I firmly believe that cleansing your face is the most important step in your beauty routine. No matter the cream (or its price tag) or a miraculous serum, if your skin is clogged and not properly prepared, you can’t expect miracles. As a Korean beauty adept, I am long converted to double cleansing. I start with an oil based cleanser, and then move to my water based cleanser. But what if this is still not enough?
Recently I purchased a black Japanese mascara. It was cheap, the quality is amazing and it lasts a long time. A bit ‘too long time’ I would say. Absolutely no oil based cleanser, and even less so a water base one, can take this thing out of my lashes. My eyes are super duper sensitive, so even if a little bit of mascara stays on, I will certainly wake-up with bloodshot eyes, if I manage to open my eyes at all. Needless to say, I take my face cleansing, and make-up removal routine seriously. As you know, I am half French and I spent a considerable amount of time in France studying and working. As a good French girl, I of course adopted some French cosmetics. It’s no big secret, that the best French cosmetics are actually not in Sephora, but discreetly hidden in French Pharmacies. I have some favorite French drugstore cosmetics (some of which I reviewed here) and of course the Bioderma Crealine/ Sensibio is an all-time french classic.
But since I joined the K-Beauty community, I frantically wanted to try as much Asian cosmetics as humanly possible, and wanted my routine all-Asian. Call me a fanatic, I admit, I am a bit passionate like that. But how to replace my beloved Crealine?
Micellar water is a French well kept secret. Even my English auto-correct still doesn’t accept the word. So what really is this Micellar water? Somewhere between a cleanser, gentle make-up remover and a toner, Micellar water is best used in the morning or after carefully cleansing your face. No rinsing necessary, thus I love to use it as a ‘finishing touch’ to my face cleansing routine. Although Micellar water may be defeated by stubborn mascara, it’s a brave warrior that can do it all if you are travelling. It will gently cleanse your face, and prep’ it for your night or day cream. I am no chemist, but as far as I understood, the idea of Micellar waters is that oil molecules (called Micelles) suspended in water, will attract impurities without drying your skin. Sounds tempting, hein?
So let’s go back to K-Beauty. Although, pretty much all big French cosmetics brands would it be Garnier, Vichy or L’Oreal have some kind of Micellar water in their portfolio, Koreans, on the other hand, don’t seem to be big on the trend. Or that’s what I thought, before I discover Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Water. Dr.Jart+ micro water, is technicaly a cleansing water – but the concept, use and effecs are very similar to Micellar water. So, let me now jump in a comparison review between the Bioderman Crealine/ Sensibio (aka, the french Goddess of Micellar waters) versus Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water.
What the producer says about it:
The Bioderma Crealine/ Sensibio tag line says it is “A cleansing and make-up removing water that respects the fragility of sensitive skin”. It supposedly “combines performance and very high tolerance, cleanses and removes make-up from the face and eyes, soothes and clears up irritated skin and produces a feeling of instant freshness”. Fun fact: One bottle of Crealine/ Sensibio H2O is sold around the world every 5 seconds.
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water is “an all-in-one cleansing water that tones, brightens, and removes makeup and impurities in one step.” according to its producer. Sephora also adds that “Dermaclear Micro Water is made with 85 percent hydrogen mineral water. Hydrogen mineral water penetrates to remove all makeup and impurities while toning the skin, and is suitable for even the delicate eye area. Skin looks and feels purified, fresh, revived, and toned without tightness or dryness.”
I would say both descriptions sound similar. Both seem suitable for delicate and sensitive skin, can clean and tone the skin while giving you a feeling of freshness. Note: The Bioderma Micellar water I use and review here (also the most popular) is targeted for sensitive skin, but this water also exists for dehydrated skin, blemish prone skin etc. Find out more on Bioderma’s webiste.
The Bioderma Crealine/ Sensibio: aqua/water/eau, peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, fructooligosaccharides, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, propylene glycol, cetrimonium bromide, disodium edta. [bi 446] (from producer website).
This Micellar water has a quite short, simple list of ingredients. If you like cosmetics that are not complicated, and just old good ingredients, this product is a good match.
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water: Water, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Madecassoside, Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake), Pearl Powder, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Caprylyl Glycol.(sephora)
Dr. Jart+ definitely has put in some fancy ingredients here! Sake, Rose, Royal Jelly, Pearl…. I am amazed. Sure, in comparison, Bioderma looks poor with its plain ‘Cucumber’ ingredient.
Make-up removal battle
I put the same eyeliner, eye shadow, foundation and red lipstick on my right and left hand. The right hand is for the Bioderma Crealine and the left for Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water. I used the same type of cotton pad for both cleansers. I only swiped my hand with the soaked cotton pad 5 times for both, and dind’t let it ‘sit’.
Here is the before picture…
You can see, that although both cleansers had no problems with the eye shadow or the foundation, they both lost against the Japanese eyeliner (honestly these Japanese, hahah). Bioderma Crealine/ Sensibio also did slightly better in removing the red lipstick. Both cleanser left my skin feeling nice and fresh with no sticky residue. Note: after the experiment, I went back and swiped some more to make my hands clean – and both cleansers managed to take all the make-up off.
Size and Price:
One of the things I love about the Bioderma Micellar water is that it comes in multiple sizes, which is super convenient! It is available online in a bottle of 100 ml, 250 ml and 500 ml (I could swear I also saw it in mega 750 ml bottles in France!). While the 100 ml is a perfect travel companion, I usually go for the 500 ml because I know I use it a lot.
Sephora currently carries the Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water, but only in a 250 ml bottle. So in terms of sizes, my little Bioderma wins for now.
Also when it comes to price. Currently the Dr.Jart+ Dermaclear 250 ml bottle comes with a quite expensive price tag of 32 US$ while the same size bottle (260 ml = 8.33 fl oz) of Dermaclear on Amazon costs…. 10 US$. Yep. The Dermaclear is 3 times more expensive. Maybe in Korea it is less pricey, but for now that’s how the situation looks from the US.
Why you need Micellar water in your routine?
Although it is maybe hard to explain, but Micellar waters definitely add this je ne sais quoi, this finishing touch you can’t leave without (once you try!). I personally hate having either a dry skin after cleansing (which is by the way, a sign your cleanser may be too harsh) or worse – a slightly oily feeling. I rinse my face like thousands of times, creating always a small lake in my bathroom, but still it feels off. I feel I can’t follow up with a cream or serum, because something still sits on my face. That’s when Micellar waters jump in. They are the miracle that prepare my skin for further pampering. On the other hand, in the morning, I try to avoid washing my face all together. I avoid water under the shower, or simply don’t clean it all if I have showered the night before. But you know, gotta take all these creams, oils, and Vit C from your face so that it’s prepped for your morning routine (right?). Again, That’s when Micellar jumps in. So yes, I can’t leave without them.
While Bioderma water claims to be able to remove water resistant make-up, I would say this is only partly true. Sure, if you put a soaked cotton ball on your eyelids for an extended period of time, no mascara will survive. But for a casual user, I wouldn’t leave my eye make-up removal to Micellar water alone. But this is also true for the Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water. The Dermaclear and the Bioderma have similar purposes and effects. The Dermaclear definitely has more fancy ingredients, I mean I am a fan of all things fermented and this water contains Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake) – did someone think about pricey cousin SK-II?
As a long time user of Bioderma, I am quite attached to this product. It never deceived me, it’s cheap, it’s convenient and it works. Maybe the long term effects of Dr. Jart+ are better (the list of ingredients definitely is more appealing), but I won’t probably discover it as I plan to stay faithful to my french Micellar water for now.
Do you know other Micellar water type of products from Korean brands? any favorite?