Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (Pink Cap)

Generally speaking when I see the brand “Garnier”, alarm bells go off in my head and I try to avoid the product. Hair products like Fructis and Smoothing Treat that have isopropyl alcohol pumped into their ingredient listing? CC Creams with alcohol denat listed third? No thanks. Their Micellar Water might just be their one outstanding product, and grabs a Holy Grail status on reddit for good reason. (spoiler alert: it doesn’t have drying alcohols!)

This fragrance-free micellar water works great with after a modest few drops on a cotton pad, applied directly to the face. I’ve never seen my makeup be removed so quickly and so efficiently, that I didn’t really feel the need to go over my face again with another pad to find the excess. Because it works so well at oil and makeup removal, there’s less chance the remnants will remain in your pores to create acne later on. I also felt like this water didn’t absorb “too quickly”, so I wouldn’t have to return to the bottle to get more product more than once or twice.

The pink cap version of this micellar water is specially formulated for sensitive skin, and I cannot speak to the blue cap version. However, I can confirm from my own experience that this product has worked nicely with my own sensitive skin type. I didn’t break out, nor did I encounter my skin drying out after use (unlike LRP’s Micellar Water, which was… somehow… horrendously drying). Of course, it goes without saying that applying any kind of paper product to your skin is going to be just a bit irritating no matter what, so I usually follow up after cleansing with some sort of moisturizer.

Although there isn’t too much to say or describe about micellar water in general (and hence my short review), I do feel as though this product has overall improved my skin condition after switching off of other toners or micellar waters. It is phenomenal at deep-cleansing of the skin, without being drying or leaving a film. I’ve also never seen the 13.5 fl oz bottles retail for more than $9, and they can be bought at almost every grocery store.

All in all, this is a great, cheap buy for users with sensitive skin, especially if you’re a beginner at skin care. It’s both effective and foolproof. Heavy makeup users should also take note as well — if you want something to remove your foundation in just a single swipe, this water might also end up being your go-to! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4.75/5

Longevity: n/a

How much I actually like this product: 4.5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

La Roche-Posay Micellar Water

Disclaimer: I largely think micellar water is a marketing hoax. In my personal opinion, removing makeup and cleaning your face should be left to good ol’ fashioned face cleanser, possibly a splash of toner, and that thing that comes out of your sink… ah yes, water. But I do love trying out skincare products, so I will admit I’ve tried a few micellar waters in the past few years. And… this one ain’t it, for me.

I picked up the “sensitive skin” version of this instead of the effaclar version, which is more targeted toward oily skin. As with most micellar waters, it is basically… odorless, colorless, water. It’s best applied with a cotton ball or pad.

Did it remove my makeup? I hate comparing two items because there’s zillions of items on the market in general, but I actually sort of liked the Garnier Micellar water back in the day, when it was like the only one you could buy in the grocery store. Garnier’s formula was ridiculously oily, but man, did it take off makeup! One swipe and five layers of foundation were gone. That’s not the case with LRP’s version, here: on average I used up five cotton circles to take off my makeup, even on a “light foundation” day. So it does remove makeup, but it will waste your time in doing so.

Did it make my skin feel clean? After the aforementioned five cotton circles used up on my face, my skin was feeling a little raw. I guess it felt clean? There definitely isn’t an “oily” residue left over. However…

Is it good for sensitive skin? In my opinion, no. Sure, some of the abrasion can come from using a cotton circle or pad, but this product is impractical to use with just your hands. Once my makeup was removed, my face felt dry. Even after adding a layer of moisturizer, my skin was still more dry throughout the day than it would have been, had I just used a regular cleanser.

There are no drying alcohols, sulfates or parabens in this micellar water, so I don’t think that the ingredient listing is inherently evil. But the need to fight through your foundation removal causes more abrasion to your skin than it’s worth. Maybe it is better to use an oilier formulation, after all.

La Roche-Posay has a good name in skincare, sure, but I would personally pass on this $15 micellar water. There are better ways to cleanse and remove makeup than this! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2/5

Longevity: n/a

How much I actually like this product: 1.75/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No