While I've been using a cleansing oil to remove makeup for the last 4 or 5 years, I finally realised they are not fantastic for my skin. During my recent overseas trip, I forgot to pack my cleansing oil and instead bought a cleansing gel and some other random cleansing water and used it for makeup removal for the following 3 weeks, and realised my skin was so much better. Now I'm continuing that trial and see if I can move into non cleansing oil makeup remover for a few months and see how much skin goes.
Here is a review and comparison of two cheaper makeup cleansing waters. Isa Knox is a korean brand and Kawaii Tokyo is a Japanese drugstore brand. Both are probably under 20USD for a 200ml bottle.
Comes in a white semi clear plastic bottle with flip top opening. The cleansing water is a clear watery consistency, it's definitely scented, a bit citrusy/ lemony scent.
Instruction on the bottle says recommended to use with cotton pads, saturate cotton pad with liquid, then apply to makeup and remove. Repeat until the pad comes off clean.
Here it is on cotton pad, you can see it's just like water:
Here are some usual makeup pulled from my daily makeup bag. Kiss me mascara on left (the one in the pink tube), Maquillage eyebrow wax pencil (BR shade), Lancome french touch absolue lipstick in 308, then MUFE lift concealer (I think shade 2 or 3).
With cleansing water, it works more effectively if you press the cotton pad against skin for a few seconds before wiping off (same idea as eyemakeup removers).
Unfortunately, it removes just about everything other than waterproof mascara. Kiss Me mascaras are really oil and waterproof- the only eye makeup remover I use to remove it efficiently is Lancome bifacil (reviewed earlier in March 2013). So I don't think it's really an issue- when you use a micellar water cleanser, you should really use a separate eye makeup remover for the eye area.
Overall as a makeup remover it's quite effective. However it's not completely clean and refreshed feeling, maybe due to the scent, so I always wash my face with an ordinary foaming facial cleanser afterwards.
p.s. this stings a little bit when used as an eye makeup remover.
Next up is the Isa Knox deep cleansing water. Which boasts it's a "waterproof eye and face makeup remover".
Unforuntately as the bottle is clear plastic and all the words printed on the back cannot be photographed properly. But the instructions for use is the same.
Again, clear watery consistency. There's a generic cleanser scent.
The same makeups on my other arm:
You can see it's a bit more potent than the Kawaii Tokyo cleansing water, it removes waterproof mascara fine on the back of the arm, but it doesn't really work on the eye since there's too much tugging and wiping involved and probably still some traces will remain. Again, it's stings a little bit on the eye area so I would just use a normal eye makeup remover instead.
Overall both are fairly cheap options, though with cleansing water you cant really skimp on the quantity used so you would easily go through a bottle every 2 or 3 months (together with a lot of cotton pads). It equally leaves a slight uncomfortable feeling on the face (feels a bit like you used a stickier toner), so I always follow with a foaming cleanser.
I should say my current staple micellar water is Bioderma Sensibio micellar water. It's a lot more gentle but equally effective as these two I reviewed above, and also leaves the face more supple. I shall review the Bioderma one later.