July 12, 2016

How E.L.F. Micellar Cleansing Water Ended Up in My Garbage

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

E.L.F. Micellar Cleansing Water

My nearly full bottle of E.L.F. Micellar Cleansing Water ended up in my garbage within minutes of using it but let me digress for a moment and tell you a little about this new micellar cleansing water.

E.L.F. Micellar Cleansing Water is a new gentle, oil-free cleansing water (note the word gentle, it’ll come into play later on in my review) that promises to remove makeup easily without drying out skin. E.L.F.’s a little late to this show because the micellar water trend is starting to die down and cleansing balms are becoming more popular. But none the less, the beauty world still has their eye on micellar water as an easy way to remove makeup in a hurry without stripping skin. Weirdly enough, E.L.F. Hydarting Gel Melt Cleanser made an appearance before their micellar water did. So, E.L.F. definitely has their ear to the beauty trend ground but I guess they decided to launch well after the trend has come and gone!

Hey, better late then never though right? Plus we all love on E.L.F.’s cheap pricing and this micellar water isn’t badly priced at 5 oz for $7 bucks. Although if you want to be technical about it, Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser+Waterproof Makeup Remover is around the same price at over double the size.

I’m not much of a micellar water fan but lately I find I use it a lot more since I’ve been cleansing with Lush Ultra Bland. Typically I use Ultra Bland and follow up with micellar water to remove the film Ultra Bland leaves behind at times. Honestly, a washcloth soaked in hot water removes most of Ultra Bland but I still like to use micellar water after just to get any traces of it from my skin plus it preps my skin nicely for my other skincare. Micellar Water, for me, is the lazy girl’s guide to removing makeup! It’s great but I never feel fully clean when I use it. So, on a late night when I can’t be arsed to double cleanse and do the entire remove my makeup bit that’s when micellar water comes in quite handy.

But, E.L.F. Micellar Cleansing Water won’t be one I’m adding to my skincare line up!

Reading through reviews on this new micellar water was quite entertaining and although there are many poor ones most don’t mention the one biggest problem I had. One person asked the question, “Does it burn your eyes due to the alcohol?” got a reply of, “Nope!” Ok, obviously, I must be in the minority here as this is exactly the reason I tossed it. I used it once and once only and it burned my eyes to the point they were red and watering for hours after. So much for gentle!  Ahhh yeah, that’s a call for the trash can. Take into consideration it does contain alcohol which might be where the burning comes into play but let’s not forget you likely don’t want to cleanse with alcohol due to not only drying but a host of other issues that it can cause.

Does it remove makeup? Well, I can’t speak for eye makeup as I gave my eye a single swipe with it and after that couldn’t test further since it stings like crazy. It does remove most surface makeup though such as foundation, BB Cream, blush, etc…and does so surprisingly without making my skin tight or dry nor leaving behind a sticky or tacky film.

Sadly, the stinging was a huge deal breaker. Micellar waters are formulated to be gentle enough to use all over your face to remove all kinds of makeup including eye makeup. I find a cleanser I can’t use around my eyes fairly pointless. Strangely enough there is no warning about not using it on your eyes and the directions even say to swipe over eyes for makeup removal.

Personally, I’d avoid it if you have sensitive eyes (or even if you don’t). It’s just not worth the sting.

E.L.F. Micellar Cleansing Water is happily resting in peace at the bottom of my trash can.

E.L.F. Micellar Water


I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • S

    I am so in love with Bioderma. They are the only micellular water I will use. So worth the price and then some 🙂

  • Kimkats

    Saying you can use something with alcohol in it on your eyes is insanity! What was elf thinking?! I love the simple and Koh gen do micellar waters myself and often use those as my AM cleanser but anything with alcohol in it should be kept miles from your eyes….sheer stupidity by elf…

  • Francesca

    I have a huge gripe with companies that put alcohol in micellar water. It makes the product really cheap, and honestly, makes the company look lazy in my opinion.

  • Heidi

    I do love a lot of e.l.f. products, but some of the stuff they’re rolling out — like this item — seems like a cash grab. Alcohol to remove eye makeup? Really? And the price isn’t great, either.

  • Randi

    I like the Simple and i never use it alone, only have using an oil cleanser. It amazes me how much crap is still on the cotta pad after I’ve cleansed.

  • Staciek76

    I got a sample of caudale micellar water and it’s gentle but effective!

  • Bela T

    Alcohol and fructose????? Are they nuts! No wonder your eyes stung! That being said I am glad I am NOT the only one that throws products in the trash when they suck! Ha Ha And I have yet to use these “waters” to remove makeup, I do it old school, cold cream (Jergen’s 3 faces) and dove soap. Works like a charm. 🙂

  • J

    Hmmm, this is not the ingredient list for the micellar water at all… and ELF makes the list public on the website, or at least used to until it became discontinued, probably partially due to this website! I was actually looking for a review site because I tried it before they ran out of stock and love how well it has played with my extremely sensitive, acne prone skin.

    The actual ingredients: Water, PEG 6 Capric Glycerides (emollient), Dipropylene glycol (preservative), fructose (the person that was freaking over this – it’s SUGAR, which is actually GOOD for your skin by helping moisturize it), chamomile flower extract, cucumber fruit extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin e), hydrolyzed jojoba esters, propylene glycol, fragrance, diazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, disodium EDTA (all preservatives at the end)

    Yeah, it’s not all organic, but there’s no alcohol in there or anything that would upset sensitive skin unless you have a specific allergy…..

    • Isabella Muse

      this is a photo of the back of the box of the E.L.F Micellar Cleansing Water I purchased in July 2016. Why would they print the ingredients on the box that are wrong? Perhaps it’s been reformulated since that time? I doubt my review caused E.L.F. to discontinue a product. I’m glad it worked for you but the stinging and burning around my eyes wasn’t worth the hassle of using it.

      • J

        I have no doubt it was stinging your eyes if there was alcohol in it… alcohol irritates my skin too, forget about my eyes! … I am just shocked that they released any kind of product with alcohol in it, as I have never seen them put alcohol in any of their products. I have no doubt that you are telling the truth though and that it’s been reformulated since then. Evidently the eye cream was also creating a lot of complaints about stinging and they reformulated that as well. Oh well, it resulted in an awesome $2 product for me! 😉 ELF should probably get more vocal about product formula changes to prevent such circumstances from happening… they just threw a lot of money away on reformulating that product only to have to discontinue it because it became so unpopular due to the original formula. 🙁

        • Isabella Muse

          I never tried the eye cream but hopefully it didn’t also contain alcohol! That would be a horror show!