Micellar water is an interesting one. A longtime staple in France, micellar water lives up to its claim: An all-in-one cleanser, it removes makeup, purifies the skin, and tones to boot. It does not need to be rinsed off. Simply sweep the face with a soaked cotton ball, and voilà. For cleansing and toning in one simple step, I do like micellar waters. They are gentle and don’t strip the skin of oils as many toners alone do.
And when it comes to micellar water, none are more popular than Bioderma. One of their 3 micellar waters is sold every 6 seconds, have been endorsed by celebrities and beauty bloggers alike, and are arguably the brand that brought micellar water into the mainstream.
What is Micellar Water?
Scientifically speaking, micellar water is a low-foaming cleanser. Micelles are nothing more than cleansing molecules that attract dirt and oil. Formulas like Bioderma combine water and one or more surfactants which help to remove dirt, oil, and sebum from the skin. Lab Muffin has a great post about exactly how micellar waters work which is definitely worth checking out if you’re a science nerd like me!
But products like Bioderma generally contain a quick-penetrating propylene glycol in a watery base. Each formula also includes other ingredients added for the nutrient benefit, like skin-brightening niacinamide and calming cucumber extract. The pH is balanced out with disodium EDTA, citric acid, and cetrimonium bromide.
The Bioderma Line
There are currently 3 different Bioderma Micellar Water formulas for those with sensitive, oily, and dry skin:
Sensibio: This one is my personal favorite! This formula is made for those with sensitive skin. It is formulated with cucumber extract, which mildly inhibits melanin production, and can also decrease the level of sebum found in the skin, which is good news for those with acne. The extract itself contains ascorbic and caffeic acid and has significant antioxidant activities due to its DPPH and superoxide radical scavenging abilities. According to a study in the Archives of Dermatological Research, it also might be able to inhibit the activity of hyaluronidase and elastase, enzymes that are responsible for degrading hyaluronic acid and elastin (Archives of Dermatological Research).
Sebium: This formula is made for those who have oily skin. The active ingredients in this include Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract. Ginkgo Biloba acts primarily by taking down inflammation in the skin. Cyclooxygenases are enzymes that are associated with inflammatory pathways. A study in Planta Medica found that Ginkgo Biloba substantially takes down cyclooxygenase activity, and helps reduce inflammation in vivo (in human skin) as well. It has also been suggested Ginkgo may increase the proliferation of skin’s fibroblasts, presumably resulting in faster and more dense collagen production. In one study, six of the flavonoids found in Ginkgo Biloba — quercetin, kaempfe-rol, sciadopitysin, ginkgetin, isoginkgetin — were all found to significantly impact fibroblast activity (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 1997).
Hydrabio: And finally this formula is for those who suffer from dry skin, and it includes one of my all-time favorite ingredients: niacinamide! Niacinamide is the basic (high pH) version of vitamin B3, and can basically do it all. It has been shown in numerous dermatological studies to:
I’m a huge fan of the Bioderma line! My personal favorite is the Sensibio which is great for those with sensitive skin and eyes. It is gentle but effective at removing eye makeup, even for those with lash extensions. I definitely recommend adding this one into your routine.