Over the course of my time at Allure, I've come to realize that people — particularly people of the Internet — are obsessed with micellar water. We've written about Reddit's favorite formulas and even shared one woman's story of how she stopped sudsing up with traditional facial cleanser all together, solely using micellar water to wash her face. Listen, I get it: Micellar water is good, but is it great?
Just ask the French — they're all about the cleansing water, too. Here's why: It's made of a combination of hydrating ingredients, like glycerin, along with extremely mild surfactants, according to cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta. "The molecules of those mild surfactants naturally group together to form microscopic spheres called micelles, which act like magnets for dirt and oil," Cincotta has previously told Allure.
Knowing all of this, I decided to test-drive the new SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 makeup remover and cleanser for this year's Best of Beauty Awards. (Garnier's version is made for all skin types, including sensitive skin like mine, so I wasn't concerned about irritation.) After a rather sweaty Spin class, I came home and instead of swiping off my makeup and grime with my go-to cleansing wipe, I reached for a cotton pad and the micellar water. I was pleasantly surprised to find that just a few swipes removed most of my makeup (though my waterproof mascara was not budging), leaving my skin feeling damp but not slimy.
I've got to be honest, my skin didn't feel 100 percent clean, but I'm also the type of person who triple-cleanses my face every night (obsessive, I know). So I followed up the micellar water with a gentle cleanser (I'm loving the Best of Beauty–winning Skinfix Foaming Clay Cleanser, in case you were wondering). Following that, though, my skin practically glowed. It felt super clean and smooth — but not tight. Overall, I was impressed with the stuff. Alright, Reddit, now I'm starting to get the hype.
The Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover is a 2020 Allure Readers' Choice Winner. See the complete list of this year's winners here.