The 10 Best Micellar Waters for Your Skincare Routine in 2021

The 10 Best Micellar Waters for Your Skincare Routine in 2021

Whether you want to speed up your skincare routine or figure out a reliable way to get all your makeup off, micellar water might be the answer you’re looking for. It’s a quick, simple way to clean your face without too much hassle, or a much easier step to use in your double cleansing routines. After just a few swipes with a cotton pad, you’ll find your face clean and refreshed!

What to Know Before Choosing a Micellar Water

When you’re picking out a bottle of micellar water, you’ll want to make sure that it does its job without harming your skin. Below, we’ll cover the main characteristics of micellar water in a quick guide and give you a brief overview of their most distinguishing factors. You can read a more in-depth guide on micellar water here.

What Is Micellar Water?

Micellar water is a clear solution that can clean and remove light makeup while moisturizing your skin. While it has the same look and consistency as water, it contains micelle cleansing molecules. They’re small lipid cleansing balls that can remove your foundation and eyeshadow without stripping the skin of essential nutrients.

The micelles in the formula can attract dirt, grime, and other oils like small magnets, clearing out your pores without hurting your skin’s moisture barrier. Your skin stays healthy, and you have a much quicker way of cleaning your face after a long day out and about. Some micellar waters are more potent than others, so it’s up to you to decide which one works the best for your skin.

While you may want to cleanse your skin with more than just micellar water, they can be used as part of a double cleansing routine, or to quickly prepare your skin for primer and makeup application. A good bottle of micellar water can last you months and make your life much easier.

If you’re curious about the details of how micellar water works, you can watch a video about it here.

Features to Consider When Buying Micellar Water

From a distance, micellar water looks like a clear liquid in a plastic bottle, making it hard to differentiate them aside from the brand labels. However, you’ll want to make sure you take the time to read all of the ingredients and pick out the small details. Here are the biggest things you should look out for when you’re making this purchase.

Size

If you plan on using micellar water daily, you’ll be going through quite a bit to clean off your face in the morning or at night. Know the size of the bottle so that you won’t be constantly running to the stores to replace them, while still being able to finish it before it expires. The size of the bottle can also impact portability, in case you want to take it with you when you travel.

Composition

This is a product you’ll be applying directly to your skin, so you need to make sure you don’t have adverse reactions to any of the ingredients. Make sure the composition works well with your skin type and won’t end up leaving your face red and irritated. Avoid micellar waters that contain harsher ingredients.

Quality and Safety

You want to know that your bottle of micellar water is safe for use. Make sure that there aren’t people complaining about bad reactions to micellar water, and keep an eye out to see if they’ve been dermatologically tested and approved. After all, bad micellar water quality could end up harming your skin health in the long run.

Fragrance

You’ll want to watch out for fragrance, especially if you have more sensitive skin. Some micellar waters are lightly scented or unscented, which means they may contain less harmful ingredients. When you’re cleansing your face with micellar water, you’ll want to feel fully refreshed, so opt for lighter scents or fragrance-free products.

Bottle Design

Some bottles are better at getting micellar water out onto your cotton pad, while others are more prone to making a mess. Smarter bottle design can help you get the right amount of micellar water out and make the process less of a hassle for you. Since you’re using micellar water for its convenience, you’ll definitely want to make sure that the process is simple for you.

Now that we’ve covered the main things to look out for when you’re buying micellar water, let’s get into our top choices!

Top 10 Best Micellar Waters 2021

1. Best Overall Micellar Water: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water

Why we like it: The Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water gets rid of 99% of your makeup without hurting your skin. By containing cucumber extract, it manages to soothe and hydrate while cleansing your face at the same time.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 16.7 oz.
  • Fragrance: Unscented
  • Bottle Design: Flip-top with a small opening

The Bioderma micellar water comes in one of the largest sizes, making sure you won’t run out anytime soon. It removes 99% of makeup and is free from all harmful ingredients like alcohol and parabens. It can also get rid of 98% of fine particles and 78% of heavy metals without requiring any extra work from you.

