Did you know that the Bioderma Laboratory invented micellar technology back in 1991? Inspired by the cellular lipids found in the skin, this breakthrough has revolutionized the makeup removal and daily hygiene of the skin.
The brand incorporated the micellar technology into what is now their best-selling product: Bioderma Micellar Water (formally known as Sensibio H2O Micellar Water). In fact, one bottle of Sensibio H2O is sold every 3 seconds worldwide!
Formulated with a physiological pH of around 5.5 and highly purified pharmaceutical-grade water, Bioderma Micellar Water respects the skin’s biological balance, which is essential to maintain healthy-looking skin.
You can use Bioderma Micellar Water to gently cleanse the skin from impurities, fine particles, and pollution, while effortlessly removing makeup from your face and eyes.
But is Bioderma Micellar Water right for you? To help you decide, we’ll give you all the details on the key ingredients in this formula, as well as the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skincare. We’ll also share some Bioderma Micellar Water reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of this product.
Is Bioderma Micellar Water Right For You?
Before we get into the details, here’s the TL;DR if you just want to know whether or not Bioderma Micellar Water is right for you.
- Key ingredients? Fructooligosaccharides, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose
- Skin type? All skin types
- Texture? Micellar water
- Fragrance? No
- Cruelty-free? No
- Cost? Depends where you purchase; $14.99 on Walgreens.com and $23.99 on Amazon for a 16.7 fl oz bottle.
- EWG Rating? 2
What Are The Key Ingredients in Bioderma Micellar Water?
Bioderma Micellar Water has a minimalist formulation that includes the following ingredients:
- PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides
- Cucumber Fruit Extract
- Propylene Glycol
- Cetrimonium Bromide
- Disodium EDTA
Below we’ll explain how the micellar technology works, as well as the benefits of the key ingredients in Bioderma Micellar Water.
A micelle is an invisible cleansing micro-droplet that’s composed of gentle non-ionic surfactants (cleansing agents).
Micelles have 2 characteristics:
- a hydrophilic (water-loving) head that’s water-soluble
- and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail that attracts oily materials
This double affinity allows them to attract all kinds of impurities and attach them to the cotton wool. This means they can remove external residues from the environment (make-up, impurities from air pollution, etc.) and impurities related to the skin’s natural functions (sebum, sweat, desquamation, etc.) while preserving the skin’s natural protective film.
Micellar water works especially well for people with sensitive skin for whom even rubbing with cotton wool can cause irritation.
Bioderma Micellar Water also includes fructooligosaccharides, short chains of fructose molecules that function as prebiotics. Prebiotics are an energy source for probiotics, the good bacteria that naturally live on the surface of skin. These bacteria make up the skin’s microbiome.
When the skin’s microbiome is in balance, it protects the skin from external factors that can lead to redness, dryess, and a weakened skin barrier. Prebiotics like fructooligosaccharides work by fueling the probiotics, which promotes optimal performance. Ultimately, this ensures that the skin has what it needs to keep its barrier smooth, intact, and healthy.
Mannitol and Xylitol
Mannitol and xylitol are sugar alcohols that are included in the Bioderma Micellar Water because they function as humectants. A humectant has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water-loving) groups, which allows the molecule to attract moisture and draw that moisture into the upper layers of skin in order to improve hydration.
Humectants like mannitol and xylitol may also provide temporary anti-aging effects because the extra hydration is extra volume, which effectively plumps out the skin and makes lines and wrinkles less noticeable. However, this effect is transient — as soon as the moisture content in skin decreases, lines and wrinkles will return to normal size.
Rhamnose is a naturally-derived sugar from the birch plant, clinically proven to act on skin structure and correct the effects of skin aging.
In one study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, rhamnose was shown to promote a significant increase of pro-collagen I expression at papillary dermis level and considerable epidermis thickening.
Ultimately, this means that rhamnose can help the skin to appear more firm with less noticeable signs of aging.
How to Use Bioderma Micellar Water?
