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Review & Comparison: Bioderma’s Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution & Ultraceutical’s Ultra B2 Micellar Solution

Micellar water is a hit these days because it does a wonderful job at attracting oil and dirt! And they are just so so easy to use – pour out a little on a cotton round, wipe it over your face a few time and voila! They are also for the most part, gentle. Cleansing is actually one of the most ‘upsetting’ things we can do to the skin, because we remove most of the protective lipid barrier which is naturally occurring and which we also need for our skin to defend itself from external stressors. Not utilising water for cleansing can actually thus be gentler, because warm water can help break up this barrier. Add water and ‘harsh’ surfactants like sls (sodium lauryl sulfate) and you end up with painfully dry and irritated skin. A lot of the micellar waters utilise mild surfactants, which can be left on the skin and don’t need to be rinsed off. Whether you are a fan of rinsing micellar waters from the skin is a personal choice however, I don’t feel like I need to rinse but some don’t like the thought of micellar particles (which attract dirt and oil) being left on the skin. Some things are just habit for some! 😉 I also don’t use micellar water primarily as a makeup remover. I find that to use it as a makeup remover, you have to use sooo much product and soooo many cotton rounds, to get everything off, that it’s a little bit of a waste (hello, oil makeup removers!). It is a very gentle eye makeup remover however, so in this comparison, I used the micellar waters in two ways; 1) as a morning cleanser (which is what I use micellar waters for day to day) to get any additional oils, dirt or dead skin cells accumulated from the night, off my skin and 2) as a gentle eye makeup remover.

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Let’s start with the brand which brought Micellar water to the world – Bioderma! Hydrabio is for sensitive and dehydrated skin, while the ‘original’ pink capped micellar water (Sensibio) is for sensitised skin. There’s also a green cap version for oil skins (Sebium). I haven’t tried the micellar water designed for oily skin (because oiliness isn’t my biggest issue these days). but I choose the Hydrabio over Sensibio because anything that is supposed to put moisture back into the skin is plus in my books (moisturised skin will cover a multitude of sins!). So does it?

Hydrabio H2O is the 1st and only dermatological micellar water perfectly compatible with the skin. Its fatty acid esters, the constituent elements of micelles, are similar to the phospholipids of the skin cell membranes and naturally help rebuild the skin’s hydrolipidic film. Thus, Hydrabio H2O guarantees unrivalled tolerance and comfort for optimum make-up removing efficacy. Moreover, its Aquagenium exclusive biological patent retrains the skin to activate its natural moisturising capacities by stimulating the production of aquaporins, water channels in the skin, and retain the water it needs to be balanced.

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Firstly, Hydrabio is fragranced whilst Sensibio is not. I don’t mind this, but very sensitive skin might. To me it’s quite a ‘fresh’ scent – not in an essential oil kinda way (i.e. lime or orange essential oil) but more like freshly pressed cotton or laundry. I quite like it and it doesn’t linger on the skin for to long. Two cotton rounds is all I need in the morning to cleanse the skin. The first cotton round soaked in the micellar solution, picks up all the grime (which you can see) while the second is just for good measure, to make sure I haven’t missed anything. My skin feels clean afterwards, is ‘lightly’ hydrated and only the slightest bit of residue remains on the skin (which again, I’m not to fussed about because my skin feels so clean). When it comes to makeup removal, It does a good job – mascara removal is the biggest test for me and I’d say 80% of mascara is removed from each eye using one soaked cotton round each. I gather because it’s gentle, it’s not going to work quite as well as a dedicated ‘hard core’ makeup remover.

Hydrabio also contains some great ingredients!

AQUA/WATER/EAU, GLYCERIN, PEG-6 CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC GLYCERIDES, POLYSORBATE 20, MANNITOL, XYLITOL, RHAMNOSE, FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, NIACINAMIDE, CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT, PYRUS MALUS (APPLE) FRUIT EXTRACT, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, PROPYLENEGLYCOL, HEXYLDECANOL, DISODIUM EDTA, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, CITRIC ACID, CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM). [BI 546V1].

