Is Bioderma Sebium H2O The Best Micellar Water For Oily Skin?

by Gio
bioderma sebium h20 micellar water review

What, you thought the only micellar water Bioderma makes is Sensibio?

Nope, they also make Hydrabio for dry skin and Sebium for oily skin. And, surpringly, they aren’t all identical. Bioderma didn’t put the same formula in different bottles and just changed the labels, like most brands do.

Sure, there are lots of similarities between them, but there are also some small differences that make each one more suitable for a different skin type and need.

Sebium, for example, is perfect for skin types that produce a little too much extra oil. Here’s why:

What’s In Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellar Water?


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

In the case of Bioderma Sebium H2O 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.

Need help creating the best skincare routine for you oily skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Oily Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).


You’ve probably heard about Zinc Gluconate as an oral supplement that can kick acne in the butt. But does it work when topically applied to the skin, too?

We don’t know, yet. But zinc itself has a couple of anti-acne superpowers:

Let’s put this way: research hasn’t showed zinc gluconate can single-handedly get rid of acne. But it does help a little to absorb excess oil. If you have the chance to include it in your skincare routine, why not?

Related: Can Zinc Really Treat Acne?




Floral and subtle.

How To Use It

Soak a cotton pad with micellar water and gently wipe your face with it. No need to rinse off.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Created for oily skin, Bioderma Sebium H2O promises to balance oil production and cleanse skin. It does deliver on the cleansing part. Ok, it struggles with makeup (especially the waterproof kind), but it removes all other impurities.

But, what about balancing oil production? It helps, but don’t expect miracles. I did notice my oily t-zone was a little less shiny – and nope, it didn’t dry out my skin – for a few hours. But come midday, oil production went back up again.

The oilier your skin is, the faster the shine will come back. But hey, this is the best skincare products can do so far.

Oh, by the way, this one is fragranced, too. Again, it didn’t irritate my skin, but it’s something to consider if yours is super sensitive.

bioderma sebium

Who Is This For?

Oily and acne-prone skin.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Dry skin
  • It’s not a makeup remover


A practical see-through bottle with a green cap.

Does Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellar Water Live Up To Its Claims?

Cleanses without drying out the skin.True. But it only removes impurities, not makeup.
Purifies the skin and limits sebum secretion.It doesn’t purify skin, but it can slow down sebum production a little.
Offers an immediate sensation of freshness.True.
Removes make-up from face.Only if you use A LOT of products.

Price & Availability

$14.90 at Dermstore, Escentual, and Feel Unique

Do You Need It?

It’s not a must-have, but if you’re looking for a micellar water for oily skin, it’s one of the best options out there.

Dupes & Alternatives


Aqua/Water/Eau, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Citrate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Sulfate, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide, Fragrance (Parfum)



Laurie March 11, 2016 - 3:29 am

I use the Sebium on my combination skin with good results. But I haven’t noticed a scent, though. Maybe it’s formulated differently in different markets?

Gio March 11, 2016 - 3:44 pm

Laurie, mine was from the US. But, the scent is very subtle. You can’t smell it once on the skin.

Langit Amaravati September 29, 2016 - 6:11 am

Hi, Gio. I am Langit from Indonesia. Everytime I will buy skincare or makeup, I always read your blog first to find the best choice. I start to use Bioderma Hydrabio and glad to know that you write about this.

I need your advice, actually. Is it okay if I use it everyday like I use milk cleanser? Thank you.

Gio September 29, 2016 - 11:21 pm

Hi Langit, glad you find my blog helpful. 🙂

That depends. If you use it in the mornings only, yes. But in the evening, it’s just not strong enough to remove makeup and sunscreen.

Hope this helps.

Melinda June 30, 2018 - 3:47 am

Hi Gio, thanks for your useful write-ups! I have combination skin and started out with sebium at first but switched to hydrabio soon after as I found sebium a tad drying for me. Love hydrabio and have been using it for quite a while. I actually have been using it exclusively for end of day suncreen and light make up removal so was surprised to hear from you that it’s not strong enough to do so! I usually pour it on cotton pads and wipe 2-3 times till I don’t see any more residue. Would it be better if I paired it with another cleanser after?

Also, while I love hydrabio, it is quite expensive. with a number of other new brands entering the micellar water market, am wondering if there are any other brands that are just as effective as bioderma but at a more affordable price point? Have been looking at the ones from garnier and l’oreal and wondering if you have any thoughts on them (or any of the others). Thank you!

Gio July 6, 2018 - 7:56 pm

Melinda, cleansers, including micellar waters, are very basic formulas that all use the same bunch of ingredients. But none of them can cleanse as well as they claim. Sp, yes, you can switch to Garner or L’oreal but it’s still best to use another cleanser with it.


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