Health Skin

CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water Review: ‘I Tried It’

From Olivia Wilde to Blake Lively, and just about every leading dermatologist, it seems the whole world is obsessed with CeraVe.

That’s because the cult US brand delivers affordable, efficacious skincare time and time again: no fuss, no-frills packaging, just ceramide-rich formulas that get the job done. And of course, the latest arrival is no exception.

Adding to its ever popular collection of cleansers, which includes the Hydrating Cleanser (a personal favourite) and the Tik Tok-famous SA Smoothing Cleanser, the new Micellar Cleansing Water has been designed as the first step in your cleansing routine to remove makeup and hydrate skin, all while working in conjunction with the rest of the range.

You see, while we know that double cleansing is the foundation to any solid skincare routine, many of us (myself included) don’t always practice what we preach. In fact, studies show that 42% of us only wash our faces with water – meaning that almost half of us aren’t removing the dirt and build-up from the day, let alone reaping the benefits of a thorough cleansing routine.

What does the new CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water do?

Unlike traditional micellar waters, CeraVe’s new formula comes armed with a long list of benefits for the skin. It’s been developed with dermatologists to remove grime, pollution and makeup gently; that means without disrupting the important skin barrier (our body’s first line of defence against external aggressors and toxins), your skin’s pH and microbiome balance.

Music to the ears of anyone (like me) who suffers from irritation, dryness and skin sensitivity on a regular basis.

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‘CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water is great not only for makeup removal but also as a gentle alternative to traditional cleansers and toners, especially for those with drier skin types,’ says Dr Alexis Granite, CeraVe consultant dermatologist, who explains that it’s also been ophthalmologist-tested for those with sensitive eyes, too.

What makes the formula different?

Traditional micellar waters can be kind of well, let’s say, average. The majority will stop at removing your makeup, which is why I’ve usually avoided them in the past in favour of nourishing balms and oil-based makeup removers. However, in true CeraVe style, this micellar water does a lot in a little.

CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water with Niacinamide & Ceramides for All Skin Types 295ml



Let’s start with the ingredients: the two star ingredients here are ceramides and niacinamide, which work as a double act to keep skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. ‘Ceramides are lipids that make up 50% of our skin composition and support skin function and hydration,’ explains Dr Alexis Granite. ‘Applying ceramides to the skin helps restore our natural skin barrier and offers protection from impurities.’

Then there’s Niacinamide – a form of vitamin B3 – which is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and ability to strengthen the skin barrier.

Another USP, the brand has developed the new formula to work alongside the rest of the range or your current cleansing routine: the first step (the micellar water) working to hydrate and remove makeup; the second step targetting more specific concerns, like breakouts or oily skin.

What is micellar water and how does it work?

‘Micellar water is a specially formulated solution that contains small, suspended surfactant molecules (‘micelles’) that by nature attract dirt and oil,’ explains Dr Granite. Instead of stripping the oils from your skin, which can lead to dryness or irritation, micelles will only attract the makeup and excess sebum from the skin.

And, seeing as the micellar water is simply wiped or swept over the face rather than being rinsed off, you still benefit from the ingredient traces left on the skin too.

My verdict: putting CeraVe’s Micellar Cleansing Water to the test

I decided to test the new formula with a full face of makeup on – for me that’s mascara, lipstick and tinted moisturiser.

It took just a couple of swipes (using a reusable cotton pad) to remove my makeup entirely. Rather than tugging at my lashes and smearing the red lipstick across my face, the makeup – as promised – glided off gently and with ease.

I then followed up with my favourite Hydrating Cleanser, given that my skin is particularly dry at the moment. After double cleansing, my skin felt instantly hydrated with no tightness or irritation, and not a trace of makeup left in sight (just see the spotless towel for proof).

For me, though, the main benefit here is a glow-enhancing formula that reinforces the skin barrier over time – meaning typically dry skin feels soft, nourished and protected year-round. Big fan, as always, CeraVe.

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