The 4 Best Drugstore Micellar Waters


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Micellar water is something like the unicorn of skin care products. It cleanses skin gently, removes makeup better than anything else, and never leaves any sort of oily, greasy residue behind. The best part is, you don't even have to rinse it off — and it's gentle enough to use on your eyes. Being a pretty basic skin care product, micellar water shouldn't cost ton of money. In fact, I've yet to find a high-end formula that works better than the best drugstore micellar waters.

The majority of micellar waters are made with sensitive skin in mind, making them suitable for all types of skin. Most of these micellar waters work to lightly moisturize skin, too, so they're a great choice of cleanser if you're dealing with dryness. If you have skin that's more oily or acne-prone, you can also buy formulas that help unclog pores.

While one of the main touted benefits of micellar water is that you don't have to rinse it off, I (and many dermatologists) still recommend doing so if you're aiming for a proper cleanse, especially if you have acne-prone skin. And if you're using micellar water at night to remove a full face of makeup, then you definitely want to follow up with a cleanser so as not to leave any residue behind.

Below, find a handful of the best affordable micellar waters you can buy online.


The Overall Best Drugstore Micellar Water For All Skin Types, Including Sensitive

When it comes to drugstore micellar waters, there's really only one you need to know about: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water — a French pharmacy classic and makeup artist staple. This cult-favorite cleansing water, which inspired dozens of nearly identical formulas, is beloved around the world for its super-gentle formula that leaves zero trace of residue behind. It removes everything from waterproof mascara to liquid lipstick, and it comes in a variety of formulas to treat different skin types: Sensibio, for sensitive skin; Sebium, for combination/oily skin; and Hydrabio, for dehydrated sensitive skin.


A Cheaper Micellar Water That Works Similarly

Garnier was one of the first mainstream American brands to introduce micellar water to drugstore shoppers in the U.S., and they created this line of SkinActive micellar waters, which greatly resemble Bioderma's but cost a bit less. Like Bioderma’s, the line contains three different formulas to suit different skin types: one for all skin types, including sensitive; one for oily skin; and one specifically made to remove waterproof makeup. I still find Bioderma's micellar waters to be superior, as they feel gentler and more like water on skin, and they also remove makeup better. But if you're on a budget, Garnier's SkinActive line is a solid choice.


A No-Frills Option That Costs Even Less

Simple prides itself on making, quite literally, simple products. Staying true to its name, the brand's Kind To Skin micellar water cleanses skin without any fancy bells and whistles. It's fragrance-free, safe for all skin types, and costs just a few dollars on Amazon. You might find that it doesn't remove makeup as well as some of the other micellar waters on this list, but for the first step in a double-cleansing routine, it'll do the job just fine.


A Splurge-Worthy Pick From A French Drugstore Brand

For a more luxurious pick that's still relatively affordable, try this micellar water from French brand NUXE. While some Americans might think of NUXE as more of a prestige brand, it's actually sold in drugstores across France. Packaged in a Top Shelf-worthy pink bottle, the rosewater-infused formula leaves your skin feeling clean and smelling fresh. It also helps prevent dryness; multiple Amazon reviewers mention how it was the only product that was able to fix their flaky skin for good.

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