Remember a little while ago, I told you I was using cream cleansers instead of oil cleansers? When I finished up the cleansers I decided not to repurchase but to try instead cleansing waters. I’ve heard so much about these micellar solutions and how they act as all in one makeup removers, cleansers and toners while being gentle enough for even the most sensitive of skins. The most famous one that most would have heard of is Bioderma. I actually have 2 really large bottles of them which I probably should tell you about some day… but you know what. I find it really hard to write about something I find at most average, when its so much more fun sharing about something I like! 😛
So yes, my introduction to cleansing waters on this blog will be the Caudalie Cleansing Water because I like this one. I bought this online a little while ago when it was on sale so I think it was something like £11. I don’t know how much it retails for locally but it shouldn’t be too pricey.
Micellar solutions or cleansing waters were popularised by the French so you will see many of them appearing under French skincare lines of which Caudalie is one of them. My skin seems to take well to French skincare in general. I looked around for information on what is micelles and micellar water but its so bloody technical, I need a scientist (will Larie please step up to the task? :P) In a nutshell, in this liquid which approximates that of water are molecules that will bond with dirt and makeup on your skin and lift it off, leaving your skin clean. All without having to rinse with water. This is also known as the waterless cleansing method. But I use this one slightly differently.
Whilst Micellar solutions and cleansing waters are supposed to be sufficient to cleanse skin at one go without rinsing, I use it instead as my first step of a double cleanse routine. I find its better for my skin and this way, I never really need the cleansing water to do an excellent job at removing eye makeup and foundation because I have my backup solution. Its a personal thing and it works for me.
This product is supposed to be safe for all skin types, including sensitive skins. How you use it is very simple. Wet a piece of cotton pad and wipe it over your skin. You will notice your makeup being removed and if you really do not want to wash your face again thereafter you can do it a few times until the cotton pad is clear.
As a makeup remover, I think this isn’t perfect. Neither is Bioderma, no matter what anyone says. The difference is, Bioderma is more affordable so using more of is doesn’t seem as sinful as using more of the Caudalie. I find if I want a truly clean face (after a day’s worth of makeup to work) I have to go through at least 3-4 pieces of cotton. It works around the eye area to remove my eye makeup although mascara does take more work. It does remove though, but you just have to work harder at it. A dedicated eye makeup remover does the job more quickly.
What I like about this is, although I just make one pass over my skin with a dampened cotton pad, to remove the most of my makeup and the day’s dirt and crap, my skin almost immediately feels clean and refreshed. When I touch it, it feels smooth and clean and cool. It feels lovely! My skin seems to have benefited as well from using a cleansing water, in that it seems less irritated, and less sensitized.
I have come across complaints about the scent but to me, it just smells faintly of grape juice. I find it refreshing. For a spell, I was using this in the morning in place of a face cleanser. I was testing the theory that our faces don’t get that dirty in the night while we sleep, so we don’t really need a heavy duty cleanser in the morning. This cleansing water was refreshing in the morning, and did make my skin feel clean without feeling stripped, or uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I just like splashing my face with cool water in the morning. It wakes me up better than gently wiping a cotton pad over my face so I’m back to using a face wash 😛
Would I use a cleansing water over a cleansing cream?
Yes actually I would and I have. Cleansing waters aren’t drying on my skin and not as messy as using a cream. I’ve all but abandoned cleansing oils for the moment because I tried using one recently and it made my skin feel so dry almost immediately. Boohoo! Can’t say I haven’t given them a good run for my money! 😀
In a nutshell
The Caudalie Cleansing Water Micellar Solution is a watery liquid that acts as a makeup remover, face cleanser and toner so it effectively takes the place of 3 products. I personally use it as a makeup remover and pre-cleanse routine, following up with a foaming face wash because I prefer it this way. It doesn’t work too well to remove all makeup and dirt at one go, so you will need a few passes with a damp cotton pad to get it 100% clean. That makes it quite pricey, but my skin feels lovely, cool, clean and smooth which is very nice. It is importantly also, not drying and not messy and very convenient. I’ve replaced my pre-cleansers with a cleansing water because I like the way my skin feels with it and I am not in the market to find others!
