Monday, July 1, 2013

Battle of the Cleansing Waters

I've never used the cult classic Bioderma but have always been intrigued by cleansing waters/toners. I am currently on the last bottle of my holy grail makeup remover--Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser. I know I can purchase it from Canadian online drugstores or Amazon for a jacked up price, but I am on the hunt for something that lives up to what it does. Two pumps of this magical water into foam product will remove every stitch of makeup on my face, including all my eye makeup. I've been able to find random bottles at close-out stores but the luck has run out. That's why I decided to look into cleansing waters. I currently own three different cleansing waters/toners and would one day like to try Bioderma. 

I want a cleansing water to be able to remove all my makeup including mascara. I also would use it for a gentle toner after washing my face in the shower or in the morning before I put on my makeup.

I put the following cleansing waters to the the test after a day of wearing sunscreen, heavy duty makeup, and Benefit's They're Real Mascara which is a pain in the ass to remove.

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water for Normal/Oily Skin: You can purchase this at Target in the U.S. I am currently using a sample size I received at a college trade show. It retails for $8.49 for 6.76 oz. This cleansing water removed all my makeup and didn't leave my skin feeling tight but it felt as though the moisture had been stripped. I didn't even try to remove my eye makeup with it because the water is heavily scented to smell like roses. I don't like when face products are heavily scented because I'm always worried it will break my face out. I would not purchase a full-size of this, but I do think it does a good job of gently removing makeup.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner: Ingrid, AKA MissGlamorazzi, instagrammed a picture of this stuff and said it was a dupe for Bioderma. Since I've never tried Bioderma I can't compare, but I really like this. It is $4.19 for a 6.7 oz. bottle and can be purchased at Target in the U.S. There is no detectable scent and it removes everything including the They're Real Mascara. The key it to soak a cotton square with the toner and hold it to the lashes for about 10 seconds before gently swiping across the eye. Again, my face felt very "neutral" after using this. It wasn't moisturized but it didn't feel tight either. My only complaint--the large opening of the bottle. If the bottle fell off my sink or vanity the toner would go everywhere. However, for such an inexpensive price I wouldn't mind that much. I would definitely repurchase this.

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water: This was a splurge for me. You can purchase this "spa water" at Sephora or I have the 3.38 oz. which put me back $13.00 or you can purchase the 10.15 oz. bottle for $39.00. The scary thing about it? I think it's worth it! It removes every inch of makeup and mascara and leaves my face feeling smooth and lightly moisturized. My face feels so clean and my acne tends to clear up faster if I use it a couple days in a row. However, I use it sparingly because I doubt I will repurchase since it's so pricey. 

I think the obvious winner for me is the Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner. It doesn't leave my face feeling as moisturized as the Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water does, but it does cost a fraction of the price.

Do you use a cleansing water or gentle toner on your face? I would love to hear your suggestions about different ones I can purchase in the US!


  1. Great post :)

    I'm excited about the boots one. I'm going to be in France in a few days and have been planning to get bioderma, since I've been wanting to try it. But I was afraid I'd fall in love and then when I ran out I'd be upset! Good to know I can get something comparable here in the US!


  2. I am jealous about you picking up Bioderma:) I've been tempted SO many times on Amazon to purchase it but I just can't justify the price.

  3. I've never tried any cleansing waters but was kindly sent the newest version of Bioderma to try last week so once I've photographed it I shall be trying it out. Yay :D

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

  4. I used a tea tree oil cleanser/toner.... it's actually amazing for me...I hate to say it but you can literally see the difference it makes on the cotton bud, all the dirt and stuff that builds up during the day is's like Superman for the skin! :-)


  5. I can't wait to read your review!

  6. Even though it's gross, I love seeing all that nasty stuff when it's removed from my face. What was the name of the toner?

  7. It's called "Tea Tree Cleanser & Toner" ... they sell it in Superdrug and Boots...pretty sure it's only £2.99 which is really good...if you try it out let me know how you found it because it might work differently for different skin types but I love it :-)

  8. I'm a total fan of cleansing waters, I've been using bioderma for years now! I'm surprised you haven't tried it since it is such a cult favourite! I also really love the Caudalie grape water it is very soothing and the scent is not obtrusive. I want to try the boots one on your recommendation now, thanks for sharing!