Best Micellar Water: 10 Gentle Face Cleansing Options

best micellar water


When is water not exactly water? When is facial cleanser not really soap? When water is combined with tiny balls of cleansing oils called micelles, you’ve got one of the hottest skin care products on the market, micellar water. It’s often touted as the beauty secret behind the glowing complexions of French women, and who doesn’t covet that kind of gorgeous?

As you know, I am a believer in twice daily facial cleansing as the one thing you must do to keep your skin looking healthy and young. Second, once you’ve washed either at night or in the morning, moisturizer and sunscreen are true beauty essentials.

I like to think of micellar cleansing water as nano-technology for your face – the microscopic micelles are akin to itty bitty scrubbing robots (they’re actually molecules), sweeping dirt, oil, makeup and environmental pollutants from your skin. What makes micellar water different from other cleansers, besides those nifty little micelles?

Micellar water is super gentle on your delicate skin, helping maintain pH balance, and it’s almost always free from damaging chemical ingredients. With this facial cleansing product, you don’t need to scrub your skin to get it clean. You simply soak a cotton pad, and gently swipe away the yucky stuff.

It’s pretty easy to see why that would be beneficial for those with dry, sensitive skin, but micellar water is also extremely good for oily, irritable skin. People prone to breakouts tend to scrub the heck out of their oily complexions, often causing more harm than good, in doing so.

Those tiny micelles work hard to unclog your pores and give your skin a deep down clean. In fact, you don’t even need to rinse it away, because it offers hydrating benefits, in addition to awesomely clean skin. While many of us will always love our favorite face washes, micellar water is an incredibly convenient option to take with you to the gym or the office for an easy clean up and makeup refresh.

It’s an even better choice to take on outings where water washing options are limited, like camping trips and hikes. For those times, you might even want to choose pre-moistened micellar water wipes.

Micellar water comes in many different formulas. Finding the best micellar water option for you depends on your skin type and needs. Some are especially crafted to attack tougher removal jobs, like getting rid of mascara and waterproof makeup, while others are gentle and made to soothe and de-puff irritated skin.

All of them offer interesting options to enhance, and simplify your cleansing routine. So if you’re ready to try something completely new and easy, check out these 10 Best Micellar Waters for Face Cleansing.

1. La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water & Makeup Remover

La Roche-Posay micellar water

(La Roche-Posay)

La Roche-Posay Micellar Water/eau micellaire facial cleanser is a three in one facial product that acts as a face wash, facial toner and make-up remover all with the swipe of a little cotton pad. This micellar water cleanses, but also maintains your skin’s natural pH balance. Dirt-encapsulating micelles work to micro-encapsulate dirt and oil on the skin’s surface and cleanse your skin of dirt, oil, makeup and even pollution particles without scrubbing.

With a gentle, water-like texture that is mildly scented, this gentle cleanser quickly removes impurities, and up to 99 percent of even long wearing foundation. This face wash and make-up remover won’t clog your pores or sting your eyes, because it’s been dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested to be safe for sensitive skin and eyes.

The hyper-gentle cleansing formula contains La Roche-Posay thermal spring water, glycerin to hydrate your skin, and Poloxamer to gently cleanse it, leaving your face smooth to the touch. It’s alcohol free, paraben free and allergy tested.

If you need to soothe and soften irritated skin, La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water features calming antioxidants. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Intense Soothing Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin provides intense, long-lasting comfort for chronically dry, irritable skin.

Price: $19.99

Buy the La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water & Makeup Remover here.


  • Rated four out of five stars by users
  • Gently cleanses without scrubbing
  • Doesn’t dry out skin
  • Especially effective for sensitive skin


  • A bit spendy compared to some others in this category
  • May not remove heavy makeup such as waterproof mascara
  • Can leave face feeling a bit sticky
  • Some packaging problems reported

Find more La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water & Makeup Remover information and reviews here.