Pros: Cleans skin and leaves it feeling comfortable, Convenient, Skin feels clean, cool and smooth
Cons: Scent may not appeal to everyone
Who will like this: Anyone who wants a convenient pre-cleanser and cleanser in one, Anyone for whom cleansing oils don’t work
Here is the ingredient list if you’re interested.
My skin seems to like this better than Bioderma in that it feels more comfortable as compared to Bioderma. Bioderma isn’t bad either but I’m just not enamoured with it like most people are. Some day, I’ll get around to sharing some more concrete thoughts on it 😛
Have you used the Caudalie Cleansing Water before? Do you have other cleansing waters that you like?
Cleansing waters don’t seem to be very popular locally but it could well be because the big one (Bioderma) isn’t available here yet. For now, I know of Caudalie and Melvita that both have micellar cleansing waters but we don’t hear much about them. I haven’t tried the latter but I plan to. I hear the one from Vichy is good (no more Vichy here boohoo!) and so is the one from La Roche Posay (neither is this one boohoo!) so I guess trying out cleansing waters is going to be my next big thing after my cleansing oil exploits! 😀
Caudalie Cleansing Water Price: US$28/£15 for 200ml. Local price unknown Availability: Ken’s Apothecary stores (Empire Shopping Gallery, Bangsar Village 2)
83 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Emy Shin says
I have only tried Bioderma, and I did like it. However, I’ve gone back to cleansing oil simply because it’s more cost-effective for me at the moment. 🙂
Paris B says
I think cleansing oils are much much better at removing dirt from skin, Emy. I would still be using it if my skin didn’t rebel so 🙁
I shall get the Caudalie Cleansing Water to try soon, after I’ve finished up my Bioderma one. The only micellar water I’ve used is from Bioderma and I love it. Very gentle on the skin. The only thing I’m not very keen on with the Bioderma one is that it doesn’t remove waterproof mascara well. For that, I prefer to stick to my oil-water makeup remover 🙂
PS: Michelle from @labmuffin did a very good post on how micellar water works. Unfortunately, I couldn’t leave the link here because it won’t go past your spam plugin 😛
Paris B says
For eye makeup in general, I stick to a dedicated makeup remover. It does the job more quickly and more gently, I feel than rubbing a piece of cotton multiple times over the eye area. Thanks for letting me know about labmuffin’s article. Yes, I have a very strict link policy LOL But it should just have sent your comment into moderation where I’d rescue it later.
I started off with Uriage’s cleansing water and the moved on to Bioderma’s while living in China where French pharmacy brands are available everywhere and affordably. After litres of it, I’m now using Caudalie which I find is less drying as I age. Also, not all micellar waters are made equal. Some brands like Plante Systems sell large 500ml bottles but they are absolutely rubbish. Micellar waters are a staple for me because it encourages cleansing. It is the only instant cleanser that will remove large amounts of Zinc-based sunscreen which nothing short of an oil-based cleanser will remove.
When I come home, I immediately remove everything on my face (sunscreen etc) with a micellar water. I believe that gentle but thorough cleansing is the best skincare anyone can have. While I do double cleanse in the end, my skin spends more breathable hours thanks to the convenience of micellar waters.
As for oil cleansers, after using them for 9 years, I’ve switched over to cleansing balms instead. You’re right when you feel it is drying, because most oil cleansers have a form (or three) of detergent in them. It may not be SLS, but there is either a strong emulsifier or detergent in there to achieve the rinse-and-go function. In soft water back home, I prefer REN’s cleansing balm, but in London, I realised why Eve Lom’s cleanser is so beloved – it works very well in this hard water and yet gentle on skin. I’ve finished my Eve Lom and trying out Bobbi’s EXTRA Balm Rinse which is good value.
