Avene Micellar Lotion review

Micellar cleansing waters have been all the rage both in Italy and UK for a long while, but I had to go all the way to Romania to try my first one. It happened last month, when I I went to visit my good friend Tavia of Chic Profile (if you aren’t already following her, do so now to be up-to-date with all the latest beauty news) in Bucharest.

There, we attended the Makeup Secret Santa event organized by Ana Maria of Beauty Barometer, and came home with more goodie bags than we could carry (thanks Ana)! Among the gifts was the Avene Micellar Lotion.

Why hadn’t I tried it before?

1. I don’t like the idea of using something I don’t rinse off to remove my makeup.

2. These days, I’m obsessed with oil-based cleansers.

3. Micellar cleansing waters are good, but not this amazing, revolutionary invention the press makes them out to be, so why stray from my beloved aforementioned oil-based cleansers?

But, when something lands on my lap, there’s just no excuse for me not to try it. So, did I change my mind about micellar cleansing waters?

Yes and no. Here’s what I mean:

What’s In Avene Micellar Lotion?


Micellar cleansing waters are basically soapy water. They are made up mostly of water (obviously!) and one or more surfactants.

In the case of Avene Micellar Lotion, this is PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides. It’s a mixture of mono-, di-, and tri- glycerides of caprylic and capric acids mixed with ethylene glycol used to carry oils into water-based systems.

Here’s how it works. Surfactants have two ends (or a head and a tail). The head is hydroliphic (attracts water and repels oils), while the end is lipoliphic (attracts oils and repels water). Oils and waters, like you probably know if you’ve tried to wash a greasy plate with water alone, don’t mix.

When enough surfactant is added to water, its molecules assemble into little groups called micelles. Their arrangement, though, isn’t random. The hydroliphic, water-loving heads are pointed outwards, towards the water, while the lipoliphic, water-hating tails face inwards, well away from it.

Enter cotton. Like the surfactants’ heads, cotton loves water too. So, when micellar water is poured onto cotton, the water-loving heads are instantly attracted to it.

They firmly stick to the cotton, while the oil-loving tails are now pointing outwards, towards your face.When you massage the cotton onto your face, the tails are able to dissolve the oils in your makeup and the excess sebum on your skin.

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Lightweight and fast-absorbing.


Light and fresh.

How To Use It

Apply with a cotton pad on face, eyes, and lips. Don’t rinse off.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Here’s the deal: there’s only so much grease micellar waters can remove. That’s why you need to use quite a lot of product and several cotton pads to take all your makeup off with a micellar water. Yes, that includes Avene Micellar Lotion, too.

I tried using it as a makeup remover, just to test Avene’s claim that it can be used that way, too. But, as I suspected, it did a crappy job. After the first cotton pad, my mascara and half my foundation were still comfortably hanging onto my lashes and skin. It took too much product, effort, and time than I care to spend to take everything off.

But I still recommend it. Avene Micellar Lotion, I mean. Just not as a makeup remover. Instead, it’s a great morning cleanser for lazy girls (ahem….) and women on-the-go. In the morning, our faces are pretty clean. We still haven’t put on makeup and sunscreen so there isn’t much to remove (unless you slept with your full face on, but I’m sure you know better than that, right?).

I just pour some lotion on the cotton pad, cleanse my skin, and follow up with moisturizer (I don’t do toners). It’s a lazy girl’s dream, and it’s ideal for when you’re late and want to cut your morning routine short. As long as you’re not trying to remove makeup, especially the waterproof kind, Avene Micellar Lotion cleanses your face well enough.

And without irritating your skin, which is really important, especially when the product, like this one, is formulated for sensitive skin.

Related: How To Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type?

avene micellar lotion

Who Is This For?

  • Lazy girls who don’t want to spend lots of time cleansing in the morning
  • Anyone who needs to cleanse on the go without rinsing off

Who Is This Not For?

  • Anyone who needs a makeup remover
  • Oily skin


Simple, see-through bottle. Nothing special.

Does Avene Micellar Lotion Live Up To Its Claims?

Removes impurities and make-up. It removes impurities, but not make-up well.
Your skin is clean, soft and soothed. Yes.
Enriched with hydrating ingredients to nourish and care for the skin. It’s just a little bit hydrating. You still need moisturiser afterwards.
Avène Thermal Spring Water, soothing, softening and provides your skin with an instant feeling of comfort. True.

Price & Availability

$18.00/£12.50 at Dermstore and Escentual

Do You Need It?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you need an on-the-go cleanser that does the job quickly without rinsing off, Avene Micellar Lotion is a good option to consider. But if you’re looking for a gentle makeup remover, this isn’t it.

Dupes & Alternatives


Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Pentylene Glycol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Cetrimonium Bromide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sclerotium Gum, Sodium Chloride.