I distinctly remember the day that I discovered micellar waters. The one in question was a specific, quite famous brand that I won’t mention by name (cough cough
Bioderma cough). It was years ago, when I was in London, and as all wonderful/terrible beauty discoveries begin, I read about it in Goop.
Suddenly, I’m in Paris (these were the days before French pharmacy beauty hitting our shelves), and I buy a small bottle, and ermegerd my life is changed. It was the moment I realized I had never successfully taken off my makeup at night. Gross.
Since that fateful day, micellar waters have become a staple in my beauty routine. Those mornings when I’m feeling too lazy to wash my face? Yank out the micellar water. Eye makeup not off properly? A quick swipe of the micellar water on a cotton pad, done and dusted.
Sounds all good, right? What the heck am I making a whole post about this for?
Well, the truth that this aforementioned brand is not cruelty-free came barreling down on me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly, ethics came up against ‘beauty that actually works’ in one giant conundrum, something I’ve discussed before in my cult-beauty swaps post.
So, I tried one or two cruelty-free options, but none worked like my beautiful French pharmacy brand. And then, I admit it, I went back and bought another bottle, tail tucked firmly between my legs.
However, it’s now
2018 (2019 now, UGH TIME I’M OLD). This year, one of my big goals is to adopt a completely cruelty-free beauty/makeup routine by December. And I’m determined to make this right.
Enter in: another beauty roundup. Similar to my Best Cruelty-Free Eye Creams post, this is the Go-To List for those of you, like me, working hard to be ‘Cruelty-Free in
2018 2019.’ (This needs to be a hashtag or something).
I’ve searched high and low for the best cruelty-free micellar waters for every budget, all with great reviews and more cleansing than toning.
Here we go…
The Best Cruelty-Free Cleansing Micellar Waters
1. PACIFICA KALE WATER | There are a few Pacifica micellar waters, and truth be told, I had no clue which one to put on this list. However, after doing a little digging, I’ve found the Kale Water to have the best reviews and least amount of complaints of stinging. Ouch. A great budget-friendly option — and the beautiful packaging doesn’t heart, either — and probably the one I’ll try out next.
2. IT COSMETICS MIRACLE WATER | More than just a cleansing solution, IT Cosmetic’s version also has skin improving aspects to it. Think a multitasking toner, skin improver, and cleanser in one. This thing has reviews like “The texture of my skin has improved dramatically; smaller pores, smoother, and just an overall glow.” That’s just one, of many. If you’re just looking for a quick makeup remover, you’re better off sticking to one of the cheaper options here (it’s $38). But if you need a multitasking, skin-improving wonder? The pick of the bunch.
3. ONE OVER ONE MICELLAR CLEANSING WATER | I just discovered this brand from putting together this post. And I have to say — I’m so happy I did. I am a sucker for natural beauty brands in luxe, minimal packaging. It makes me feel like I live inside a blogger flatlay, even on days when my beauty cabinet is anything but coordinated. This will be the micellar water I buy on my next payday (whenever THAT will be, sigh).
. BOTANICS CLEANSING SOLUTION | I am not going to lie: in the UK, I judged this Boots offshoot brand hardcore. Namely because you could only ever find it in the corner of boots, gathering dust, looking sad. But here, in the US, Botanics is revitalized, seen as an affordable, beautiful natural beauty brand. This cleansing solution is an absolute bargain at $4.80, enough so that I’ve already nabbed a bottle. Beauty for less than a fiver? SOLD.
2019 Update: I tried this one, and didn’t end up loving it. It’s fine for a quick cleanse, but it really doesn’t ‘get in there’ the way Bioderma does.
5. EMBRYOLISSE LOTION MICELLAIRE | Embryolisse is one of my favorite of the ‘French Pharmacy’ brands out there. Their Radiant Eye cream is something of a cult hit, one I tried back in London and loved. They don’t get the same love as other French pharmacy brands, but considering they are one of the few cruelty-free ones out there, they deserve to be loved. Plus, anything that makes me feel any semblance of ‘French’ and ‘chic is a win in my book.
6. BY TERRY MICELLAR WATER CLEANSER | 2019 Update: By Terry is no longer cruelty free (SOB). So, instead, please see the micellar ‘water’ I am currently using, that are just amazing: the Omorovicza Peachy Micellar Cleansers. You can now see why I put water in quotes: these little pre-soaked rounds are the perfect texture for a morning cleanse. Plus, they really do remove all the makeup. I would absolutely purchase this again, for life, if it came in a water rather than pre-soaked rounds (eco-friendly and all).
7. ELEMIS SMART CLEANSE MICELLAR WATER | Elemis was a brand I knew well back in London, and I’m so happy to know they’ve made it to America’s beauty shelves. I will pretty much buy anything they make. Excited to add this cleansing water to my beauty routine!
8. KOH GEN DO CLEANSING SPA WATER | Now, I pretty much assume very Asian-based beauty brand is not cruelty-free, just by pure association of selling in China. Imagine how surprised I was to learn that this beaut — consistently listed as one of the best micellar waters on the market — is, indeed, cruelty-free. Beauty lovers, rejoice!
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