In addition, it also contains cucumber extract to refresh and soothe your skin without drying it out too much. They also produce micellar water for 3 different types of skin, though we’ve linked to the one that’s safe for sensitive skin. However, you do have to use a little more micellar water to fully cleanse your face.

Pros

  • Removes 99% of makeup
  • Free from harmful ingredients
  • Comes in a large bottle
  • Bioderma has bottles for 3 different skin types
  • Contains cucumber extract

Cons

  • Need to use a little more micellar water to fully cleanse the face

2. Best Budget Micellar Water: Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Water

Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Water

Why we like it: If you’re new to micellar water and want to try out a small amount without spending too much money, Simple Kind to Skin micellar water is the perfect choice for you!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 6.7 oz.
  • Fragrance: Unscented
  • Bottle Design: Flip-top with a small opening

The Simple Kind to Skin micellar water is one of the most affordable options out there. It’s a basic micellar water formulation that refreshes, hydrates, and cleanses without costing you too much. It can also help with unclogging pores and is a good all-around option that’s well-rounded. It’s also fragrance-free and won’t hurt sensitive skin as well.

However, the bottle is only 6.7 oz. which is a little less than some of the other options. While it’s less expensive for the bottle, you may have to purchase more bottles over time if you plan on using micellar water often, since it may not last very long. In fact, if you’re solely looking at price, Garnier SkinActive micellar water works out to be cheaper per ounce.

Pros

  • Refreshes, hydrates, and cleanses
  • Affordable option
  • Unclogs pores
  • Good all-around micellar water

Cons

  • Smaller bottle

3. Best Micellar Water for Normal Skin: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water

Why we like it: The Garnier SkinActive brand has micellar water for any skin type. Their normal bottle is balanced to be gentle on the skin and effective in removing makeup and impurities.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 13.5 oz.
  • Fragrance: Unscented
  • Bottle Design: Flip-top with a small opening

Garnier’s SkinActive micellar water is good for most skin types and works to remove impurities and makeup from your skin. They’re one of the most popular micellar water brands – and for good reason! Their micellar water formulation is gentle and not too drying, though it can definitely get the job with cleaning.

It comes in a larger-sized bottle and has several different varieties for all skin types. However, it does have a slightly oily residue that gets left behind, so oily skin types may want to be more careful before purchasing. A better choice for oily skin would be La Roche-Posay Effaclar micellar water. If you want an affordable option that cleanses your face well, Garnier may be the best brand for you to consider.

Pros

  • A balanced micellar water option for normal skin
  • One of the most popular micellar water brands
  • Comes in a larger bottle
  • Different formulations for all skin types

Cons

  • Leaves behind a slightly oily residue

4. Best Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay’s Sensitive Skin Micellar Water

La Roche-Posay’s Sensitive Skin Micellar Water

Why we like it: La Roche-Posay’s sensitive skin micellar water is free from all harmful ingredients and has been tested by both dermatologists and ophthalmologists to make sure it won’t irritate your skin.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 13.52 oz.
  • Fragrance: Light refreshing scent
  • Bottle Design: Flip-top with a small opening

This micellar water is created to be soap, oil, alcohol, and paraben-free. In addition, it’s also been dermatologist tested and ophthalmologist tested, making sure it’s safe no matter how sensitive your skin may be. While it does contain a light scent, there’s very little fragrance and it is unlikely to irritate you after use. However, as it’s for more sensitive skin, it’s also gentler than the other options and doesn’t do well with removing waterproof makeup.

You might need to use a little extra micellar water to get all your makeup off, though it comes in a large enough bottle where that’s not too big of an issue. If you do wear a lot of waterproof makeup, the L’Oreal Paris micellar water is a better choice.

