Micellar Waters are popping up all over the shelves and for good reason. They’re super convenient and efficient waterless cleansers – so not only are they great for everyday life but also ideal during our current water crisis.

How do they work?

Micelles are made up of a hydrophilic (water loving) head and a lipophilic (lipid or fat loving) chain or tail. When it is applied to the skin, the lipid loving chains catch impurities like a magnet, including makeup, excess sebum, pollution particles and more. These are fixed to the cotton pad and thrown away.

The best part? It cleanses without causing irritation, making it ideal for all skin types.

When it comes to waterless cleansers I personally prefer micellar water over cleansing wipes. I find I get more cleanses from a bottle than a pack of wipes, so better value for money.

They’re obviously fantastic with the Cape Town drought but they are also helluva useful when you’re travelling, for a quick and easy cleanse in the morning, and as a second cleanse at night (I always double cleanse in the evenings to ensure I get it all off).

Note: Remember to throw cotton pads in the bin, not in the toilet. Most are not flushable.

So which one should you choose? Here are five of my favourites:

Bioderma Makeup Removing Micelle Solution

R319,95 for 500ml, select pharmacies

Bioderma Micellar Water 9Lives

I have always been a huge fan of the Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution. I love that it has been formulated for sensitive skin so it is gentle but still removes makeup and daily dirt like a dream. It is fragrance-free and super gentle, cleansing without stripping moisture. I’m also thrilled that they’ve recently launched their 500ml size, which will stretch your cash a bit further.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

R79,95 for 400ml, Clicks and Leading Retailers

Garnier Micellar Water 9Lives

This is a fantastic, budget friendly option. Formulated without perfume, it is super gentle on sensitive skin and can remove makeup from your face, eyes and lips in a jiffy. I had to use a bit more product to effectively remove my makeup and my skin felt slightly tight directly after cleansing, but that went away completely after applying moisturiser. All in all I think it’s brilliant.

Nivea Perfect & Radiant 3 in 1 Cleansing Water

R99,95 for 400ml, Clicks and Leading Retailers

Nivea Micellar Water 9Lives

Nivea recently launched their cleansing water, which cleanses, removes makeup and refreshes while caring for the skin with Vitamin E. It is fragranced so it might not be ideal for super sensitive skins, although I didn’t have any trouble – not even when removing mascara.

Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Micellar Water

R330 for 400ml, select pharmacies

Avene Micellar Water 9Lives

This Micellar Water from French beauty brand Avène is a really aesthetically pleasing cleanser with a fresh, floral scent (the French love fragranced skincare). Despite adding perfume, they promise a hypoallergenic formulation that will cleanse without causing irritation. They’ve also included Monolaurin, a component of coconut oil that is known for its antibacterial properties. I really enjoyed using it, and found it super effective.

Can you recommend a great micellar water? Pop it in the comments below and share your thoughts with the 9Lives community.


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.

1 Comment

  1. Beverley Ann Swanepoel Reply

    Wow I love the Gaenier one Liezel as its not too expensive and is excellent for my sensitive skin 😅

    Just another thank you i have received my Builders voucher. Thank you so much.

    Lpts of love


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