Micellar water is a soapy water that works to remove makeup and cleanse the skin. If you’re still using makeup wipes, put those down and pick up micellar water! It’s so much cheaper, better for the environment and it cleanses your face 10xs better. It could easily be a lazy girl hack and we love it on standby to clean up any missed winged eyeliner attempts. (We all have em!) Micellar water has tons of different uses and if you’re not already using one, you’re going to want to start!
What are the Best Micellar Waters?
A good micellar water removes makeup without making your skin feel oily or like a residue was left behind. Our favorite micellar water hands down is Bioderma’s Sensiobio H2O! There’s no shock as to why Bioderma is such a holy grail in the beauty community. It feels gentle like water on the skin and removes your makeup with ease for a leftover clean and soft touch. Whether it’s to remove makeup or use a cleanser, it always makes your skin feel soft and hydrated without any irritation.
Bioderma Sensibio or Hydrabio H2O Micellar Water
This micellar water gently cleanses, removes makeup while respecting your dehydrated sensitive skin.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is a cleansing water that effortlessly removes makeup and dirt.
The creme de la creme of micellar waters. This one comes from the French pharmacy and is so good for your skin. We like that it comes in a few different versions for sensitive, dry and oily skin. Our favorites are the sensitive and dry skin versions. (Sensibio and Hydrabio – red and blue caps!) It effortlessly removes makeup without any greasy residue left behind. And, it’s a beautiful first cleanse for your morning routine.
Bioderma is super affordable and high quality. One bottle will last a very long time.
- Comes in different versions to choose based on your skin type.
- One container lasts forever.
- Bioderma never makes your face feel greasy or oily.
- Works in place of a cleanser.
- Suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.
- Never hydrates or strips the skin of moisture.
- Comes in many different sizes.
- The biggest con with Bioderma is it’s not the best at removing heavy or waterproof eye makeup.
- Bioderma is harder to find in stores. But it’s widely available on
Where to buy Sensibio:
Where to buy Hydrabio: Amazon
Garnier Micellar Water
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water is formulated without any parabens, sulfates, or fragrances so you can use it daily without clogging your skin.
Garnier’s micellar water feels like an ode to Bioderma. (Especially with the matching colored caps!) But it’s a good drugstore find and it’s very affordable. Garnier’s star micellar water is the one with the blue cap for waterproof makeup. This seriously removes any trace of waterproof makeup! We said our biggest con with Bioderma was that it’s not the best with waterproof makeup and this one will easily finish the job.
- Affordable and easily accessed at any drugstore!!
- This is fantastic at removing waterproof makeup.
- Comes in a mini size which is really nice for travel.
- Also comes in different versions for your skin type and needs. (Our favorite is the waterproof!)
- This can leave a greasy or oily residue on your skin if you use all over or as a cleanser.
- Can make your eyes feel greasy when removing heavy eye makeup.
- This is not the best option to use as a morning cleanse.
Where to buy it:
Simple Micellar Water
This formula is very lightweight and refreshing on the skin, so it can be used every day.
Another micellar water aimed at sensitive skin! This uses purified water sans harsh chemicals to cleanse the skin. Some reviewers say this isn’t great for eye makeup so note that this is a gentler option. If you like using a micellar water in the morning instead of cleansing this is a good option. This definitely falls on the more gentle side so if you don’t wear lots of makeup I think you’ll enjoy this.
- This is good for cleansing in the morning or to remove light makeup.
- Adds moisture back into the skin with each use.
- This has a super gentle formula.
- This is widely affordable and the ingredients are nice and simple. (No dyes or perfumes.)
- Some reviewers said this smells odd.
- Some reviewers complained of this burning their eyes.
Where to buy it:
Cerave Hydrating Micellar Water
A non-comedogenic formula with the likes of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to soothe and cleanse the skin? Sign us up. This micellar water cleanses the skin and removes makeup while protecting the skin barrier. This product has rave reviews for the way it’s cured acne, removes makeup and cleanses the skin. It looks like this product is a little hard to find but worth the search because it has great ingredients and very complimentary reviews.
- Non-comedogenic. Also paraben and fragrance free.
- Contains niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to help calm the skin and retain moisture.
- Very affordable and works well with other Cerave products.
- Gentle formula works for a morning cleanse.
- Reviewers said this dries down to leave the skin soft and supple.
- This product is harder to find.
- Not the best suited for heavy makeup.
Where to buy it:
Olay Luminous Advanced Tone Perfecting Micellar Water
This micellar water effortlessly removes face and eye makeup in one step without rinsing or drying out your skin.
This micellar water has a pump top which is so nice for using with cotton! Notice the name…this works well as a toner, used after cleansing with a traditional face cleanser. But, it contains rice bran extract and aloe to smooth impurities and remove makeup while boosting the skin barrier. Reviewers are ride or die for this product and it feels like we definitely just discovered a hidden gem! Check out this article to see what we think about micellar water vs toner.
- Pump top applicator is so easy and spill free.
- Fragrance free formula.
- Good for removing makeup and toning the skin.
- Works as a morning cleanse.
- Harder to find in stores.
- You may have some difficulties removing waterproof mascara with this.
Where to buy it:
Once you start using micellar water, it’ll easily stay around as a must in your routine. Say goodbye to your makeup wipes and grab the micellar water! It’s so much better for your skin, wallet and the environment. The nice thing about micellar waters is the cheaper the better it seems like! There is no need to splurge.
Our favorite is Bioderma because it’s so widely suitable for all different skin types and it’s incredibly gentle. If your skin is highly sensitive, you’ll see a huge difference using a micellar water cleanse in the morning vs a traditional cleanser. There is not much micellar water can’t do!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to wash my face after using micellar water?
If you’re wearing makeup, the best way to cleanse your skin is to double cleanse. So, micellar water is best as a first cleanse. Removing any makeup, SPF, dirt and impurities. Then, following up with a water based cleanser works to remove any leftover residue, dirt and oils. This way, you are ensuring that all your makeup is removed and that your face is clean.
If you’re not wearing makeup and just sunscreen, a good micellar water could work as your cleanser. I’d pick Bioderma and you could get away with just washing your face with that. It’s not the best habit to pick up for daily use but it works in a pinch.
Does a micellar water burn?
No! It never should and if it does then it’s not the right one for you. A micellar water is basically soapy water used to cleanse the skin and it should be gentle. But, some now include salicylic acid and other ingredients that make it more like a toner and not a cleanser. Those you need to be careful with.
The best bets for a gentle micellar water include Bioderma, Simple, Cerave and the Garnier Micellar water.
Can I apply micellar water into my hands and onto my face?
The pat method is good for toners and essences. Just pour the product into your hands and pat on to your face. The problem with using this method for micellar waters is that, if you’re trying to remove makeup, it’ll just smear the makeup and won’t remove it. It may work in the morning if you’re using micellar water to cleanse.
But just remember this, patting in the product is for application. If you’re cleansing your face you’ll need cotton or a washcloth to remove the makeup and excess. Plus the whole purpose of micellar water is that you use cotton. If you apply it with your hands and rinse it’s basically like washing your face with soap.
If you want to cut down on waste, there are reusable cotton pads that work just as good as the disposable ones!