Pros

  • Free from harmful ingredients
  • Dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested
  • Light scent won’t irritate the skin
  • Large size

Cons

  • Doesn’t remove waterproof makeup well
  • May need extra micellar water for cleansing

5. Best Premium Micellar Water: ELEMIS Smart Cleanse Micellar Water

ELEMIS Smart Cleanse Micellar Water

Why we like it: If you’re not afraid of spending a little more for the best of the best, ELEMIS’s micellar water is right up your alley. With a double cleansing solution and a gentle formula, you’ll be able to easily remove all your makeup without irritating your skin.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 6.7 oz.
  • Fragrance: Unscented
  • Bottle Design: Pump bottle

While ELEMIS’s micellar water is the most expensive pick on the list, it comes with enough refined ingredients to make the price worth it. It’s made with a special double cleansing solution and removes all makeup no matter how much you may have on. In addition, the advanced solution also helps with acne.

The micellar water itself is unscented and created with gentle ingredients, so it’s safe for sensitive skin. It also balanced its ingredients, so it doesn’t leave a greasy residue and doesn’t dry out the skin. The pump design also helps dispense product in a controlled amount, so you can always get as much as you might need.

However, if you are worried about price, you should consider the Simple Kind to Skin micellar water.

Pros

  • Double cleansing solution
  • Removes all makeup
  • Helps with acne
  • Pump design dispenses micellar water well

Cons

  • Expensive

6. Best Micellar Water for Dry Skin: ISDIN Micellar Solution

ISDIN Micellar Solution

Why we like it: ISDIN’s micellar solution is unscented and designed specifically to hydrate your skin, making it perfect for drier skin types.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 13.5 oz.
  • Fragrance: Unscented
  • Bottle Design: Small opening in the lid

ISDIN’s micellar solution is unscented and free from harsh ingredients in addition to containing hydrating agents. It’s alcohol-free to avoid drying out your skin and stripping it of its natural oil. It gently removes makeup and impurities without being too harsh and won’t hurt your face’s moisture barrier. In addition, it can also help with toning your skin.

However, since it is gentler, it does take a little more effort to remove waterproof makeup. This micellar water solution is better suited for days where you’re wearing light makeup and don’t need much cleansing. It is also a little pricier than some of the other choices as well. The Bioderma micellar water is another good choice for dry skin that’s more affordable, though it doesn’t hydrate as much.

Pros

  • Free from harsh ingredients
  • Unscented
  • Helps tone and hydrate skin
  • Won’t hurt the face’s moisture barrier

Cons

  • Too gentle to effectively remove waterproof makeup
  • Pricier

7. Best Micellar Water for Oily Skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micellar Water

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micellar Water

Why we like it: La Roche-Posay contains zinc to help regulate oil production, so you can cleanse your face and cut some of the oiliness of your skin.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 13.52 oz.
  • Fragrance: Light flower scent
  • Bottle Design: Flip-top with a small opening

La Roche-Posay’s micellar water is free from alcohol, oil, soap, and more, with added zinc to remove excess oil from your face. It’s also been tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists and is one of the safer options if you have oily skin. In addition, the product itself comes in a large 13.52 oz. bottle which will last a while.

However, the scent of the product can get irritating since it is a light floral scent. If you don’t wash your face after, the scent can sometimes linger. If you don’t like the scent, an unscented option that also works for oily skin is Simple Kind to Skin micellar water.

As long as you don’t have sensitive skin in regards to scents, it’s a good choice for anyone with oily skin who’s worried about micellar water making their skin even oilier.

Pros

  • Contains zinc to remove excess oil
  • Free from harmful ingredients
  • Tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists
  • Comes in large size

Cons

  • Contains light floral scent
  • May irritate sensitive skin

8. Best Micellar Water for Waterproof Makeup: L’Oreal Paris Micellar Water

L’Oreal Paris Micellar Water

Why we like it: For those of you who like wearing waterproof makeup, L’Oreal Paris’s micellar water is an easy way to get it off without having to use your entire double cleansing routine!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 13.5 oz.
  • Fragrance: Unscented
  • Bottle Design: Flip-top with a small opening

If you like wearing a full face of makeup with waterproof mascara and the works, L’Oreal Paris’s micellar water has you covered! It’s designed to get rid of all your makeup and impurities, and it is one of the stronger bottles of micellar water available. It can help also help with redness, minimizing pores, and removing excess oil at the same time.

