micellar vs. tap water | a different kind of dupe?

Placebos are not a new thing and have proven to be rather beneficial in various pharmacological applications. If you’re as highly suggestible as I am, then no doubt, placebos could produce an improvement in your ailments – you know that unshakeable feeling all your hair is falling out? Mmmm hmmm . . . . .

Well, one day recently, I pondered whether we believe too much of what we hear, see or read about beauty products. If they are so damned good, why is there (predictably) a bigger, curlier, more hydrating, ultra-natural, voluminous and shinier version of it each month? Something doesn’t quite add up.

On a whim, I decided to test my hypothesis [in a totally scientific way] by experimenting with micellar water aka the holy grails of makeup removal. They’re allegedly ultra-gentle, thorough and oh-so-beneficial for your skin. Really? Charged water can do that?

As no suitable guinea pigs presented themselves for the task, I took it upon myself to paint my arm with my ever-ready arsenal of lipstick, foundation, eye pencil and mascara to test my theory.

I used three ‘makeup removers’ – plain tap water, Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water and the infamous Bioderma Sensibio H20 Solution and the same cotton balls with the same makeup.

micellar water vs tap water
bare arm [aka the control]
bare arm [aka the control]
the war paint
the war paint

Check out the swatches and results.


cleanser 1 - before
cleanser 1 – before
cleanser 1 - after
cleanser 1 – after


cleanser 2 - before
cleanser 2 – before
cleanser 2 - after
cleanser 2 – after


cleanser 3 - before
cleanser 3 – before
cleanser 3 - after
cleanser 3 – after

I’ve deliberately left out identifying which is which to give you a chance to see for yourself how effective each ‘remover’ is. The identities of each are on a separate page – satisfy your curiosity by clicking here.

How good were your guesses?

Regardless of which is which, I think the key point here is that the results are virtually identical. I really wanted them to be different by multiple degrees of effectiveness – no doubt to justify in my mind the price paid (which, incidentally, is the sunk cost fallacy). I don’t know. . . . Am I imagining it or are we seeing the same thing?

By the way, the two things I DID learn for sure from this little experiment are:

  1. For all my disappointments with L’Oreal, I seem to have a lot of the brand’s makeup (:S)
  2. I definitely need a new mascara!

What do you think?
Worth the hype or are we being duped by all the buzz?

micellar vs. tap water | a different kind of dupe?

2 thoughts on “micellar vs. tap water | a different kind of dupe?

  1. I also did a similar blind test on micellar waters, but what I forgot to include in the experiment was the control: tap water! Duh. But I love Bioderma micellar water and I will continue find ways to justify my lover for it :-p


    1. Thanks for your comment, Kareen.
      Aren’t we funny like that? When we love something, we always find ways to keep buying it. Matte lipsticks are my weakness 🙂
      I don’t think I’ll repurchase Bioderma though – my preference is for biphase makeup removers which I find more effective in any case. I noted your experiment yielded different results to mine and while I get the science behind the micelles, I’m just not sold on it. Besides, I’m lucky, the tap water here is rather on the excellent side 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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