Sense and Sensitivity

The best micellar waters for sensitive skin

Judy Johnson 29 April 2016
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The best micellars for sensitive skin

I'll admit it: I love a micellar water. I use it daily as the first step in my routine, removing all my makeup before doing a full cleanse. Using 'micelles' (hence the name) - tiny cleansing molecules that act as a magnet in removing dirt and impurities - it's more effective than a face wipe (shudder) and contains fewer potential irritants; a no brainer if you have sensitive skin .

Most have no-rinse formulas, but as an ever thorough and sensitive girl, I prefer to do a  cleanse  afterwards so that I know there's nothing left behind - newer formulas do have skin-boosting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid though, so it's down to your preference. If you can go straight to your cream or balm cleanser, do, but for those who'd rather remove makeup swiftly first, here's my pick of the best micellar waters for troubled or sensitive skin.

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Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Lotion

Chances are if you use a micellar lotion already, it's this one. Bioderma's pink-capped bottle is infamous backstage at Fashion Week and beyond; it was my first foray into micellars and I'm never without it. Kourtney Kardashian and Rose Huntingon-Whiteley love it too. The French brand has easily set the trend for micellar cleansers and I've no doubt it's this product's popularity that led to a flurry of other high street brands launching their own; and they have fierce competition with this as the one to beat. Fragrance-free and delightfully quick to remove all makeup, it leaves skin feeling fresh and clean and never feeling sore or irritated. A makeup artist's must-have and mine, too.

£10.80 for 250ml.  Buy online

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Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water

In the past I’ve not got along with Simple’s products, but tempted by the short ingredients list and their new 'No artificial perfume or colour’ label, I happily gave this a go and it gave me a fresh perspective of the brand. Ever so gentle, it took some time to remove mascara and eyeliner but all in all it did the job well. My skin felt fresh afterwards, and though you’re not supposed to rinse off I continued with my cleanse in the evening; in the morning I used it alone. Non-drying and fragrance-free - a good option all round.

£4.94 for 200ml.  Buy online

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Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

This large bottle of fragrance-free micellar from Garnier contains very few ingredients, one of which is glycerin - a great ingredient for sensitive skins as it can help to repair the fragile skin barrier. The formula feels incredibly gentle and soothing yet, is effective at removing even the most stubborn makeup. It leaves skin feeling soft and almost moisturised, but I personally preferred to cleanse afterwards to remove any residue.

£4.99 for 400ml.  Buy online

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B. Pure Micellar Water

This Superdrug-own brand is underrated in my opinion; this micellar water is just one of my favourite finds in the range. All B. products are vegan, and this is also fragrance-free. It removes every scrap of makeup with very little effort, is instantly refreshing and didn't even sting my eyes when I was a little over zealous with the cotton pad. Everything you want in a micellar.

£4.49 for 400ml.  Buy online 

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Melvita Cleansing Micellar Water

For those wanting a more natural option, Melvita's 'Bouquet Floral' micellar lotion is a good find. Fragrance-free, it has a natural refreshing scent from the rose and orange flower waters, and though gentle I found it removed eye makeup without too much fuss. It doubles up as a toner and is another no-rinse formula, and it leaves skin soft thanks to the combination of florals and glycerin. It does contain witch hazel, so steer clear if you're sensitive to this in particular as some are; otherwise, it's one for all.

€14.90 for 200ml.  Buy online

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Eucerin 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Fluid

Eucerin is another unsung hero for the sensitive souls in my book; much of the range is fragrance-free, including this cleansing micellar, which also happens to be free from alcohol and parabens. The 3-in-1 name refers to its ability to remove eye makeup, cleanse and tone in one go; it does it well, too, while leaving the skin feeling soft rather than dry thanks to the hyaluronic acid and glycerin in the formula. There's no struggle to remove even waterproof eye makeup and it lasts ages, too.

£9 for 200ml.  Buy online