The Best Micellar Waters For Oily Skin

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Thanks to their water-light textures and oil-free formulations, micellar waters make inherently great cleansers for people with oily skin. The best micellar waters for oily skin take things a step further, though, by targeting common concerns like clogged pores and excess shine. Perfect for both quick, late-night makeup removal and more thorough double cleanses, these highly targeted cleansing waters do their job without leaving any stickiness or greasy residue behind. In other words? The five micellar waters featured in this article are a match made in heaven for oily skin.

Though micellar water technically doesn’t require rinsing, you should still wash it off anyway, or better yet, follow up with a second cleanser — especially if you’re prone to breakouts and congested pores. By double cleansing and using a micellar water first, you’ll ensure that every last trace of residue is removed from your face, which is really important if you wear makeup and skin care products on a daily basis.

Keep scrolling to find your new perfect micellar water match, then, find a face wash to pair it with via this guide to the best cleansers for oily skin. And for more oily-skin-specific products, check out these toners, primers, sunscreens, and foundations.

1. The Overall Best

Most people are familiar with Bioderma’s legendary Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, but did you know that the iconic French brand also makes a version for oily skin? Similar to their OG cleansing water, Bioderma’s Sébium H2O Micellar Water has a light-as-water feel and removes even stubborn waterproof makeup with ease. But this formula benefits from the addition of purifying minerals like zinc and copper, while ginkgo biloba, a botanical with antibacterial properties, contributes to its ability to leave your skin looking shine-free and matte. This micellar water comes in four sizes, ranging from a TSA-friendly, 3.4-ounce bottle, all the way up to a massive, 17-ounce bottle complete with a push-pump dispenser.

2. Runner Up

Also from a beloved French brand, and also designed for oily skin, La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Micellar Cleansing Water cleanses, purifies, and refreshes your skin with each swipe, all while providing grease-free hydration thanks to the glycerin in the formula. Like Bioderma’s micellar water, this one contains zinc, which is known for its purifying abilities, to help soak up excess oil and remove traces of shine.

3. Best Value

Priced at just $8 for a 13.5-ounce bottle, Garnier’s All-in-1 Mattifying SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water offers an incredible value. Similar to the first two micellar waters on this list, it removes makeup (even the waterproof stuff, though maybe a bit less effectively than Bioderma’s, in my experience), oil, and other buildup from your face while leaving behind a matte finish.

Garnier also makes a foaming micellar water cleanser for oily skin, and together, with this cleansing water, you’ve got the perfect duo for a thorough double cleanse.

4. Best For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Vichy’s micellar water is made with salicylic and lactic acids to unclog congested pores and gently exfoliate — two things that can help keep breakouts at bay. Naturally, then, this is a great micellar water for people with oily, acne-prone skin or lots of blackheads. For best results, pair it with the brand’s cleansing cream or cleansing gel to ensure nothing is left behind that might trigger a breakout.

5. Another Great Micellar Water For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

This micellar water from K-beauty brand the SAEM is made with tea tree, an antibacterial ingredient that’s often used to treat acne. It’s also rich in other, soothing botanicals that make your skin feel comfortable and refreshed after swiping the water-light fluid across your face to remove makeup. It’s safe for sensitive skin, too: as one Amazon reviewer reported, “Gentle, non irritating, fragrance free. Perfect for my sensitive and irritation prone skin. [...]”

Studies referenced:

Treatment of acne with tea tree oil (melaleuca) products: a review of efficacy, tolerability and potential modes of action, by K A Hammer;