You’ll want to add this to your makeup stash—stat!

We love buzzy international beauty products, especially ones that make their way to the States. K-Beauty sheet masks and essences have changed the skin care game, so we were eager to learn more about micellar water, the new makeup remover on U.S. shelves that French women swear by.

Unlike makeup removers and cleansers that dry out the skin, micellar water is known to be supergentle and ultrahydrating. “[It] acts as a magnet for oil, makeup residue and other impurities [and] cleanse[s] the skin without drying it out,” explains Sejal Shah, M.D., a New York City–based dermatologist and RealSelf contributor. “Because the water does not strip the skin of its natural oils, it can be used for any skin type, but it’s especially great for people with dry or sensitive skin.”

Needless to say, we had no reservations about trying the miracle water and found that it does remove makeup better than run-of-the-mill wipes.

“Saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and gently sweep the pad across your face, moving from the center, outward,” Shah tells ESSENCE.com. “To remove stubborn makeup, press a soaked cotton pad against your skin for a few moments to help dissolve the makeup before sweeping it away. If your makeup is really heavy, you may need to double-cleanse with a more traditional cleanser first and then follow with the micellar water to remove any traces of makeup and replenish hydration to the skin.”

To finally remove your makeup with confidence and cut your nighttime routine in half, try one of our micellar water picks featured in the gallery below.


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Elemis Smart Cleanse Micellar Water

Maintain your skin’s natural moisture with this cleanser (infused with English rosewater and chamomile) while its micelles (derived from apple amino acids, rosehip seed oil and Indian Soapnut) lift impurities from the skin.


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SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Detoxifying Micellar Water

This micellar water is amazing for oily skin. The formula contains bamboo charcoal, which effectively absorbs oil, and African Black Soap and shea butter, which help restore moisture.


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Philosophy Purity Made Simple Micellar Cleansing Water 

This pocket-size cleanser gets rid of makeup while leaving the skin hydrated, toned and refreshed.


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Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

If you have dry skin, opt for this formula. Its organic grape water and plant glycerin help moisturize and soften the dermis.


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Bioré Charcoal Cleansing Micellar Water

Use this charcoal-enhanced cleansing water before applying and removing makeup. The water mattifies the pores without leaving the skin feeling tight.


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Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

Frantic rubbing stops here with this magnet for dirt, oil and stubborn makeup.


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Bioderma Sensibio H20

The alcohol- and paraben-free formula is safe for daily use on sensitive skin. Its patented DAF complex soothes the skin and helps prevent irritation.



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