bioderma sensibio h2o micellar water review

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is the most popular micellar water in the skincare world. The brand has always catered to sensitive skin, so it’s no surprise this baby was available long before other bands jumped on the micellar water bandwagon in recent years.

I admit I’m not a huge fan of micellar waters. They don’t cleanse skin as well as other types of cleansers, but then if you have sensitive skin, that’s a plus. When it comes to skincare, it’s all about what works for you and your skin type, not marketing hype and the latest fad. They can damage your skin, if they’re not suitable for you.

What makes Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar water so special to outshine all its competitors? I’ve put it to the test to find out:

About The Brand: Bioderma

Founded in 1977 in Aix en Provence, Bioderma Laboratories is a privately owned French pharmaceutical company that specialises in medication for sensitive skin and skincare conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. Their approach mixes biology with dermatology – once you understand how your skin interacts with your environment, you can create formulations that help you keep your skin healthy and supple.

Designed with dermatologists, their formulations are rarely sexy. Instead of using the latest IT ingredient, they prefer to focus on giving your skin extra moisture, repair your protective barrier, and soothe any irritations. It’s a simple approach that pays dividends in the long run.

Key Ingredients In Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water: What Makes It Work?


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 Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, 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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The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Aqua/Water/Eau: The base of this product, it’s a solvent used to dissolve other ingredients.
  • Fructooligosaccharides: A group of prebiotics with hydrating properties. They add extra moisture to your skin, helping it to stay hydrated and suppler for longer. When skin has all the moisture it needs, it looks younger, too.
  • Mannitol: A plant-derived or lab-made sugar that deeply hydrates skin, keeping it softer and suppler for longer.
  • Xylitol: A sugar that attracts and binds water to your skin, helping it to stay hydrated, softer, and suppler for longer.
  • Rhamnose: A type of sugar that’s been found to increase collagen and fight premature aging in vitro. The jury’s still out there on how well it works on real skin.
  • Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract: Made up of 95% water, it hydrates skin. It also has a few drops of antioxidants that can help you fight free radicals and slow down premature aging.
  • Propylene Glycol: A humectant, it attracts water from the air into your skin, helping to keep it hydrated for longer.
  • Cetrimonium Bromide: It’s a preservative that keeps your skincare products safe to use for longer.
  • Disodium EDTA: It neutralises the metal ions found in water that would otherwise spoil the product and make it last way less than it otherwise would.


It’s a micellar water, so it looks and feels like you’d expect water to look and feel. In other words, the texture is watery and runny. You do need a cotton pad to use it.


It’s fragrance-free. That’s a fantastic choice. I know that, for some of you, fragrance is very important. You want to use products that smell like a bouquet of roses. But, fragrance is one of the most irritating ingredients used in skincare. If you have sensitive skin and you have a negative reaction from using a product, chances are, fragrance is the culprit. This micellar water is formulated especially for sensitive skin, so Bioderma made the right call by leaving it out. Phew!

How To Use Bioderma Sensibio H20?

Using a micellar water is easier than using a traditional cleanser. Simply pour some micellar water onto a cotton pad. Cleanse your face and eyes by patting it on gently (no harsh rubbing!). No need to rinse off. This is why you can use it even on-the-go, if you’re travelling for example. So easy!

FYI, micellar waters are NOT makeup removers. Don’t use them as such! They make take off light makeup, but they’re no match for waterproof and longlasting products.


This micellar water comes in see-through bottle with a pink cap. It looks ok. It’s not luxurious packaging, but it doesn’t look cheap either. I like that you can see how much is left in the bottle. There’s not much here that would spoil when in contact with light, anyway. Plus, the bottle is practical to use. I have a travel size, as I only use micellar waters on-the-go, for when I need to cleanse my face but can’t use water, you know what I mean?

Performance & Personal Opinion

I can totally see why Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is so popular. It removes both dirt, impurities, and even makeup quickly and easily. Sure, it struggles with waterproof makeup, so if you’re wearing waterproof mascara, you’d better take your cleansing oil out and use that instead.

But, most micellar waters do a lousy jobs at removing any kind of makeup, so I was quite impressed this one gets at least half the job done. Even better, my skin never feels dry or tight afterwards.

