This fairly new player in the beauty industry is making waves, and not just because it's a water product (ha ha ha).
If you've yet to jump on this beauty bandwagon, Cleansing Waters are a makeup remover and toner all in one. To use, all you do is dampen a cotton pad and swipe it all over your face, effectively removing any makeup or leftover oils or dirt on the skin. Plus, it also both cleanses and tones your skin, without any need to rinse it off afterwards.
Sounds pretty genius, right?
From my experience, French brand Bioderma was the first to release a Micellar Cleansing Water product and it's one that I've been using for a good year now. But it's quite pricey (think around $30 for a medium-sized bottle!) so when Garnier released their own wallet-friendly version, I was keen to compare the two.
So let's start off with the basics...
At Priceline, a 250ml bottle of Bioderma Sensibio is super expensive at $29.99, while you can get a 400ml bottle of Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for $11.99. However you can also buy Bioderma in small 100ml and value-sized 500ml bottles for $19.99 and $39.99 respectively, while the Garnier only comes in one size.
The bottle opening on the Garnier is flat - imagine a hole in the middle of a circle - so when you try to pour it, it tends to spill, wasting product. In the past I have had the lids of the Bioderma bottles snap off, but the fact that you can get three different sizes of the Bioderma (I love the 100ml for travelling) more than makes up for it.
Garnier only offers one product, which is a do-it-all product. But I like that the Bioderma range has three different types formulated for skin type. In this review we're looking at the Sensibio variety, which is made for sensitive skin like mine.
Bioderma is only available at Priceline and selected chemists, while you can find the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water at pretty much any Garnier stockist, including supermarkets. It's definitely more easy to access!
Now that's we've covered the basics, let's compare how effective they both are. Below you can see I've got on a full face of makeup, complete with a cream shadow-based smoky eye including liquid liner and mascara, and a strong matte lip. This look would be a task to take off for any makeup remover!
For this comparative review, I'm going to remove half a face of makeup with Bioderma, and remove the other half with the Garnier. That way we can directly compare the two. So let's get removing!
Side by side, it's pretty obvious that the Bioderma did a better job at removing my eye makeup. The Garnier did well taking off my mascara (which by the way, is a tubing mascara) as you can see from the cotton pad, but it left a lot of my liquid eyeliner on, as well as mascara flakes on my skin. The Bioderma left no makeup behind! It's worth mentioning however that even though I wore contact lenses for this review, neither of the two cleansing waters irritated my eyes, which was great!
For this review I wore the most pigmented, long-lasting lipstick I own - Lime Crime's Velvetine in Red Velvet. This stuff stays put! Both cleansing waters still left some product on my lips, so it looked like my lips were stained red, but both managed to remove the bulk of the Velvetine. However the Garnier took a lot of hard 'wiping' to get the lipstick off, as you can see on the cotton pad! The Bioderma managed to remove its side in one swipe.
Both products took three cotton pads-worth of applications to fully remove all traces of my makeup, but as you can tell from the image below, I really had to wipe hard on my skin when using the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. A motion that isn't really great for your skin in the long run!
But as you can see below, both cleansing waters still did a good job at removing my makeup and cleansing my skin. Neither irritated my skin or left it red, and my face felt refreshed, tightened and smooth on both sides.
And the winner is...
While the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is great if you're on a budget, it still doesn't quite measure up to Bioderma's Sensibio. Bioderma is gentle, has no scent, leaves my skin clean from makeup and it doesn't dry out my sensitive skin. If I have a late night and don't have time to do a full skincare routine, just removing my makeup with this is enough as it simultaneously tones while it cleanses. Even though it's pretty exxy, the medium size bottle lasts me around two-three months and you can sometimes catch the whole range on sale at Priceline for 40% off.
So which team are you on? Bioderma or Garnier? Let me know in the comments below!