5 micellar waters I relied on to cleanse my face when I couldn't get my eyebrows wet after microblading

Dr JartSephora

  • In preparation for my wedding and a lifetime of laziness, I decided to get my eyebrows microbladed by Piret Aava in New York City, otherwise known as the Eyebrow Doctor.
  • The hour-long process involves tattooing semi-permanent pigment into my brows to define their shape and fill in sparse areas. For two weeks afterward as the brows heal, you're not supposed to get them wet.
  • Since I couldn't wash my face normally with water and cleanser, I went through several bottles of micellar water instead to feel like a normal person.
  • Here are my reviews of the five I used, from drugstore staples to a cult-favorite French brand that sells a bottle every two seconds around the world.

After I went to Aava Piret in New York City to get my brows microbladed before my wedding in August, I was in love with my newfound brows. I mean, I actually had brows. They were defined and full, and I couldn't wait to see how they'd look after they healed.

But I wasn't in love with the fact that I couldn't really wash my face properly as the brows healed in the weeks after the treatment. I wasn't supposed to get the brows wet so I had to be really careful washing my eyes or forehead. After giving myself a headache trying to figure out how to do it, I decided that using micellar water was the best way.

I've used micellar waters on and off as part of my usual double-cleansing routine, but I usually follow up with a second cleanser. Since I couldn't use a cleanser anymore, I had to rely on some well-reviewed bottles and cult favorites instead. Every morning and night, I'd soak two cotton pads with micellar water and sweep them over my face to get every trace of oil, dirt, makeup, and general grimy-ness.

Surprisingly, my paranoia of not being able to fully wash my face was just all in my head as my skin felt clean every time, and I didn't get any breakouts from clogged pores or leftover dirt and oil. Maybe I'll keep using micellar water after my brows are done healing.

Here are the five micellar waters I used while my microbladed brows healed:

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Bioderma Sensibio H2o Micellar Water

Bioderma Sensibio H2o Micellar Water
Bioderma Sensibio H2o Micellar Water, available at Amazon, $14.90

Essentially the bottle that started the stateside micellar craze, Bioderma is a French drugstore staple. And that's not hyperbole — the brand claims a bottle is sold every two seconds globally. It only became available on Amazon a few years ago; I remember restocking on the travel-sized bottles when I went to Paris in 2011 because I couldn't find them anywhere else.

I've been using this brand for years even before I knew what microblading was, and it's our top overall pick for best makeup remover. While there is an oil-free version for sensitive skin and one for combination or oily skin, I use the original one with the pink lid. It works instantly to remove my cushion compact base makeup, mascara, and even long-wear lipstick.

I usually use two cotton rounds for my face — the first to do an initial pass and the second to get anything left over like eyeliner that's really close to my lash line or waterproof mascara that needs a little soaking.

There's no added fragrance so it won't irritate skin, but there is a light scent because of the cucumber extract.

Here's our full review of Bioderma Sensibio H2o Micellar Water.

Vichy Pureté Thermale One Step Micellar Cleansing Water

Vichy Pureté Thermale One Step Micellar Cleansing Water
Vichy Pureté Thermale One Step Micellar Cleansing Water, available at Amazon, $14.49

This one is much easier to find in drugstores and online, and I've gone through two bottles of this before I did my brows.

The formula is said to be made with thermal spring water to hydrate more intensely, but I didn't see a major difference between this and others I've used. I did notice that the redness on my cheeks was mitigated a bit.

This one is also more hydrating than others thanks to vitamin B5, but I still use moisturizer after cleansing — same with all the other micellar waters. Unlike Bioderma though, this one has added fragrance so it might irritate people with sensitive skin.

Son and Park Beauty Water

Son and Park Beauty Water
Son and Park Beauty Water, available at Sephora, $30

Beauty Water is pretty versatile and works as a toner and cleanser; if you've got a spray bottle, you can decant some and use as a facial spray too. I've used it both as a toner and cleanser, and like the hydration and brightening effects.

It's a much larger bottle than the others and has other ingredients besides micellar water and vitamins, like green tea for antioxidants, rose water for hydration, and witch hazel for toning. The $30 price tag sounds like a lot compared to others here, but I think it's worth the price given the additional skin-care benefits.

Dr. Jart + Dermaclear Micro Water

Dr. Jart + Dermaclear Micro Water
Dr. Jart + Dermaclear Micro Water, available at Sephora, $32

I used a travel-sized bottle of this recently in Savannah and was surprised at how well and how quickly it removed my waterproof eye makeup — which lasted through 80% humidity, so it was definitely hanging onto my skin for dear life.

I just laid a soaked cotton round on top of my eyes for a few seconds and most of the inky makeup easily lifted off my skin. I felt confident enough that I didn't need a second cotton round to finish the job, so I just used a cotton swab to get between my lashes.

This one is a little more hydrating than the rest because it has coconut water, though you'll still need moisturizer.

Yes to Cucumbers Calming Micellar Cleansing Water,

Yes to Cucumbers Calming Micellar Cleansing Water,
Yes to Cucumbers Calming Micellar Cleansing Water, available at Amazon, $8.99

This one smells super fresh, but not sickeningly so. In fact, I look forward to the light cucumber scent because it makes me feel clean — which is the main reason I'm removing my makeup in the first place, right?

This one gets rid of my makeup as quickly and as well as the others, but also does a nice job of calming down my red cheeks a bit too.

It also has a pump dispenser that I really appreciate. It draws the liquid up so all I have to do is press a cotton round on top of the bottle to dispense. With others bottle, you have to squeeze the water onto the cotton round, which isn't the most annoying thing as it's just ineffective when you're trying to get to bed faster.

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