However, the dispenser itself isn’t the best, and the small opening is prone to squeezing out too much micellar water at one time. The better choice for micellar water if you do want a more efficient pump would be the Yes To micellar water. Also, it contains oil to remove the waterproof makeup, so it’s not advisable for those with oily skin types.

Pros

  • Removes waterproof makeup easily
  • Gets rid of impurities
  • Helps with redness
  • Minimizes pores

Cons

  • Dispenser squirts out too much micellar water
  • Contains oil to help clean waterproof makeup

9. Most Convenient Micellar Water Dispenser: Yes To Micellar Water

Yes To Micellar Water

Why we like it: Yes To’s micellar water pump is intuitive and easy to use: one push down, and your cotton pad is perfectly soaked with the right amount of water needed!

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: 7.77 oz.
  • Fragrance: Coconut scent
  • Bottle Design: Pump

The Yes To micellar water pump is the easiest to use: simply place your cotton pad on top and push down! Each pump soaks your cotton pad with the right amount of micellar water, and the excess falls back into the bottle. It makes the already simple process even easier for you since you don’t need to think about how much micellar water to use.

However, this micellar water is a little harsher than others, and you may want to switch between using this and your normal cleanser. It’s also scented, so be careful if you have sensitive skin. A less harsh solution would be the ISDIN micellar water. It’s also very hydrating and will help if you have dry or normal skin.

Pros

  • The pump dispenses directly onto the cotton pad
  • No need to measure out the amount of micellar water
  • Excess water drains back into the bottle
  • Hydrating for dry and normal skin

Cons

  • Harsher than some other micellar water choices
  • Scented and can cause irritation

10. Best Micellar Water Wipes: Burt’s Bees Micellar Towelettes

Burt’s Bees Micellar Towelettes

Why we like it: If you plan on traveling and don’t want to bring along cotton pads, Burt’s Bees micellar towelettes are the best and most portable choice for you.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Size: Pack of 30 towelettes
  • Fragrance: Rose-scented
  • Bottle Design: Pack of wipes

Yep, you read it right! Burt’s Bees offers wipes that are soaked in a micellar solution for easy makeup removal so you won’t have to worry about purchasing cotton pads. They work the same way as normal micellar water; you just have to wipe the towelette over your skin the same way you’d rub a cotton pad.

This option is more suited for travel, though you could definitely use them at home as well. However, since it only comes in a pack of 30, it’s unlikely that they’ll last for very long. It’s a good choice if you want to try micellar water without investing in cotton pads, or if you plan on vacationing somewhere. In addition, the wipes may not be as moist as you’d like them to be.

Pros

  • Portable and convenient
  • Suitable for travel
  • Doesn’t require cotton pads
  • Used the same way as normal micellar water

Cons

  • A pack of 30 won’t last very long
  • Wipes aren’t very moist

Guide to Picking the Best Micellar Water


woman applying micellar water to cotton pad

Micellar water makes your makeup routine so much easier, condensing the cleaning process into just one step. There’s a lot of details that go into picking out the best brand of micellar water which we’ll get into below. If you’re only interested in a quick summary of the features, you can visit our smaller guide here.

Incorporating Micellar Water Into a Skincare Routine

If you already have an established skincare and makeup routine, you might be wondering where micellar water fits in. We’ll cover some of the primary ways they’re incorporated into skincare routines, though there are definitely other ways we’ve left out. After all, micellar water is versatile enough that it can be used at any time!

Morning Routine

When you wake up in the morning, you’re unlikely to double cleanse your face again. After all, for most skin types, using a full foam cleanser twice in a day can actually be harmful by stripping out too many protective oils in your skin. Over time, this will end up damaging your moisture barrier and end up negatively hurting your skin.

However, when you sleep through the night, your skin accumulates sebum, oil, and other impurities found in the air or from your pillowcase. Micellar water is the perfect addition to your morning routine since it can get rid of all the impurities while not being as harsh as a traditional foam cleanser.

