Review: Micellar Waters

(This post is written for The Glosse Posse.)

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”autopx” height=”” background_color=”#c9efd3″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” inside_shadow=”false” ]This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small compensation if you click on the link and when you purchase an item. This allows me to keep my site running. Thank you for your support![/dropshadowbox]

I first learned about the ‘magical’ micellar waters last year when several bloggers and beauty magazines were raving about how clean and soft their skin felt after using the Bioderma micellar waters. These micellar solutions are meant to be the gentle alternative to cleansing the skin without rinsing with water. Though these solutions are soap- and alcohol-free, they are able to remove make-up, including waterproof mascaras, sebum, and impurities from the skin. It’s often known as the 3-in-1 cleanser for its ability to 1) remove makeup, 2) cleanse skin, and 3) tone skin. Furthermore, these solutions made great makeup brush removers. See why it’s magical? Bioderma has two kinds of micellar waters: Sensibio for those with sensitive skin and Hydrabio for normal/combination skin. So why didn’t I run out and buy one? Each bottle (250ml) costs C$22 before taxes. That’s quite the investment for a skin care product that will run out fairly quickly. (I’m told it’s cheaper in France.) So I decided to look for drugstore dupes.


Garnier Clean Sensitive Moisture Infusion Cleansing WaterThere were quite a few bloggers who found Garnier’s cleansing water to be a good drugstore dupe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any in Shoppers Drug Mart or London Drugs. In fact, it was by chance that there were discontinued (but still good) Garnier cleansing waters for sale at Winners for C$4.99 (from C$10). I think it did an alright job of removing makeup several cotton pads later, but it most certainly could not remove waterproof mascara. Although my skin did not feel oily, I noticed some foundation trapped in my nose pores (I must have had a lot more makeup on) so I decided to use a cleanser instead. Otherwise, this cleansing water is generally the fastest way to remove makeup and cleanse my face when I’m ready to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the 200ml pump runs out of product pretty quickly. Since I didn’t use Garnier very often, I would say it lasts around 1-2 months if you use it every day.

Vichy Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution (Purete Thermale) – I received a miniature bottle from Vichy earlier this year and because I am a fan of Vichy products, I was looking forward to using Vichy’s micellar water. There were mixed reviews from beauty bloggers on Vichy’s micellar solution. Some said it was the drugstore dupe, others found it left an un-cleansed feeling. I personally couldn’t tell the difference between Garnier’s and Vichy’s. They both felt pretty similar but Vichy has two sizes available (200ml and 400ml) and costs more (at least C$20?). Vichy also has a Normaderm Micellar Solution Face and Eyes for imperfection-prone skin.

Other Alternatives

Marcelle Soothing Cleansing Water – According to blogger Beauty is Ubiquitous, Marcelle’s C$14 (200ml) cleansing solution is the drugstore dupe for Bioderma Sensibio. It appears that ‘the formulas are almost identical!’ Marcelle is a Canadian brand and can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs. I don’t know if it’s available outside of Canada.

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water for Normal/Oily Skin – Our fellow Glosse Girl and blogger, Mastering Oxford, recommends this cleansing water (200ml) in lieu of Bioderma. This cleansing water contains zinc to control the oil, so this is perfect for combination/oily skin types. Just looking at the packaging, I give it one thumb up for the pump dispenser but one thumb down for the lack of a cap.

L’Oreal Sublime Soft Gentle Micellar Solution – Most beauty bloggers adore L’Oreal’s micellar water (C$13-15 for 200ml) for the silky-soft feeling on their skin. The main complaint, however, is the packaging, so handle this container with care!


Based on the two micellar solutions I’ve used, makeup removal and cleansing have never been so easy. Even my waterproof red lipsticks will come off without leaving a stain. Unfortunately, when it comes to removing waterproof and smudge-proof mascaras, it won’t do anything. I suppose that’s expected and I doubt that Bioderma would be able to accomplish the task either. Furthermore, although both solutions will remove some makeup from the brushes, the best ‘cleanser’ for makeup brushes was La Roche-Posay’s foaming cleansing gel.

The most effective 3-in-1 cleanser, in my opinion, is still Vichy’s 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser (read my review here). Instead of water, it’s a cleansing milk so skin will still feel cleansed but also moisturised. It also does a better job at removing waterproof mascara, though not completely. For smudge- and waterproof mascara, you’ll need to use an eye makeup remover specifically for waterproof eye makeup (I’ll write about this next week). Take care of your lashes. 😉

Follow on Bloglovin
She Said Beauty