Soak a cotton pad with Bioderma Micellar Water and gently cleanse and/or remove makeup from your face and eyes. For longwear or heavy makeup, allow the cotton pad to sit on eyelids for a few seconds. No rinsing is required. Bioderma Micellar Water is gentle enough to use every day in the morning and in the evening.
Where to Buy Bioderma Micellar Water?
Bioderma Micellar Water and other Bioderma skincare products are not sold on the brand’s website. You must buy Bioderma skin care products on third-party online retailers, such as SkinStore, Walgreens, Amazon, Beautylish, and more.
How Much is Bioderma Micellar Water?
The price of Bioderma Micellar Water will depend on the retailer where you purchase the product. For example, Bioderma Micellar Water is $14.99 on Walgreens.com and $23.99 on Amazon for a 16.7 fl oz bottle.
What is The Bioderma Return Policy?
Bioderma does not have a return policy on their website since they do not sell products on their website and, therefore, don’t accept returns.
Is Bioderma Cruelty-Free?
Bioderma is not cruelty-free because Bioderma skincare products are sold in mainland China (where animal testing is required by law).
Is Bioderma Micellar Water Vegan?
Yes, Bioderma Micellar Water is vegan. However, Bioderma is not a 100% vegan brand because some of the Bioderma products contain ingredients of animal origin, such as beehive products like royal jelly or propolis from the beehive or marine plankton.
Bioderma Micellar Water Reviews
Bioderma Micellar Water reviews are mostly very positive, with the product receiving an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 1,300 customer reviews.
There are many 5-star Bioderma Micellar Water reviews from customers who love that it easily removes makeup without causing irritation or leaving any oily residue behind.
For example, one review says, “I really enjoyed using this Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water. It didn’t leave an oily residue on my skin. It took off all my makeup easily. It even worked on my waterproof makeup. I used it with my makeup eraser and it performed better than any makeup wipes or cleanser I’ve used. It did have a very light scent to it. But that did go away after a second or two. I’m definitely going to be looking into purchasing some more of this. I wasn’t a fan of Micellar waters before. They always left icky residue behind or didn’t remove all my makeup. But this really did its job for me.”
And another 5-star review says, “My overall review on the Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is that I highly recommend this product to anyone that has sensitive skin or that just needs a little hydration to your skin. After my first time using the Bioderma, my face shined like I was a teenager again and the fact that I am over 50 says a lot for the product. My skin was so dry and aging quickly due to stress in my life as I just lost my husband of 33 years. I have been so depressed and just let myself go and did no facial cleanings and so my acne was flared up and the Bioderma actually has calmed it down and my skin is really a lot better now and very hydrated.”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the Bioderma Micellar Water from customers who experienced side effects like burning, itching, and irritation.
For example, one review says, “I would not use it again. It made my face feel hot. My face felt tight. It was a little itchy. I would not recommend this for sensitive skin.”
And another 1-star review says, “I don’t know why everybody Raves about this product. I just used it and I’ve never had anything irritate and burn my eyes like this before! I would deeply not recommend taking eye makeup off with this product!”
Overall, we think that Bioderma Micellar Water could be a good cleansing option for those with sensitive skin, but keep in mind that a small percentage of reviews mentioned side effects after using this product.
- Micellar technology is a great way to remove impurities
- Formula contains beneficial key ingredients (Fructooligosaccharides, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose)
- Formula is fragrance-free
- Many positive Bioderma Micellar Water reviews
- Bioderma is not cruelty-free
- Some Bioderma Micellar Water reviews mention side effects like burning, itching, and irritation.
What Are Some Alternatives to Bioderma Micellar Water?
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, one brand we recommend is Formulyst. Formulyst maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in clinically advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
For example, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate can help to address multiple signs of aging at once. This serum contains natural ingredients like squalane, green tea, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which provide powerful antioxidant activity to protect the skin against environmental free radicals that are known to degrade collagen. In addition, this serum contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide complex that works to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting-edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skincare products.
Int J Cosmet Sci 2019 Jun;41(3):213-220.