2. Bioderma Sébium H2O Micellar Water

bioderma sebum control micellar water


Bioderma Sébium H2O is a soap-free, cleansing and make-up removing water that gently purifies combination or oily skin. One of the first micellar waters formulated to mimic the natural composition of your skin, it completely and naturally removes dirt, oil and makeup completely, without harsh, drying chemicals. With Fluidactiv™ patented sebo-correcting complex, it biologically regulates sebum quality to keep your pores from becoming clogged, so it efficiently clears up acne prone skin.

It’s also enriched with purifying agents, including zinc gluconate and copper sulphate. The net effect is that Sébium H2O purifies your skin at the same time as it limits sebaceous secretion.

For extremely sensitive skin, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is highly rated at 4.6 out of five stars by users. If you still feel like you need something foaming to feel really clean, finish your nightly cleansing routine with Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel.

Price: $14.90

Buy the Bioderma Sébium H2O Micellar Water here.


  • Rated 4.4 out of five stars by users
  • Formulated specifically for oily and combination skin
  • Efficiently removes dirt and makeup
  • You can skip the toner and just use this product


  • Can be somewhat drying
  • More expensive than some
  • May irritate eyes
  • Doesn’t do as well as some at removing eye makeup

Find more Bioderma Sébium H2O Micellar Water information and reviews here.

3. Best Buy: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

garnier micellar water


If you’re looking for a super affordable way to test out the micellar water cleansing craze, Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water is worth a try. It’s Amazon’s Choice because so many customers have rated it very highly. It uses micelle technology. Like a magnet, these micelles capture and lift away dirt, oil and makeup without harsh rubbing.

Your skin will be perfectly clean, hydrated and refreshed without over-drying. This gentle cleansing formula is even tough on waterproof eye makeup, and many user report that they’ve also effectively used it to gently clean up tough makeup spills on counters and floors.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Makeup Removing Towelettes are perfect for travel and whenever you’re in a place where soap and water aren’t facial cleansing options. For those who struggle with particularly oily and acne prone skin, Garnier also makes a micellar water cleanser especially formulated for problem complexions. It’s also Amazon’s Choice.

Price: $6.61 (5 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water here.

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  • Rated 4.3 out of five stars by users
  • Amazon’s Choice
  • Seriously affordable
  • Effective for removing even tough eye makeup


  • Despite instructions indicating otherwise, many people prefer to rinse this off
  • May irritate eyes
  • Leaves an oily feeling residue
  • May cause skin irritation

Find more Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water information and reviews here.

4. Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Micellar Cleansing Water

vichy micellar cleansing water

(Vichy Laboratories)

Vichy’s 3-in-1 Micellar Water facial cleanser features a water-like texture that cleanses and purifies your skin and removes makeup without leaving that tight feeling, or stinging, that can happen so often with soap. It acts as a cleanser, facial toner, and makeup remover in one.

Enriched with hydrating Pro-Vitamin B5, this formula leaves your sensitive eye area soft and soothed. With Vichy Thermal Spa Water, shown to soothe and fortify skin, this non-sticky, non-oily, non-drying formula will transform your nightly beauty regimen.

Suitable for sensitive skin, it has a light and refreshing fragrance. No rubbing or rinsing is required. This micellar water cleanser is paraben-free and alcohol-free and soap free. It has been tested under dermatological and ophthalmological controls, so it’s suitable for sensitive skin and safe for contact lens wearers.

Fight the signs of aging with Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Spa Water, from French Volcanoes. This 100 percent pure and naturally rich thermal water has 15 rare minerals to regenerate, soothe and protect your skin. For 48 hour hydration, Vichy Aqualia Thermal Power Serum with Hyaluronic Acid replenishes water loss to leave your skin hydrated and smooth.

Price: $14.49

Buy the Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Micellar Cleansing Water here.


  • Rated 4.2 out of five stars by users
  • Leaves skin fresh and clean
  • Does not dry or strip skin
  • Leaves skin feeling hydrated


  • A bit expensive compared to some
  • Can irritate eyes
  • Fragrance is problematic for some
  • May cause skin irritation

Find more Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Micellar Cleansing Water information and reviews here.

