Micelle Cleansers Decoded {spotlight: Bioderma Micelle Solution}

Gosh, I love the skincare industry! I get so excited when I discover cool, new technology and because I’m the Beauty Nerd, backed by a chemistry degree and all (note I’m being facetious), I thrive on any opportunity to geek out on novel skincare technologies. Such is the case with the new cleanser I’ve been using – Bioderma’s Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution for sensitive skin.

If you have sensitive skin, it is preferable that you do not use a facial cleanser with surfactants which can be irritating. To figure out whether you have surfactants in your cleanser, look for any ingredient with sulphates such as sodium lauryl sulphate or triethanolamine lauryl sulphate. The easiest way to determine whether your cleanser has surfactants is to see if they foam. If they do, it most certainly has some sort of a surfactant which can be irritating for a sensitive skin individual.

Now you may ask, can a cleanser actually do a good job of cleaning if it doesn’t foam? The answer is yes! We are psychologically programmed to believe that cleansers are only effective when they foam, but note that this is purely psychological! In fact, cleansers with micelle technology does a pretty darn good job of emulsifying impurities. What are micelles you ask? Well here’s a quick little Chemistry 101 for ya. Micelles are a cluster of molecules that have hydrophilic heads (water-loving) and hydrophobic tails (water-hating). See illustration on the left. When applied to the skin, the micelle opens up, the hydrophobic tails attract all the dirt and debris and then whisks it away. The skin is thereby effectively cleansed without any dryness or irritation.

With micelle cleansers, all you have to do is soak a cotton pad with a bit of the solution, and gently wipe off any makeup on eyes and face. The Bioderma formula is also fragrance-free and can even remove water-resistant makeup. Given that my skin has become rather sensitive lately, I am loving the non-foaming cleansers. The Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution is especially gentle. I do find that it takes a little longer to remove my mascara compared to my regular eye makeup removers, but it still does a sufficient job dissolving my makeup. And the fact that it’s soothing to my skin, makes it all worthwhile.

Have you tried any of the micelle cleansers? Do you like them? If so, which brands?


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  • http://www.beauty-reflections.com Tracy@Beauty Reflections

    I love these micellar cleansers and use them all the time because my skin is so touchy with cleansing. Bioderma is my favourite one! It never stings my eyes. The Vichy one is ok too. I want to try La Roche Posay too.

    • Connie

      Ahh the La Roche Posay one is definitely next on my list. That’s a great brand for sensitive skin! I want to try the Avene one too – have you tested that one?

  • Isa

    This is the only Micellar Cleanser that I have found that does not have fragrance and that is actually effective at removing makeup. And I’m afraid La Roche Posay is not a great brand for sensitive skin. A lot of their products have fragrance and alcohol (i.e. most of their sunscreens). They have a few good products, but if you have sensitive skin (I do) you need to inform yourself and look carefully at the ingredients, no matter the brand or the advertising they do.

    • Connie

      Hi Isa! That’s good to know! Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely take a perusal through their ingredient lists before I make any purchases :)

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  • BewilderedBug

    Hi Connie!  I finally made it over to your blog – I’ve been using Bioderma for a few months now, but will be moving to the UK where it is not readily available.  I was wondering if you knew anything about the Avene micellular cleansers and how they compare?  I’ve seen these in Boots around the UK.  

    I believe both Bioderma and Avene are gluten free brands as well (as far as I’ve heard anyways) and was wondering also if you knew anything about that?

    • Connie

      So glad you’re finally able to make it over!  Unfortunately, I have not tested out the Avene micellular cleansers yet, so I won’t be able to offer personal advice.  I’ve heard that some people love it but others felt it didn’t clean makeup off quite as effectively and left an oily residue on their skin.  I think you should give it a try to see if it works for you – especially if there are no other options in the UK.  What brings you over to the UK, btw?  That’s a big move!
      As far as being gluten-free, I haven’t heard that, but it’s best to check with the brands themselves.  I’m sure most of the products do not contain gluten type ingredients, but if you have a gluten allergy, you would want to make sure their manufacturing facilities are gluten-free as well.  This is to ensure that if the facilities have manufactured a line with gluten ingredients prior to running their own, proper sanitation protocols were put in place to ensure no cross contamination. Hope that helps!!