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Micellar Cleansing Water Woes

Hopefully you would have already read my first impression of the Bioderma Sensibio H2O. As to be expected, other brands wanted in on the do. That's not to say that cleansing waters are anything new but surely there has been a resurgence. As with all the "woes" posts, this is a product comparison.

Garnier, black|Up and Bioderma Micellar Water comparison -

I can quickly eliminate the black|Up Bi-phase Cleansing Water from this mix. This a clear example of not reading labels carefully before you purchase. Had I been paying attention, I would have noticed the term "bi-phase" and left this right in Cave Shepherd. This type of cleanser includes an oil solution. The directions always state to "shake before use" in order to disperse the oil within the rest of the product. Typically these are very useful in removing waterproof products...but they also, in my opinion, negate the "do not rinse" instructions that come with cleansing waters. While black|Up also says "do not rinse" on this packaging I don't know how one could be comfortable with the residue left on the skin. Speaking of residue, that's the number one reason why I'm not a fan of these bi-phase solutions. In particular when it comes to use on my eyes. In the past I've found that the residue not only impairs my vision but the solution also makes them burn. While the eye "cloudiness" wasn't so bad this go around I definitely felt the discomfort.

200 ml / 6.7 fl. oz. retails for $92BDS DP / $71BDS DF in Cave Shepherd. The packaging features an ok pump dispenser. The scent isn't offensive but having any fragrance at all is a big no no for anything you're gonna be putting that close to your eyeballs. Like I said earlier, this is great for removing stubborn makeup but you could get one of those L'Oreal bi-phase makeup removers for waaaaaaaayyyyy cheaper.

"INGREDIENTS (as stated on the packaging): Aqua (Water), Isododecane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Water, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Propylene Glycol,Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Bambusa Vulgaris Stem Extract, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Gardenia Florida Flower Extract, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool."

"INGREDIENTS (as stated on the website) : Aqua (Water), Isododecane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Water, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Gardenia Florida Flower Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Stem Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide."

Same components but the order has been rearranged.

black|Up Bi-phase Cleansing Water ingredients -
black|Up Bi-phase Cleansing Water Pump -

All details about this sensitive skin version of Bioderma are in this post. I must note that with continued use I have thoroughly come to appreciate their 'ultra practical pump'.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Ultra-Practical Pump -

The hindrance to this product is solely its availability. I love shopping on Beautylish but with Mr. Tax increasing everything I don't know if this is something I can keep up with long term. The 500 ml pump bottle is sadly limited edition but it is restocked periodically. The price is $16.90USD for this as well as the one with the regular cap.

"Ingredients (as stated on the packing): Aqua/Water/Eau, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Fructooligosaccharides, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cetrimonium Bromide, Disodium EDTA."

"Ingredients (as stated on the website): Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide."

Again, same components just a few rearranged.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O ingredients -

Garnier came to snatch edges. Down to the pink accents on their packaging. I was impressed with the product from first use. At the moment I can't tell a distinct difference between this and the Bioderma formula previously mentioned, although the ingredients list is different. Neither of them contain oil or fragrance.


For once the website and packaging have the ingredients listed in the same order. What's sweeter still is that this product is now readily available in Barbados.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ingredients -

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water on display -
As seen in Collins

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water on display -
As seen in iMart, Lanterns Mall

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water on display -
As seen in Massy Stores, Warrens

Alas, the dispenser isn't as sexy as a pump top but the pop-cap is secure. You get 13.5 fl. oz / 400 ml for the local prices shown above. I got mine in New York before I saw them on local counters.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water dispenser -

So, Garnier wins this round. If micellar water is something you're going to use often, this one is best value for money. Please note that cleansing waters are nothing I leave on my skin for any extensive period of time. If you intend to use them as marketed I'd suggest paying close attention to their ingredients.

Let us know if you've tried any of these products in the comments.

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