I have loved micellar water since my mother first brought me back a bottle from France. The fresh feeling of sweeping a soaked cotton pad over your skin and having it come away covered in makeup is both gruesome and gratifying. My micellar water of choice has always been Bioderma, for I had no notion of other brands doing micellar waters. When I am in a bit of a rush (read: lazy) I like using micellar water to remove makeup before I go to town with a proper cleanse. Like the Origins cleansing oil, or the Clarins cleansing cream.
Since the massive success of the Bioderma Crealine H2O other brands have followed in the French pharmacy footsteps. A good example being La Roche Posay, who do a good micellar water for troubled skin, but that is just a little too harsh on my sensitive dehydrated skin. L'Oreal has also tried their hand at a micellar water and they have come up with the Skin Perfection Skin Purifying 3 in 1 Micellar Solution (the Dutch range is titled differently, but it's the same product).
The triple threat solution is supposed to cleanse, remove makeup and tone and sooth the skin. I'm already disagreeing with one of the points because I believe a micellar water should not be used a cleanser. It is essentially a makeup remover and doesn't have any other added things to aid your skin. Something a regular cleanser does have.
But does it do it's job as a makeup remover and does it compare to the much loved Bioderma? Texture-wise they're exactly the same. The product feels just like water on the skin. Both Bioderma and L'Oreal feel fresh and the skin is left feeling soothed and clean, albeit a little stripped. (This stripped feeling dissipates within a minute, and has mostly to do with the condition of my skin. My oily skinned friend tried this as well and has not experienced the same feeling.)
I require two to three soaked cotton pads to dissolve all of my makeup, whereas Bioderma only requires a maximum of two before coming away clean. I've tested it on two different types of makeup. A long lasting foundation and a thin layer of BB cream, both with minimal eye makeup. It does not have the power to remove my waterproof mascara, but neither did the Bioderma, so I'll keep using a separate eye makeup remover for that. I don't have any redness in my skin after using the micellar solution. My skin feels and looks clean and fresh, and completely ready to have my cleanser do its job deep into my skin.
Packaging wise I like the way it looks. The plastic bottle has sharp angles and looks sleek on your bathroom shelf, whereas the large Bioderma bottle can be a little bulky. However, the wide cap on the L'Oreal is a little tricky to use and it spills some product when distributing. A bit of a waste. I feel like is can be improved.
Overall the 3 in 1 micellar solution from L'Oreal is extremely similar to Bioderma and a good alternative, but it's not the same. The pioneering pharmacy must-have still comes out as a winner during this showdown. Although when you take into consideration availability and pricing, L'Oreal scores a touchdown. Available in all drugstores for a whopping €5,75 for 200ml bottle. Bioderma is easily found in France but is difficult to find outside of that country. (Some UK stores have started stocking it for shockingly high prices). If you do a little math it comes down to the L'Oreal micellar water being cheaper by the 100ml.
If you're just getting into the micellar water business, this is a great option. But if you're a loyal Bioderma user like me, you will in the end pick the trusty round bottle with the pink cap.