If You Haven’t Tried Micellar Water, Start With One of These 7 Formulas

We’re selective about the formulas we use on our hair, skin, and nails. The Spotlyte 7TM highlights recently-released and/or noteworthy products you can add to your makeup bag, one day at a time. Let’s go shopping.

Once upon a time, skincare consisted of three basic pillars: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Today, our faces are privy to a realm of exotic formulas from around the world. Some products flicker into the market as ephemeral trends, while others — sheet masks, for instance — have become permanent staples in our multi-step routines. Another salient example is micellar water. What started as a niche French pharmacy essential has trickled into the global skincare vernacular . . . and onto the shelves of every convenience store (French or otherwise).

The prevalence is warranted: these cleansing fluids have the power to bust through stubborn makeup of all types, thanks to orbs of cleansing surfactants called micelles. Oftentimes, micelles are compared to tiny magnets that attract dirt and oil.

While micellar water shouldn’t necessarily replace your traditional cleanser, it can help you do a second sweep over stubborn foundation and/or remove eye makeup. Below, find seven of the best — from the French staples that started the craze, to newer formulas with a few skin-loving bells and whistles.

Bioderma Sensibio® H2O

Bioderma - Sensibio - H2O Micellar Water - Makeup Remover Cleanser - Face Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
  • Gently cleanses skin from impurities, fine particles and pollution
  • Effectively removes makeup from face and eyes

As one of the most iconic French beauty brands, it’s no surprise that Bioderma® is behind one of the most lauded micellar waters, too. Bioderma Sensibio® H2O ($15) cleanses sans residue, stinging, or burning.

IT Cosmetics®

IT Cosmetics Hyaluronic Acid Serum Visibly Plumps Skin & Smooths Lines In 2 Weeks - With Peptide + Vitamin B5 - Vegan Formula - 1 fl oz
  • BYE BYE LINES - Lines can be caused by dehydration of skin and a loss of volume. This concentrated derm serum is formulated with 1.5% hyaluronic acid to deliver lasting hydration to your skin to visibly plump & smooth fine lines in just 2 weeks.
  • KEY BENEFITS - IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Hyaluronic Acid Serum combines pure hyaluronic acid with peptide + vitamin B5, replenishing skin's own moisture reserves to help nourish skin.

It’s hardly hyperbolic for IT Cosmetics® to call this snazzy formula “Miracle Water®” ($38). In addition to micelles, the elixir contains a skin-brightening essence comprised of vitamin C, licorice root, and peptides. So, not only will your skin feel clean, but it’ll also look brighter over time.

Omorovicza® Peachy Micellar Cleansers

Just when we thought micellar water couldn’t make our nighttime routines any easier, the Omorovicza® Peachy Micellar Cleansers ($50) proved us wrong. These single-use, double-sided pads are soaked in a micellar solution, so there’s no need to whip out the cotton balls. Perhaps the biggest lure, however, is the peach and patchouli scent accented with the slightest hint of rosewater.

Dior® Hydra Life Micellar No Rinse Cleanser

The Dior® Hydra Life® Micellar No Rinse Cleanser ($42) skews pricier than its drugstore counterparts, and it is arguably worth it. The micelles are ultra-concentrated, which means that rubbing can be kept to a minimum. In addition to sitting pretty on any shelf, it’s spiked with skin-soothing echinacea flower and softening rose. It also removes eye makeup without irritating the eyes, despite its beautiful floral scent.

Koh Gen DoTM Spa Water cloths

Koh Gen Do Spa Cleansing Water Cloth 1 Pack/ 10 Cloth Per Pack , 10 Count (Pack of 1)
  • Effectively removes makeup and purifies pores
  • White birch sap, harvested for only three weeks in early spring, nourishes skin with minerals and xylitol

Fans of the iconic Koh Gen DoTM Spa Water cloths ($17) will love this liquid version ($47), which maintains the cleansing prowess of the cloths without any potential environmental impact.

Garnier SkinActive® Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water

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Waterproof mascara doesn’t stand a chance against Garnier SkinActive® Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water ($8). Unlike other formulas, this one works in two makeup-melting steps. First, oil dissolves stubborn makeup; then, micelles swipe away any remaining grime. Think of it like double cleansing in one bottle. Another benefit of oil: it’s ideal for dry skin.

Go GorgeousTM Micellar Cleansing Wipes

Fast Beauty Co Go Gorgeous Micellar Facial Makeup Remover Wipes, Daily Cleansing Face Towlettes to Remove Makeup and Mascara, Alcohol-Free, 30Count
  • MADE IN THE USA with higher levels of active ingredients, for all you boss ladies.
  • MICELLAR WATER: The oh so clever Micelles are smart little bubbles that lift makeup and unclog pores. Skin is left refreshed and instantly hydrated.

Founded by a pair of sisters (who both happen to be models), Fast Beauty Co.TM is one of the first Amazon®-exclusive skincare brands. It’s also the creator of some of the most efficient micellar wipes we’ve tried. A few swipes of the Go GorgeousTM Micellar Cleansing Wipes ($6) wipes away a day of traveling, remnants of a night-out look — or, in the case of the creators — makeup from a photoshoot. We love the resealable packaging, too, which prevents these wipes from drying out.

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