Thursday, 12 July 2012

If you're too broke for Bioderma ... (like me)

Now I don't know whether it is just me finally becoming more interested in skincare the last few months, but it seems like micellar solutions and cleansing waters have recently surged in popularity. Bioderma Sensibio H20 is by far the most raved about, hailed for its effective yet gentle removal of makeup, whilst bringing ineffective makeup wipes that drag the skin to shame. Available in a rather whopping 500ml it is also the best value for money.

Bioderma isn't widely available in the UK and the cheapest place to buy it is on Ebay. But due to demand and supply it is slightly overpriced at between 13 and 14 pounds. Whilst this remains the best value micellar water and isn't exactly breaking the bank, it can seem like a slightly unnecessary purchase for a cash strapped student. Especially one who is currently in the process of revamping the rest of their (frankly rubbish) skincare routine.

After trying and failing to find anything cheaper (per ml), I came across this video by Ruth from A Model Recommends, showing alternatives to Bioderma. I was excited to see her budget version, a cleansing water by Garnier. But of course, like most good things I found it to be discontinued. Feeling a bit deflated after quite an extensive search I was about to (rather grudgingly) settle for some type of cleansing milk by Garnier. But then I came across this. The Garnier Simply Essentials 2 in 1 Make-up Remover. At £2.99 for 200ml it is definitely cheaper than Bioderma and whilst it is not a complete dupe, it does have some similarities...

According to Garnier this cleanser
"combines the efficacy of a make-up removing oil (blue liquid) with the freshness of a cleansing water (clear liquid) in just one step"

As you can see from the photo, this requires shaking and mixing the two liquids together before use. This isn't necessary with micellar water, but after having a gander on Google I found out that
"a micelle is a microscopic cluster of oil molecules suspended in soft water – the clusters are hydrophobic and oil-loving, therefore grabbing and absorbing dirt and makeup without ever breaking or upsetting the skin’s natural lipid barrier like a foaming or rinsing cleanser would."

Whilst I cannot vouch for the same skin protecting properties in the Garnier cleanser, it seems that the basic method of using oil to remove makeup still applies - albeit a more basic version. So unless I'm hugely mistaken, both methods involve the same principle of 'dissolving' makeup. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

So (finally), does this product work?


  • Extremely gentle and doesn't sting the eyes at all
  • Removes most makeup quickly and removes more stubborn makeup like mascara fairly quickly as well.
  • Requires much less scrubbing compared to makeup wipes
  • Leaves skin feeling soft

  • Leaves a slight oily residue that may be bothersome for more oily skin types
  • Have to remember to shake the solution each time (but that's probably just me)
  • A lot of product spills on to the cotton pad at once, (but then again that could just be clumsy old me)

Rating: 4/5

As you can see, the last two cons are just me being picky and I really am quite pleased with the product. Also the oily residue only seems to be more prominent when using a more concentrated amount to remove eye makeup (which is what I mainly use this cleanser for), but generally leaves my combination skin feeling soft and hydrated when used all over my face. Of course, you can just rinse your face afterwards if you feel that the oily residue is too much.

Like Bioderma this cleanser has been designed with sensitive skin in mind and both are free from alcohol and fragrance. Although Garnier claims to use natural products wherever possible, I am always a bit dubious about such claims from more mainstream companies. However this doesn't really bother me too much. The ingredients in the Garnier makeup remover are below:

The ingredients list for the Bioderma Sensibio H20 can be seen here.

A few days after purchasing this, I oh so cleverly realised that another cost effective option would be the No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water for Normal / Oily Skin, when purchased using one of the '£5 off' No7 vouchers that often seem to be floating around. I kind of wish that I had thought of this prior to purchasing the Garnier one, as it is closer to being an actual dupe for the Bioderma.  However generally speaking, the Garnier makeup remover is a better budget option to have without being reliant on having a voucher. Also whilst the No7 cleansing water suits my skin type, the Garnier and Bioderma are more universal options. I will probably purchase the No7 one after I have used this one up, if I happen to have a voucher lying about.

I have to say that I agree with Ruth about there being a huge gap in the market for budget friendly cleansing waters and micellar solutions!

I apologise for the length of this post, but I just that feel quite a bit of effort went into finding a budget option and I just had to get it off my chest! I will try not to write anymore dissertation length introductions in the future, so thanks for bearing with me!

Also if you have any other recommendations for this please let me know in the comments down below!


  1. I can't use this product (darn!) I have oily skin.
    Great review though and the length of the post is totally fine!

    Chloe Polo

    1. Thanks! Yeah I know how frustrating it can be trying to find good quality products that work for you at a good price. Have you tried the No7 one though? X

    2. Btw I have just hopped over to your blog and I have to say that i love it!! :)

  2. wow I just discovered your blog and really like it. Think you have great style and am following now! Definitely a new fan! You are very inspiring
    Pop up by my page when you get a chance xoxo Tamara

  3. I know what you mean with not wanting to shake the two together! I am so lazy sometimes haha
    Verity x

  4. great review :) i'm tempted to try this out as i wanted to give the Bioderma one a go but it's just to pricey for me! I've been really into skincare over the last few months too - i think it's really important to have a good routine with good products before investing in make up! Lovely blog btw :)
    kia x

    1. Thank you so much, so glad you found it helpful x


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