenting. In the end, it was almost more a matter of pride and proving to Dara (and myself) that I was capable of creating a unique cleansing water!” he confesses. This is how Dara’s Water was born. A NON-micellar cleanser that has turned the cleansing water category on its head.

agua de limpieza non-micellar cleansing water 

What makes Dara’s Water so unique?

“What makes cleansing waters so problematic is that they must be formulated with a pH identical to that of the tear duct (pH7.4) to avoid stinging. This is a much higher pH level than that of the skin (pH5). Although the skin can restore its pH value, it always ends up suffering,” Pedro explains. “This type of cleanser is erroneously called micellar water thanks to its peculiar structure, which due to surfactants (detergents) forming spheres called micelles.”

“Furthermore, we also need to remember that surfactants (present in the structure of micelles), even those of natural origin, can irritate skin. This means it is difficult to formulate with a high enough surfactant dose to be effective, without it also being irritating for skin. Lastly, there is the problem of how to preserve a formula with such a high water content,” he concludes.

The reason why Dara’s Water is considered a unique cleansing water is because of its innovative formulation:

– It is surfactant-free, using instead a combination of polysaccharides and humectants known for their dirt-busting properties. The resulting formula is highly effective yet remarkably gentle on skin.

– Its pH is similar to that of the skin, making it suitable even for stressed and reactive complexions. It can also be used to remove eye make-up despite not having a higher pH value.

– Organic rose and oat extracts (in high concentrations, 20%) replace much of the purified water content. Both these extracts are distilled exclusively for the brand in Italy and reduce the need to use additional preservatives, which could irritate the skin. These organic botanical waters are then mixed in small batches at TWELVE’s studio in Spain, together with the other ingredients that go into making Dara’s Water unique. The result is one of the freshest cleansers you will ever use.

And if Dara Kennedy has given her seal of approval, it is certainly a winner.


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