Skincare and Makeup Remover All in One
Sounds like a reagent used in effecting a chemical reaction, no?
And while it’s not going to be of any use to you for your child’s 5th grade science project, it could be the best thing to hit your beauty routine in a long time.
When I was introduced to the online world that is YouTube beauty videos, a few items quickly stood out. ‘Holy Grail’ products, they called them, and touted them as being must-haves. A particular blush that’s complimentary to most skin tones, a creamy liquid concealer that hides the worst of skin woes, a fantastic mascara that I talked about here (hint: it’s the first one mentioned), and finally, micellar water. But not just any micellar water, the gold standard, grand poohbah of micellar waters, Bioderma. After hearing everyone rave about it, I decided I had to try it.
Let’s talk for a minute about its history. In the mid-seventies, French pharmacist Jean-Noël Thorel started working with experts in the fields of biology and dermatology to develop pharmaceutical grade products that were effective, but kinder and gentler to the body. The first breakthrough came in 1977 in the form of a detergent free shampoo that cleaned the hair without damaging the scalp in the process. That cleanser, Nodé, is still sold, today.
Up to the early ‘90s, the preferred and most common way to take remove makeup was either a cold cream such as Ponds, or the old standard, soap and water. Soaps like Dove were specifically created to combat the drying effect typical bar soaps can have on facial skin, however in France, women were dealing with an additional challenge. Apparently, the water in France has a tendency to dry out your skin, at least it did, in the past. So it was somewhat out of necessity that Thorel brainstormed to develop a way to cleanse your face that would effectively remove makeup, but not disturb the natural protections and defenses inherent in skin. The result was micellar water.
The product works in a completely unique way, using a formula of oil molecules suspended in soft water. The molecules attract dirt, makeup, and oil from the surface of the skin, and draw the same from out of the pores, as well. But here’s the most important thing for me: it doesn’t dry my skin out, at all. I have dry, sensitive skin and it’s the perfect product to remove my face makeup, no water or soap necessary, which also, incidentally, makes it ideal for traveling. It does a bit of triple duty, removing makeup, cleansing, and conditioning/moisturizing the face.
I bought my first bottle of Bioderma when I was in Paris. It’s easily found at any drugstore and I picked up a package of two large bottles for what came out to just under $20 US. Of course since it’s a French brand, it’s cheaper to buy it in France, but even at that point, it was more difficult to get here in the States. It’s easier, now, as you can order a 500ml bottle from Amazon, here , for $15.
I use this product as step two in my makeup removal routine. When I wear a full face of makeup (including foundation, concealer, etc.), I first use a cleansing balm to dissolve my eye makeup. Once the majority of that has been removed, I use Bioderma for the rest of my face.
I take a premium cotton pad (I’ll talk about those in a minute), saturate it well, and gently wipe the makeup away. Here’s the best part: this product is gentle enough to use on my eyes and the right weight and consistency to clean up any remaining mascara, liner, or shadow. And it never dries my skin out, even the thin, super delicate layer on my lids. Sometimes, depending on how fussy my makeup was that day, I might need to do the micellar water step twice to feel completely clean. I follow that up with a quick swipe of a salicylic acid based astringent (I use Nutrogena’s Clear Pore), avoiding the eyelids, and then I’m ready for moisturizer. It’s that easy! My skin feels clean and refreshed, but not tight, dry, or itchy, in the least. The best of all worlds!
A quick word about cotton pads. I realize most of us don’t give them much thought, but if you’re a contact lens wearer like me, you know how important the quality of something this simple can be. You only need to get a piece of virtually invisible cotton fuzz entwined in your eyelashes once to appreciate the significance of a low fiber cotton product. Shiseido was the first company I knew about who offered a premium grade cotton square.
Of course they’re more expensive than a traditional cotton ball or pad, but luckily there are more afford alternatives available. CVS pharmacy makes a fantastic dupe for the Shiseido pads. They’re rectangular in shape and more of a little pillow with the absorbent cotton enveloped inside of a super low fiber cotton cover.
If you want to go all out, you can pick up a package of the Shiseido at Ulta, Sephora, or order online from Amazon. I buy the house brand at either Walgreens or CVS, or the Swisspers brand at Walmart. These are what I use for Bioderma, because it actually gets any remaining eye makeup residue off. For the Clear Pore, I’ll use a mid-grade cotton pad. Besides being cheaper, I don’t put any astringent on my eyelids so the lowest fiber content isn’t as important. My favorites are the house brand at Target, but you can also find them at Walmart or any drugstore.
Finally, a quick caveat: although Bioderma seems to be the original micellar water, there are many others on the market today, from really good brands. The reason I’ve gushed for an entire post on just this, is that it’s the only product of its kind that I’ve used. This is one of those instances where I don’t feel like I need to try other brands. First, I love this one, it does everything I want it to do, and more. It cleans well, it doesn’t dry out or irritate my sensitive skin, it doesn’t leave any oily or sticky residue, it has a nice, light scent and a perfect non-greasy texture. The second reason is I’ve hoarded enough Bioderma, I fortunately haven’t had to explore other options.
And there you have it! A fantastic product that should work well for most skin types.
If you’re also a Bioderma fan – I know, right?!?!
If you’re a micellar water user, but haven’t tried this particular brand, you must! It’s completely worth it.
If you haven’t tried micellar water, yet, you’re welcome. 🙂
My 5 favorite things about Bioderma micellar water:
- light texture
- not greasy or oily
- doesn’t dry out my skin
- gentle to sensitive skin
- can remove both face and eye makeup
Let me know about your favorite makeup remover product in the comments.