Magic water: micellar cleansers we love

If you don't have micellar water in your skincare routine, it might be time to give it a try.


If you don’t have micellar water in your skincare routine, it might be time to give it a try. A revolutionary product when it was launched by French skincare company Bioderma in 1991, it was quickly coveted for its ability to cleanse, purify skin and remove makeup in a single step, without any of the stripping and drying effects from cleansing with a traditional cleanser and water.

What makes micellar water different than regular water or thermal water? These specialized cleansing formulas contain micelles, a complex structure composed of non-ionic surfactants in the form of an invisible microsphere. Ok, that was a bit science-y, but basically it means the product looks and feels like water, but it attracts dirt, oil and makeup like a magnet and leaves your skin soft and refreshed.

Here are some of our favourites, including the original.

Clarins Cleansing Micellar Water

French skincare brand Clarins recently launched a revamped lineup of cleansers including a Cleansing Micellar Water infused with lemon balm and yellow gentian (a flowering herb). The purity of the Alps was always an inspiration for Jacques Courtin-Clarins, the founder of the Clarins brand. He developed a range of gentle facial cleansers containing Alpine herbs and gentian in 1967. These natural ingredients are not only effective, but also proved to be good for the skin. Today, Clarins grows and harvests their 100 per cent organic Alpine herb blend at their own “Domaine Clarins.” This gentle complex creates a micellar cleanser that soothes, calms and softens even the most sensitive skin while removing impurities. $38 for 200mL. clarins.ca

Dior HydraLife Micellar Water No Rinse Cleanser

This next-generation micellar water from Dior (we were previously enamoured with their now discontinued Instant Cleansing Water) offers powerful makeup removal properties along with a fresh, comforting texture. Infused with echinacea flower extract, it traps all impurities and removes makeup—including stubborn eye makeup—in a single step. $51 for 20mL. dior.com

L’Occitane 3-in-1 Micellar Water

You are probably familiar with L’Occitane for their wonderfully rich shea butter hand creams, but the much loved French brand also offers a range of facial skincare products. New in the L’Occitane lineup is this micellar cleanser infused with refreshing cucumber and thyme. It’s perfect for removing even waterproof make-up and impurities from the face, eyelids and lips. Simply wipe over the skin with a cotton pad for invigorated, soft and moisturized skin that is prepped for your serum or moisturizer. $29 for 200mL. loccitane.com

Caudalie Vinoclean Micellar Cleansing Water

This new cleanser from Caudalie’s Vinoclean lineup of products is a clear micellar water infused with the light scent of mandarin, watermelon and fresh mint. Composed of 98 per cent natural origin ingredients, Caudalie has made over their cleanser lineup to make them vegan, natural and eco-responsible. Bursting with organic grape water, it hydrates even the most delicate skin leaving it clean, soft and comfortable. As with all Caudalie products, no parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oils, PEGs, silicones, sodium laureth sulfates, or animal-derived ingredients are used. $35 for 200mL. ca-en.caudalie.com

Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur

Lancome’s version of micellar water is enriched with rose extracts to leave skin feeling soft and comfortable after cleansing. It’s crystal clear formula is a gentle way to remove makeup and cleanse skin in one swipe and is ideal for all skin types. $52 for 400mL. lancome.ca

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

The original micellar water, Bioderma invented the concept in 1991. Gently doing the job of makeup remover and toner in one stroke, it quickly became a must-have for makeup artists and beauty gurus. Now a bottle of Sensibio H2O is sold every three seconds. Perfect for intolerant, allergic or sensitive skin, it cleanses while maintaining skin’s balance. Contains no alcohol, fragrance or parabens and is infused with cucumber extract to soothe skin. $20 for 500 mL. bioderma.ca

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