Plus, it’s fragrance-free, so suitable for everyone, even the most sensitive of skin that tends to react badly to anything. I use it whenever my skin gets sensitive (a more and more common occurrence in the winter months *sighs*) and it never lets me down.

bioderma sensibio h2O micellar water

How Does Bioderma Sensibio H20 Compare To The Other Bioderma Micellar Waters?

ACTIVE Soothing cucumber extract. Hydrating niacinamide. Skin-lightening azelaic acid. Acne-figting zinc.
PERFORMANCE Cleanses delicate skin without irritating it. Cleanses skin and provides some extra hydration. There’s not much azelaic acid here to lighten skin. Cleanses skin and helps absorb excess oil.
SKIN TYPE Sensitive skin. Dry skin. Normal skin. Oily and acne-prone skin.

When a product is a stellar success, a brand would make different versions, each one for a different skin type or concern. If your skin is very sensitive, Bioderma Sensibio H20 is still your best bet. But if it isn’t, and you just wanted to try it to see what the hype is about, the brand may have another micellar water that’s more suitable for your skin type. Let’s find out which Bioderma Micellar Water is better for YOUR skin:

  • Bioderma Hydrabio H20 (£16.10): Very similar to Sensibio, it’s also enriched with niacinamide, a powerful ingredient that hydrates skin, soothes irritations, and helps fade away dark spots. It’s more suitable for dry and dehydrated skin. Available at Boots.
  • Bioderma Pigmentbio H20 ($11.00): Very similar to the other micellar waters, it contains a tiny drop of azelaic acid, a powerful active that fades away hyperpigmentation and dark spots. In this tiny concentration, don’t expect it to do much here. Still, it’s a cheaper alternative to the other options, so if you’re curious to try it, go ahead. Available at Sephora.
  • Bioderma Sebium H20 (£16.10): This formulation contains zinc, a powerful active that absorbs excess oil and helps treat acne. If you have oily, acne-prone skin that’s also sensitive (acne-prone skin usually is), this is made just for your skin. Available at Boots and Sephora.

What I Like About Bioderma Sensibio H20

  • Lightweight, fast-absorbing texture.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Gentle, non-irritating.
  • Cleanses skin and removes dirt and light makeup.
  • Practical, travel-friendly packaging.

What I DON’T Like About Bioderma Sensibio H20

  • If you’re wearing a lot of makeup, this won’t remove everything.
  • Micellar waters don’t cleanse skin as well as traditional cleansers do.

Who Should Use This?

Micellar waters like this are for sensitive skin that can’t tolerate a stronger cleanser. Everyone else would benefit from a stronger (but by no means harsh!) cleanser that can take off makeup much better too. I’d also recommend it as a quick on-the-go cleanser for those times when you can’t get to the sink and wash your face properly (just don’t make it a daily habit!).

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

Soothes. It’s a little hydrating, but it can’t really do anything for irritation and redness.
Prevents the risks of skin reaction. Skincare products can’t do this.
Preserves the skin’s natural balance. Yes, it’s pH balanced.
The pure, original skin soothed and freed from make-up and pollution. It removes dirt and impurities, but not makeup.

Is Bioderma Sensibio H20 Cruelty-Free?

This is what Bioderma has to say about this: We do not certify our products as ‘Cruelty free’. As required by European cosmetic regulations since 1993, our products are not tested on animals. However, some of our products contain ingredients of animal origin, such as beehive products like royal jelly or propolis from the beehive or marine plankton.”

Price & Availability

$14.90/£10.80 at Sephora

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If your skin is so sensitive that every cleanser upsets it, dries it out, or irritates it, then this is a wonderful option to consider for your skin type. If you travel a lot and you need a good on-the-go cleanser, this’ll do the job too. Everyone else, stick to a traditional cleanser. It’s more effective.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Avene Micellar Lotion ($18.00): A simpler version of Bioderma Sensibio H20, it doesn’t have any of the hydrating sugars. Instead, it contains fragrance, which could be irritating for sensitive skin. I’d only recommend it as an on-the-go cleanser. Available at Boots and Sephora.
  • La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra For Sensitive Skin ($15.99): An even simpler version of the two waters above. It’s less hydrating and contains fragrance. But it’s a nice option for on-the-go cleansing. Available at Boots and Sephora.


Aqua/Water/Eau, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Fructooligosaccharides, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cetrimonium Bromide, Disodium EDTA