Paris B says
Hi Kathia, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Interesting that you didn’t like the Plante Systems one which another reader mentioned is one she likes! I think you are right about how well these cleansing waters clean our skin without stripping off too much or drying it out the way cleansing oils do. I do still double cleanse and I’m going to experiment with cleansing balms soon! (Other than Eve Lom, that is) I picked up the RMK Cleansing Balm and I have one by Antipodes too which I’m curious to give a go. Its interesting how the Eve Lom works better in hard water, as you say. I think sometimes, we shouldn’t discount something just because it doesn’t work here because many of these skincare come from Europe and are tailored to their climate and conditions 🙂
I only tried La Roche-Posay so far, and love it! It makes my skin feel just like you described, does not dries or irritates <3However, I refrain from using it as makeup remover.
Paris B says
It sounds lovely Mary, how do you use it then, if not as a makeup remover?
simply as a basic cleanser: day and night, after cleansing oil to remove any residues, whatsoever. It prepares well my skin for further creams, etc. Love it as a “toner” 😀
Tried it with waterproof eyemakeup after reading your post to see if mine is good and voilá, it beated hands down my current Shu Uemura oil ^o^
fibre mascara is a different story though….it takes longer to get it off
Paris B says
Ah so you use it as the second step of your “double cleanse” routine! I like how you do it and as many of them also function as toner, its quite perfect! Glad to know it works better to remove your waterproof makeup! It takes a while for me to remove waterproof mascara but most eyemakeup go off quite easily with cleansing water.
After having bad luck with cleansing oil, I found Bioderma’s cleansing water works great for my oily and sensitive skin. And yes, this is a french skincare brand too 🙂
Paris B says
Lovely, May 🙂 Bioderma is quite nice, I have to agree. I use it interchangeably with Caudalie depending on whats at hand 🙂
I saw this going for myr20 at sasa [email protected] Had to get one after reading your review!
Paris B says
I hope you like it Azleen! It’ll be sold at Ken’s Apothecary after this, if you no longer see it at Sasa 😉
I love cleansing water, especially if I’m not wearing any waterproof eyeliner or mascara. Otherwise, I usually use a bi-phasic makeup remover for my eyes. Cleansing water does take the eyeliner and mascara off eventually, but it’s a little too much work for me, and being impatient, sometimes I inadvertently get a little too rough around the eye area.
My favs are the Shiseido Pureness Refreshing Cleansing Water, Clarins Water Comfort One-Step Cleanser and Lancôme Eau Micellaire Douceur.
Paris B says
Hi Fizz! 🙂 You’re so right about cleansing water and waterproof mascara. It does nothing on waterproof mascara – mine anyway. Like you, in the evenings, all I want to do is get in the shower and into bed so messing about with slowly removing eye makeup is a downer. bi-phase all the way! 😀 Thanks for sharing your faves. I didn’t know the big brands had them too!
I like your double cleansing routine, be it cleansing oil, cream cleanser and now cleansing water as the primary cleansing before the next one. Even if I use the Mandom make up remover which is effective, I still like to splash water onto my face to get the uber clean feeling. Before this, I have not attempted any water or liquid which is water-like products, but ever since I have started on Hada Labo lotion and SK-II FTE, I think I should be able to get the hang of using this micellar solution. Sounds so scientific! Lol, the make up scientist in PB is at it again with good results 😉
Paris B says
Haha I wish I could take credit for micellar water (I’d be a gazillionaire!) but really, I thank the French for popularizing it. They are amazing people and I love their skincare! After reading what Casey has to say about micellar waters, I’m glad I practice double cleansing just to get whatever residue off the skin. Splashing water is a good way too! 😉
Karen Tan says
I tried using Bioderma before.. but I prefer Plante system-cleansing micellar water which is a French brand too.
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing, Karen 🙂 I am unfamiliar with that one so will have to keep an eye out for it
They have this in SASA 🙂 , I remembered I bought 2 during the sales, which costs around RM60-70 per bottle if not mistaken.
Paris B says
Hi fionc, Caudalie won’t be at Sasa anymore. You can now find them at KENSApothecary instead. Just a heads up if you need to replenish 😉