Best micellar waters to cleanse your skin

Elva Mankin

Once a well guarded secret among beauty experts, micellar water is now considered the ultimate skincare staple.

You no longer need to maximise your liquid allowance travelling from France across the channel – filling your case with as many bottles as you can carry. The beauty hero is now ubiquitous, stocked at every drugstore and online retailer with a seemingly endless selection to choose from, all of which boast unique skincare benefits.

What is micellar water?

Micellar water was created in 1991 by Bioderma and immediately shook up the way in which people would remove their makeup. Considered by many to be a one-step solution, it was designed to combine both cleansing and toning in one fell swoop. The liquid removes even the most stubborn of foundations or waterproof mascaras, excess sebum and other impurities like dirt and grime without stripping your skin of its natural moisture.

It contains micellar technology where purified water (free from minerals and metals) is enriched with micelles. A micelle is made up of gentle surfactants with a water soluble hydrophilic head and an oil-attracting lipophilic tail that when combined act as a magnet in order to attract just about any impurity and lift it away from your skin.

Hard water is too harsh on skin and can leave it dry and dull. Micellar water is one of the gentlest beauty products on the market, breaking down the dirt particles to leave your complexion looking clean, clear and healthy.

Why use micellar water?

Micellar water offers a quick, easy and seamless makeup removal. We’ve all seen the YouTube tutorials detailing a 12-step skincare routine – this is the complete opposite. Call it a lazy skincare saviour for a fast paced lifestyle.

The multipurpose product is ideal for travelling and to sweep over skin for a quick fix – which is why its a fixture backstage at fashion week around the globe. If you’re looking to cut down on makeup wipes, micellar is a fuss-free alternative with an even more effective cleaning power.

How to use micellar water

It couldn’t be easier to introduce micellar water into your skincare routine. Just apply the formula onto a cotton wool pad and gently glide all over your face until the makeup, dirt and grime is removed.

See our pick of the best.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

Once a best kept beauty secret by effortlessly chic Parisian women, Bioderma’s micellar water has become a Holy Grail item and a backstage-fixture. While you once had to fill up your case with the product and schlep it across the channel, you can now shop it just about anywhere. It helps to remove makeup – even the most stubborn of waterproof iterations – with ease. Ideal for sensitive skin, it is perfume and paraben free. Gently wipe over your face, eyes and neck without the need to rinse after.

£10.80 | Feel Unique

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

A travelling essential, Garnier has launched this micellar water to remove makeup in one fell swoop. Opt as a first step in your cleansing routine or as a one-stop shop for when you’re pressed for time. The formula is gentle but the brand also boasts iterations for specific skin types, including sensitive or combination as well as a rose water variation to give that extra glow.

£2.95 | Boots

Drunk Elephant E-Rase Milki Micellar Water

The newest addition to Drunk Elephant’s ever-expanding range comes in the form of this luxurious micellar water that is designed to remove your makeup and any build up of dirt or grime from the day. The uniquely milky formula is enriched with ceramides and gentle micelles that clean without irritation, giving a soothing and calming feel. You can use it every day without stripping the skin of moisture. Instead it will add nourishing extracts of baobab, mongogo, wild melon seed, ximenia seed, passion fruit and sweet almond into your skincare routine for a clearer and glowy complexion. It has a rich texture that is gentle and moisturising.

£24 | Space NK

Lancôme Eau Micellaire Confort Hydrating Micellar Water

We have long been fans of Lancome’s gentle but effective eye makeup remover and had high hopes for the brand’s take on micellar water – and it didn’t disappoint. It eliminates impurities and makeup with ease to leave your skin feeling fresh. The formula contains a combination of acacia honey, glycerin and rose water that offer a boost of hydration with calming properties. You can use on all skin types including dry and sensitive.

£24.50 | lookfantastic

Typology 7-Ingredient Micellar Water

Natural and vegan skincare label Typology recently headed across the channel, launching in the UK during the pandemic. The brand puts minimalism on the forefront with products that will suit even the most sensitive of skin types. Typology micellar water uses only seven essential ingredients – all of which are vegan and mostly naturally derived (96 per cent to be precise). The formula removes makeup and dirt particles, while moisturising without irritation. It is also fragrance free.

£12.80 | Typology

Avène Micellar Lotion

With Avène’s signature Thermal Spring Water at the basis, you know that this micellar lotion will be soothing, calming and perfect for sensitive skin. It effectively lifts makeup and excess oil away from skin without stripping it of its natural moisture. For a clean, clear and refreshed complexion, this is the product for you.

£6 | lookfantastic

Lumene Nordic Hydra Pure Arctic Miracle 3-In-1 Micellar Cleansing Water

Get that fresh face feeling with the help of Lumene. The brand has formulated its micellar water using Arctic Cloudberry Water and Pure Arctic Spring Water that have been enriched with micellar particles so you can make the most of its skin-cleaning properties while treating your skin to a hit of hydration. The formula also contains Nordic Birch Sap with a moisturising effect.

£12 | lookfantastic

La Roche Posay Micellar Water

Dry and sensitive skin will appreciate this gentle micellar water from La Roche Posay. Another French pharmacy label, it is ideal for those with blemish-prone or oily skin where alongside impurities and stubborn makeup like panda eyes, it will remove excess sebum.

£12.50 | La Roche Posay

Simple Micellar Water

You can always count on Simple for products that get the job done at an affordable price tag. Gentle but effective, the brand’s micellar water gives your skin a thorough cleanse without needing to rinse your face after. It removes dirt, impurities and makeup from the day, while also boosting your skin’s hydration levels. Use at night to sweep away the day and reapply in the morning to prepare the skin for makeup.

£2.45 | Superdrug

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Water

Clean skincare label REN has harnessed the power of rose water to treat your skin to the luxurious cleanse that it deserves. The powerhouse ingredient refreshes, soothes and calms skin while also removing impurities. It feels very gentle on the skin when applied but remains effective, leaving your skin soft and supple.

£19 | REN Clean Skincare

Clarins Water Comfort One – Step Cleanser

Clarins has called upon a more surprising key ingredient for its one-step cleanser. Using Moringa Seed extract, it helps strengthen your skin’s defences against external aggressors like pollution. The peach essential oil has a pleasant aroma, while also nourishing the skin, boasting plumping and smoothing properties.

£22 | Clarins

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

Gently apply this fuss-free formula onto your skin to rid it of pore-clogging impurities. Caudalie has designed this product specifically for dry and sensitive skin to boost it without causing any irritation. It has a lovely fragrance of mint, lemon blossom, orange and watermelon that acts as a refreshing wave to skin that really needs it.

£9 | Caudalie

Verdict:

There is a reason why Bioderma’s micellar water has long been considered a cult product. It seamlessly, quickly and effectively lifts makeup, dirt and excess oil away from the skin, while leaving you looking and feeling clean and fresh.

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