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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

59 Models Considered
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Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best micellar cleansing waters

While there aren’t many one-size-fits-all skincare rules out there, cleansing your face daily to remove dirt and oil is definitely something everyone should do. If you wear makeup, it’s even more important to wash your face each night to prevent clogged pores, acne, and other skin issues. Micellar cleansing water makes it incredibly easy to keep your face clean. With the swipe of a cotton ball, it even removes waterproof makeup.

Micellar water is a liquid facial cleanser that requires no rinsing. The liquid contains small micelles, or oil particles, that attract dirt, oil, and other residue and lift them from the skin, allowing you to wipe them away without additional water. Micellar water can also hydrate and soften the skin, so you can cleanse, remove makeup, and moisturize all in one step.

A lot of brands have jumped on the micellar water bandwagon, but which product should you choose? In this buying guide, we provide the tips and information you need to find the best micellar cleansing water for your skin.

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Micellar cleansing water works well to remove dirt and oil from the skin before you wax for better wax adherence.

Key considerations

Skin type

As with any skincare product, you should take your skin type into account when shopping for micellar cleansing water. Many brands make several formulas, each dedicated to a specific skin type and its particular issues. That can make finding an effective micellar water for your skin much easier.

Oily and combination skin

If you have oily or combination skin, choose a micellar cleansing water that can effectively regulate oil production. It’s usually labeled as mattifying or balancing because it removes excess dirt, oil, and makeup and also reduces shine.

Normal skin

A good basic micellar cleansing water typically works for normal skin, which is neither too oily nor too dry. The formula should cleanse, tone, and moisturize the skin to keep it soft and healthy.

Dry skin

Micellar cleansing water for dry skin has a hydrating formula that helps the skin retain moisture. Avoid formulas that contain astringent or drying ingredients like alcohol so your skin isn’t stripped of moisture.

Acne-prone skin

A micellar cleansing water for acne-prone skin is similar to one for oily prone skin since excess oil typically leads to clogged pores and breakouts. It may also contain acne-fighting ingredients that help kill bacteria or exfoliate the skin to prevent acne.

Sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, choose micellar water with as few ingredients as possible. Avoid those with fragrance to prevent irritation, and look for formulas with soothing ingredients to treat any irritation you may already have. Micellar water with a neutral pH is a better option for sensitive skin.

Ingredients

The ingredients in micellar water vary from formula to formula, but some basic ingredients show up in most offerings.

Purified water: The reason micellar water has such a thin, liquid consistency and requires no rinsing is that its base consists primarily of purified or filtered water. This allows you to wipe it away without leaving residue behind. The formula is extremely gentle on the skin.

Micelles: As mentioned, micelles are small particles that act as a sponge to soak up dirt, oil, and makeup. These molecules are particularly attracted to oil, which is why they’re able to regulate oil production. They’re also able to break down other impurities, making them easier to wipe away.

Mild surfactants: Surfactants help break down oil and grease to make them easier to remove from the skin. In micellar water, the mild surfactants aren’t likely to irritate the skin and allow you to cleanse without rinsing.

Hydrators: Most micellar water contains hydrating ingredients like glycerine to help hydrate and trap moisture in the skin. That’s why micellar water typically doesn’t leave your face feeling dry or stripped.

Liquid vs. wipes

The vast majority of micellar cleansing waters come in liquid form. You use a cotton pad or ball to gently wipe the cleansing water over your face.

For convenience’s sake, some brands offer micellar cleansing wipes. They’re like traditional makeup remover or cleansing wipes except the disposable cloths are saturated with micellar cleansing water. Simply wipe the cloth over your face to cleanse and remove makeup. Like liquid micellar water, you don’t need to rinse your face afterward.

Toss a bottle of micellar cleansing water in your gym bag for post-workout cleansing that doesn't require rinsing.