5. Best Micellar Water for Babies: Mustela No Rinse Micellar Cleansing Water

mustela no rinse micellar water


This multitasking beauty product uses the soothing power of aloe to pamper your baby’s skin in between bath time, or while you’re out and about. This no rinse formula can thoroughly and gently cleanse your baby’s face, body, and diaper area, while keeping your baby’s skin sweet smelling and soft.

This micellar cleansing water dissolves dirt, (and poo,) without stripping skin of its natural oils. It also helps to treat baby acne. Plus it’s gentle enough to use even on newborns. Because there’s no need to rinse with water afterward, it’s super convenient to toss into the diaper bag.

This micellar water is composed of 98% plant-based ingredients, and it’s formulated with a natural active ingredient from avocado that helps protect baby’s delicate skin. Aloe Vera leaf extract softens and soothes those tender areas. We think you’ll especially like that this micellar water is paraben, phthalate and phenoxyethanol free.

Price: $14

Buy the Mustela No Rinse Micellar Cleansing Water here.


  • Rated 4.6 out of five stars by users
  • Perfect for sensitive baby skin
  • Cleans away dirt and poo, no problem
  • No need to rinse away


  • Pretty spendy for a small bottle
  • Can be a bit drying
  • Some allergic reactions reported

Find more Mustela No Rinse Micellar Cleansing Water information and reviews here.

6. Eau Thermale Avène Micellar Lotion

Eau Thermale Avène micellar water


Rooted in dermatology and hydrotherapy, Eau Thermale Avène has nearly three centuries of expertise in caring for sensitive skin. Its core ingredient, Avène Thermal Spring Water, soothes and helps minimize skin sensitivity. This micellar cleansing water is based on the micelle principle. It releases cleansing agents, as well as protecting and softening ingredients, upon contact with the skin.

This no-rinse cleansing water removes impurities, and effectively removes all traces of make-up on your face, eyes and lips, while hydrating your skin, leaving it soft and moisturized. This micellar water is paraben-free, alcohol-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.

If you’re like me, I still like to use a toner to feel completely clean, like Eau Thermale Avène Gentle Toner. To soothes and soften your skin and minimize sensitivity, spritz on Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water. It feels invigorating and provides antioxidant protection.

Price: $18

Buy the Eau Thermale Avène Micellar Lotion here.


  • Rated 4.3 out of five stars by users
  • Not oily or sticky
  • Effectively removes makeup and dirt
  • Gentle formula is great for sensitive skin


  • Pretty spendy for a smallish bottle
  • Requires several swipes with cotton pad and cleanser
  • Lid doesn’t seal well so may cause leakage when laid flat

Find more Eau Thermale Avène Micellar Lotion information and reviews here.

7. L’Oreal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Normal/Oily

L’Oreal Paris micellar water for oily skin

(L’Oreal Paris)

It’s no surprise that powerhouse beauty brand, L’Oreal, has developed a full line of cleansing waters powered by micelle molecules. This micellar water removes makeup, dirt and excess oil in one step, to leave oily skin purified and looking mattified. Your skin will feel perfectly pure and clean.

This micellar cleanser will also help regulate the excess oil that leads to breakouts, making it great for those with problem complexions. With three different cleansing formulas, you’ll find a micellar water that’s right for your skin type as well as your makeup type.

If you have normal or dry skin, L’Oreal’s Micellar Cleansing Water Normal/Dry will leave your skin feeling hydrated and soothed, while reducing long term dryness. L’Oreal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof is perfect for all skin types, but is especially effective at removing that persnickety waterproof makeup. It will leave your skin purified and clear, while left with a hydrated look.

Price: $6.93 (5 percent off MSRP)

Buy the L’Oreal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Normal/Oily here.


  • Rated 4.1 out of five stars by users
  • Super affordable
  • Effectively removes makeup
  • Doesn’t over dry your skin


  • Smells kind of funny to some
  • May leave your skin feeling tight
  • Feels more watery than some in this category
  • Leaves some residue on the skin which is uncomfortable for some users

Find more L’Oreal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Normal/Oily information and reviews here.

8. Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover With Soothing Cornflower

klorane floral micellar water


This gentle floral micellar water is a three-in-one cleanser, toner and make-up remover. It is enriched with soothing and decongesting cornflower water, and it delicately and thoroughly removes all traces of make-up from your face, eyes and lips. If you struggle with puffiness around your eye area, the addition of cornflower is especially effective for helping to reduce it.

This make-up remover is alcohol free, paraben free, color free and fragrance free, making it an ideal option for even the most sensitive eyes and skin. It leaves your skin clean and fresh. Because it’s ophthalmologist tested, it’s suitable for contact lens wearers.

The nifty pump dispenser ensures you can use just the right amount, without waste. Because this is among the more expensive, but also highly rated, micellar water options, so it’s good to maximize your investment.

For road trips, and to keep at work when you need to refresh your makeup for an evening event, Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes with Soothing Cornflower are kind to your face and the planet. To refresh, moisturize and brighten tired eyes, Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower can help to de-puff your bags, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

Price: $24

Buy the Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover With Soothing Cornflower here.


  • Rated 4.4 out of five stars by users
  • Nifty pump dispenser saves waste
  • Removes makeup effectively
  • Doesn’t sting or irritate eyes


  • Super spendy
  • Doesn’t clean waterproof makeup and mascara as effectively as some
  • Not effective for every user

Find more Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover With Soothing Cornflower information and reviews here.

9. inVitamin Natural Cleansing Micellar Water

inVitamin natural micellar water


If you’re considering micellar water, it’s probably because you are looking for a way to gently remove makeup and cleanse your skin. With inVitamin Micellar Water, the natural, no-rinse technology cleans and hydrates your skin in one simple step.

As with all micellar waters, natural micelles will eagerly grab onto and absorb dirt, grime, oil and makeup without drying or breaking your skin’s delicate lipid barrier. This gentle cleanser doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, alcohol or foaming agents. You just simply let the product dissolve, wipe grime away with a cotton pad, and let the remainder dry on your skin.

It will leave you feeling clean and well-hydrated. This best cleansing water works well with all skin types, especially dry, sensitive and acne-prone skin. If you’re someone who really struggles with acne, inVitamin has a full face care kit that can help heal, and fight future breakouts. To minimize enlarged pores and restore your skin’s natural pH balance, cleanse once in a while with inVitamin Natural Charcoal Facial Cleansing Cream.

Price: $10.99

Buy the inVitamin Natural Cleansing Micellar Water here.


  • Rated 4.5 out of five stars by users
  • Quite affordable
  • Gently cleanses skin of dirt, oil and makeup
  • Smells lovely


  • Not as effective on eye makeup as some
  • Some packaging and clarity issues reported

Find more inVitamin Natural Cleansing Micellar Water information and reviews here.

10. Top Rated: Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution

marcelle micellar cleansing water


Marcelle offers a gentle and easy way to cleanse your skin, removing naturally occurring dirt, impurities and stubborn makeup. Blended with gentle ingredients and calming botanicals like aloe vera and cucumber, your skin will feel clean and refreshed.

Because micelles offer a gentle cleaning experience, this cleansing method is especially good for delicate, sensitive or irritable skin. It is great for use at the gym, at work or when traveling. This micellar water is especially great for removing long wearing and even waterproof makeup effectively, which is a huge plus.

You’ll love the pump dispenser, and because it’s a little more expensive than some, you don’t want to waste a drop. This rinse-free formula micro-emulsifies impurities without irritating even the driest, and most sensitive skin types, so it gets our nod as a best micellar cleansing water.

If you prefer a more traditional cleanser for your face, but you’re looking for a super gentle, but effective eye makeup remover, we’d definitely recommend Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Gel Eye Makeup Remover.

Price: $16.15 (5 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution here.


  • Rated 4.6 out of five stars by users
  • Extremely gentle and soothing for all skin types
  • Effectively removes long wearing and waterproof makeup
  • No rinse formula doesn’t leave a greasy residue


  • More expensive than some
  • May sting if you get it in your eyes
  • Pump bottle can malfunction

Find more Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution information and reviews here.

See Also:

Best Organic & Natural Self Tanners
Best Organic & Natural Moisturizers

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