In addition, some micellar waters can even hydrate your skin, which helps it look more refreshed when you wake up. In the morning, you should use micellar water before applying the first steps of a skincare routine or primer, so that it can prepare your skin for the rest of the routine. It cleans, purifies, and hydrates. It’s a win-win!

Nightly Routine

Once it’s night, there’s nothing you’d like to do more than sleep. Micellar water can speed up your nightly routine, replacing one or both steps for cleansing. The micelles are good at removing all impurities, and that includes any makeup you put on in the morning or any dirt that’s on your face from the day.

They’re one of the best ways to unclog your pores and keep your skin hydrated and healthy. You’ll want to use it as one of the first steps since it cleanses your face and prepares it for your skincare routine after. Or if you feel particularly tired, you can get to bed early after using micellar water and finally catch up on some of that beauty rest.

While we do advocate for using micellar water in the mornings before your skincare routine, plenty of people also use it at nights with no adverse effects. It’s a quick and easy way to clean your skin so you don’t have to worry about any makeup particles or dust remaining before you sleep.

Double Cleansing Routine

If you’re interested in how micellar water fits into your double cleansing routine, you have two main options. You can either substitute it in for one of the steps, or you can completely replace the entire routine. If you plan on replacing it, keep in mind that you should still be using your full double cleansing routine once in a while.

Two-step routines for cleaning often contain an oil cleanser and a foam cleanser. The oil helps break down the more stubborn makeup that tries to stick, such as long-lasting foundation or a particularly vibrant eyeshadow. A foam cleanser follows after to get rid of the oil left over from the first step and any other impurities that remain.

Micellar water can be used to replace either step, though it will be used after your normal cleanser. You can use an oil cleanser first and have micellar water clean up the leftover oil, or you can use a foam cleanser first and let micellar water finish the job and add in a little hydration. After the cleansing routine, you’ll carry on your other skincare steps like normal.

Micellar Water and Skin Types

When it comes to skincare, as with all things, your skin type can determine which brands and ingredients may work best for you. Below, we’ll cover the main skin types and what you should look for before purchasing that first bottle of micellar water.

Normal Skin

If you have a normal skin type, then the oil production in your skin is pretty regulated and balanced already. Micellar water that focuses on cleansing and moisturizing should be your target. They’ll be able to revitalize your skin and help it glow without being too harsh or too gentle.

Just like your balanced skin, you’ll want to find a brand that balances its ingredients and effects. We recommend Garnier SkinActive micellar water for normal skin types.

Oily or Combination Skin

If you have oily or combination skin, at least one part of your face produces too much oil. You’ll want to find a micellar water formulation that’s free of oils and other fatty products so that it won’t worsen the oil already on your skin.

The right micellar water would be able to help regulate sebum production and get rid of some of the excess oil on your skin. For oily skin, we suggest trying out La Roche-Posay Effaclar micellar water.

Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, your face doesn’t produce enough oil which can lead to a tighter feeling on your face. As a result, you’ll want to find a more hydrating micellar water product that helps with moisturizing.

Some micellar waters may also be able to help with water retention to make your skin feel less dry as well. Our favorite choice for dry skin would be the ISDIN micellar water.

Sensitive Skin

For sensitive skin types, you’ll want to make sure the micellar water you get is gentle and not too harsh. Find one with a normal pH balance that has soothing ingredients to it. This way, it can help with your sensitive skin and still get its cleansing job done, all without irritating your face.

You’ll need to keep an eye out and make sure the ingredients are safe for your skin. One of the gentler micellar water options that we recommend is La Roche Posay’s sensitive skin micellar water.

Applying Micellar Water

The first thing to keep in mind is that micellar water does have an accessory you’ll need to apply it, which are cotton pads. Our recommended cotton pads would be the Cliganic premium cotton rounds, though you can pick some up from your local convenience store as well. You may also want some Q-tips to help with precise application and cleansing.

