What are micellar solutions/waters?
They are make up removers and facial cleansers- combining what are usually two seperate steps into one. The micelles in the solutions are surfactants, which means they decrease the surface tension between the make up remover and the make-up on your face. In short, the dirt, oil and make-up
is emulsified by the micelles and then brought to the center of the micelle which is hydrophobic (It likes fats!). This way, even usually insoluble substances can be removed from your skin, cleaning your skin more thoroughly and gently than a normal make up remover followed by a cleanser would. Micelles are also found in your body to absorb fat- soluable vitamins!
Over the past few months there has been quite a hype over these solutions. I have picked 3 to test, a lower priced one and two middle priced solutions.
Caudalie Cleansing Micellar Water (15.85€)
The big plus-point for the Caudalíe Micellar Solution is the smell. It has a very fresh, but not too overwhelming scent, which always makes me feel extra clean! As always, Caudalie does not disappoint. It cleansed my skin thoroughly and left it feeling fresh.
What I love about Micellar waters is that they do not dry out or irritate my skin. Personally, I have extremely sensitive skin, so on nights when I feel like my skin can't handle my Clarisonic or is having a hissy fit for whatever other reason I turn to my micellar solutions, more to my routine at the end!
L'oréal Hydra Active 3 Micellar Solution (3.95€)
L'oréal only recently released this affordable micellar solution and I must admit- I am by no means a huge fan of it. I wanted to love this since it is a great bargain, the packaging is expensive looking and L'oréal usually does not disappoint. Sadly, I can't say that about this. My skin feels grimy afterwards still, I always go in afterwards with another cleanser.
It does not have a decisive smell, but there is a hint of something in this which does not suit my nose at all. The consistency is also too fluid for it to feel like it has a cleansing effect (the other ones are very fluid as well, but this feels thinner and more liquid for some reason). However, it did not irritate my skin or break me out. If you are on a budget, I recommend skipping this and saving up for either Bioderma or Caudalie. Even the small bottles last a very long time.
Bioderma (19.95€ for 500ml)
To be honest, I thought the hype about this was completely over the top about the 'mother' of micellar cleansing waters (there have been a few of those hyped products where I just didn't understand what the fuss was about- hello cleansing balms!). Until about 2 months ago I hadn't even tried it. The pharmacy was out of my Caudalie micellar water (cue the violins), so I decided to give this a go. This has lived up to the hype!
Although I miss the fresh smell of the Caudalie micellar water (this has absolutely no scent), this really deep cleans my skin and my skin has been loving it! I have started to wipe my face with this (as stated on the directions) in the morning and at night (to get off all my make up). At night I also use a deep cleansing foam with my Clarisonic (usually every second night), unless my skin is irritated. I have seen a huge difference in how much oil my face produces since using these gentle cleansers. While my skin would still be 'combination', it is more balanced than previously.
I will admit that I had to get used to not using a deep cleansing foam twice a day and having that squeaky clean feeling, but after time (like most things) it got a lot easier and felt better.
Keep in mind: A lot of break outs are caused by over exfoliation, sensitive skin not being treated right or leaving on make-up overnight. Micellar solutions are the easiest and most gentle way to give your skin the cleanse it needs, without irritating it.
I still have a lot left of my Bioderma, but when it does run out I will be hard-pressed to decide between Bioderma and Caudalie solutions.
Have you tried micellar waters? Which is your favorite?