6 Editor-Approved Micellar Waters for Every Skin Type

Photo: Ron Lach / Pexels

I’ve been intrigued by the effortlessness of French beauty for years, but their best-kept secret by far is micellar (pronounced my-sell-er) water. The French have been using it for decades, mostly because they found their local tap water isn’t great for their skin. But, to be clear, it does much more than your typical water.

What is micellar water?

Essentially, micellar water features tiny capsules of oil—or micelles—that attract impurities, like dirt, oil, and makeup, from the skin’s surface. Micelles are so light and gentle that you don’t even have to rinse them off, making micellar water the ideal on-the-go cleanser. It gently removes impurities without throwing your skin off balance—no harsh ingredients or oily residue. Plus, the multi-purpose skin tonic can be used as a makeup remover, cleanser, or toner.

How to use micellar water?

Even though it’s called water and looks like water, the last thing you want to do is splash it all over your face. Micellar water’s texture is more like a toner, so you want to apply it to a cotton pad and sweep it across your face. Then, continue with your routine as usual—there’s no need to rinse it off. You can use it as a first cleanse and follow with a foaming cleanser or after cleansing as a toner.

Bonus: It’s a great way to fix or clean up your makeup, too. Dip a q-tip or small makeup brush in micellar water to clean up your eyeliner wing or any imperfections.

Who should use micellar water?

Here’s another reason to love micellar water: it’s pretty universal and works for all skin types whether dry, sensitive, acne-prone, or combination skin.

Micellar waters to try

By Terry Baume de Rose Micellar Water, $38

This micellar water is supercharged with hydrating and regenerating rose extracts to boost the skin’s hydration levels by over 80% (!) Skin is left perfectly clean, hydrated, and refreshed without drying it out.

La Mer The Cleansing Micellar Water, $55

Here’s one rinseless, pristine step to lift away the day, while signature sea actives help re-mineralize and rehydrate, for a clean that soothes and never strips.

Caudalie Vinoclean Micellar Cleansing Water, $14

Caudalie’s bestselling formula is powered by organic grape water, chamomile extract, and plant glycerin to soothe, moisturize and soften skin while cleansing.

Bioderma H2O

Last but definitely not least, here’s the cult-classic brand that started it all. With its soothing, hypoallergenic formula, a bottle of Bioderma is sold every five seconds around the world (!) They have three different formulas based on skin type:

For dry skin , Beautylish recommends Bioderma Hydrabio H2O ($14.99)

For oily or acne-prone skin , Beautylish recommends Bioderma Sébium H2O ($14.99)

For sensitive skin , Beautylish recommends Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($14.99)