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Features

Packaging and size

Because micellar cleansing water has a thin, watery consistency, nearly all formulas come in a plastic bottle. Some bottles feature a basic screw-off top, so you simply remove the cap, place a cotton ball or pad over the opening, and tip the bottle to saturate the cotton for application.

However, many bottles feature a squeeze top with a small hole beneath the cap. You place your cotton pad or ball over the hole and squeeze the bottle to dispense the micellar water onto the cotton. Both types of packaging can work well, but there’s less risk of a spill with a squeeze top since the entire bottle isn’t open when the lid is open.

If you opt for micellar water wipes instead of liquid, you will likely find it in a sealed pouch to keep the wipes moist. However, some micellar water wipes come in a plastic tub with a locking lid, which often does a better job of keeping the wipes moist.

Fragrance-free

As with many skincare products, micellar cleansing water may have added fragrance to give it a pleasant scent. If you have sensitive skin or just don’t like strong scents, it’s best to choose a fragrance-free formula. Synthetic fragrances often cause irritation, especially if your skin is sensitive.

Cruelty-free

For many people, choosing skincare and beauty products from companies that don’t test on animals is a top priority. If you’re concerned about animal testing, look for a micellar cleansing water clearly labeled as cruelty-free. You can also keep an eye out for the Leaping Bunny logo, a program that certifies that no new animal tests were utilized in the development or manufacturing of a product. 

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Did You Know?
In a pinch, micellar cleansing water can double as a brush cleaner for your makeup brushes. Just swirl the bristles around in a small amount of the water to remove makeup residue.
Staff
BestReviews

Micellar cleansing water prices

Inexpensive: The most affordable micellar cleansing waters are basic formulas that contain micelles, water, and cleansing agents. They aren’t always the most hydrating, though. You’ll generally pay between $0.15 and $0.60 per ounce for these products.

Mid-range: Mid-range micellar cleansing waters contain higher-quality ingredients. In particular, they feature hydrating ingredients and are generally much gentler on the skin. These formulas usually cost between $0.60 and $1.55 per ounce.

High-end: The priciest micellar cleansing waters often hail from luxury skincare brands. They feature high-quality ingredients and may contain additional ingredients to help the skin, such as vitamins and antioxidants. These products cost from $1.55 to $10 per ounce.

If you dye your hair at home, micellar water can clean up dye stains from your skin with ease.

Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Saturate your cotton pad or cotton ball. You need a good amount of micellar water to effectively clean your skin.
  • Wipe the micellar water-soaked cotton over your face gently. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing to prevent irritation.
  • Press and hold the cotton pad or ball on areas with makeup, like your eyelids. This allows the micelles to attract makeup, dirt, and oil so you don’t have to rub too hard.
  • Moisturize. Although micellar water may impart some moisture to the skin, it’s wise to maintain your usual moisturizing routine as well. After using the micellar water, apply serum or moisturizer as you normally would.
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If your skin feels cakey after multiple sunscreen applications when spending time outdoors, use micellar water to remove some of the buildup before adding a fresh layer of SPF.

FAQ

Q. Is micellar cleansing water healthy for the skin?

A. Micellar cleansing water can be extremely good for the skin because it allows you to gently remove dirt, oil, and makeup without scrubbing or rubbing. It makes cleansing easier and more convenient because it doesn’t require rinsing, so you’re more likely to clean your skin before bed.

Micellar cleansing water also helps hydrate the skin, which prevents the stripped or dehydrated feeling you can sometimes get with traditional cleansers.

Q. Can I use micellar water every day?

A. Because it’s such a gentle product, it’s perfectly safe to use micellar cleansing water daily. You can actually use it twice a day without worrying about your skin drying out.

Q. What are some other ways to use micellar cleansing water?

A. While micellar water can effectively cleanse the skin morning and night, that’s not all it’s good for. If you choose, you can use it solely to remove makeup before washing with a traditional face cleanser. It also comes in handy if you need to touch up your makeup because your eyeliner or mascara has smeared.

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