You’ll want to first soak the cotton pad with micellar water until it’s wet but not dripping. Then, you can simply swipe the cotton pad across your face to get rid of the makeup and residual dirt on your skin. Be gentle and make sure not to drag the cotton pad across the face too roughly, since that may irritate your skin.

To use micellar water to clean your eyelids, you’ll hold the cotton round gentle on your eyelid for a few seconds. You can gently wipe away after, making sure to be extra careful since the area around your eye is more delicate and sensitive.

Once you finish cleaning your face with micellar water, you’re done! Unlike normal cleansers, you don’t have to rinse off the micellar water at the end for it to work. It’s made with ingredients safe for the skin and makes your job much easier.

Micellar Water Pro Tips

You might be surprised by how versatile micellar water can be. Below, we’ll cover some pro tips for how to get the most use out of a bottle of micellar water!

Fixing Makeup

Remember the Q-tips we recommended getting earlier? If you end up smudging your eyeliner, getting a bit of mascara on your face, or even messing up your contouring, micellar water offers a quick and easy remedy. You can dip a Q-tip in micellar water and apply it carefully to the area that you want to fix to get rid of the accident easily.

Say goodbye to redoing your entire face of makeup when your hand slips while drawing your eyeliner! Micellar water gets rid of the mistake easily, and once you finish with the Q-tip, you can go back to finishing up your look for the day.

Revitalizing Your Look

Just like other facial mists, micellar water can help boost the glow in your skin and freshen up your appearance. It has multiple purposes, and a mist nozzle makes it easy to spritz it lightly onto your face to refresh your look instantly. Whether you’re running to a conference or going on a multi-day hiking trip, one bottle of micellar water can help you look like you’ve just applied your makeup.

Help With Dyeing Hair

When you’re dyeing your hair, it’s too easy for some of that color to make it onto your forehead. If you soak a cotton ball or cotton round with micellar water, this can get rid of the accidental stain you just left in the middle of your forehead.

This goes with any smudges or stains you may get on your face while you’re out and about since it’s pretty good at removing any impurities. Micellar water can be your best friend whenever your face gets slightly dirty!

Easier to Carry on Trips

If you’re going on a business trip or vacation, skip the double cleansing routine! Especially if it’s just for a week or two, you’ll find that a single bottle of micellar water is much easier to carry than two different full-sized skincare products. They’re lighter, and if you have a small bottle, you won’t have to worry about TSA guidelines.

Deep Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes get dirty way too easily, especially if you use them daily to apply your foundation, blush, contour, and more. Over time, you’ll notice your brushes become stained and might have all sorts of makeup residue.

To get rid of those stains and uncleanliness, you can fill a bowl with micellar water and swirl your brush around. Just like it removes impurities from your skin, it can do the same for your brushes! You can clean them every two weeks or so to keep your brushes in their best condition.

Micellar Water FAQ

Below, we have some of the most commonly asked questions about micellar water.

Which Skin Types Can Use Micellar Water?

Any skin type can use micellar water! You’ll just want to be aware of special ingredients or properties you should look for depending on your skin type so that you don’t irritate sensitive skin or make oily skin even oilier. You can read more about skin types and micellar water here.

Can Micellar Water Help With Acne?

Since micellar water gets rid of impurities and helps with clogged pores, it can also help with any acne skin problems as well. It’s an easy way to clean your face without irritating skin the way a harsh cleanser might. After applying micellar water, you can also follow it up with any topical acne products and a non-comedogenic moisturizer.

Does Micellar Water Contain Oil?

This varies from bottle to bottle. While a lot of micellar water doesn’t contain oil, some that are meant for taking off heavy makeup will likely have oil to help break down any waterproof components. A solid option that doesn’t contain any oil would be the ISDIN micellar water. Make sure you read the ingredients list on every bottle.

Final Thoughts

If you want an easier cleansing routine, micellar water might be the answer to your prayers! They can be used on their own to clean, and you won’t even need to wash it off afterward. They’re made with an assortment of ingredients and agents that can help with specific skin issues as well, so all you’ll need to do is narrow it down to your favorite bottle.