Niacinamide (vitamin B3), glycerin, apple & cucumber extracts, hydrate and soothe skin. A combination of Niacinamide (vitamin B3) an Provitamin B5 – called ‘B2 technology’ is the star ingredient in Ultraceutical’s Ultra B2 Micellar Solution. This is Ultraceutical’s first micellar water and I can say, it does a fine job!

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This no-rinse micellar solution thoroughly cleanses to remove impurities and make-up on the face, lips and eyes. The ‘micelles’ act as a gentle magnet to capture dirt, excess sebum and make-up without stripping the skin. Featuring Ultraceuticals B2 Technology (Vitamin B3 and Provitamin B5) to help hydrate, and Cucumber Extract to refresh the skin. Paraben free. Soap free. Alcohol free.

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The Ultra B2 Micellar Solution has the slightest scent of cucumber. While the description doesn’t mention that it is ‘fragrance free’, it has no specific fragrance listed in the ingredients list either, so imagine it’s from the cucumber extract. This makes it great for sensitive skin compared to the Hydrabio. The ingredient list is also shorter (so the less chance of irritants sneaking in) and has more ‘soothing’ and calming ingredients like allantoin and panthenol. It also contains ‘popular’ ingredients like glycerin (humectant) and cucumber extract as mentioned. This micellar water leaves less residue on the skin, but I do feel that the micelles are also gentler, so you use a touch more product than other micellar waters (including Hydrabio). It doesn’t dry out my skin and does leave it lightly hydrated. Not washing off the remaining residue also means that the ingredients like niacinamide, have a chance to work their magic. It works just as well as Hydrbio when it comes to removing eye makeup though, it may even be a touch better which I didn’t expect (I’d say it removes around 85-90% of eye makeup).

Ingredients for Ultraceutical’s Ultra B2 Micellar Solution:

Aqua, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Poloxamer 184, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Propanediol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Glycerin, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Allantoin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide.

The Ultraceutical’s Ultra B2 Micellar Solution comes in at $39 for 200ml, while Hydrabio costs $32 for 250ml.  The Hydrabio is therefore a little more economical than Ultraceutical’s offering, however the Ultraceutical’s offering is gentler and just as hydrating. I like both, but will probably only purchase the Ultra B2 Micellar Solution from time to time, when I am purchasing the Ultraceutical’s Even Skintone Serum (a staple of mine) from their website. Speaking of, I have a bit of customer service rant regarding my last Ultraceutical order….

So I put in an order for my Even Skintone Serum and picked up the Ultra B2 Micellar Solution primarily because they were having a promotion – buy two products, one product from their ‘treat’ range (which the Even Skintone Serum falls under) and you get a free eye cream! There was no way to put the eye cream into my shopping basket and it didn’t appear automatically, so after my purchase was finalised, I sent them an email querying this. Ultraceutical’s usually respond to emails very quickly (within 2 business days) but not this time. A week passed, then two… As my order had still not been sent either, I sent them another email. I finally received a response but only in regards to the promotion. A lady wrote that I did not qualify for the eye cream because I also needed to purchase a sunscreen. What the?! I even have the promo image on my computer and there is no mention of the sunscreen either in the promo image or the email which notified me of the promo. So I replied again, stating this and also asking when my order would be sent out. No reply. So I sent them an email via their website contact form. After a good few days later, I called them instead. I would have mentioned how disappointed I was in both the promo and the lack of replies to my emails, except that I think the lady who had been ‘responding’ to me, also answered the phone and I was to timid to bring it up (awkward...), so I only asked about when my order would ship. She did some digging and said it would be sent that afternoon. I have a feeling it just fell between the cracks and was sitting in the warehouse, which is fine, mistakes happen, but no ‘sorry it’s taken so long’ or no explanation for why this was. I feel they really dropped the ball on this one. They have another email you can contact them on (I wrote to the sales team I believe) but I don’t know if it would go to someone else or if it would get answered now, so I only have the internet to rant about it lol I’ll continue purchasing from them because it was a one off (I hope) and I looove their products, but I needed to get it off my chest 😉

Do you love micellar waters beauties? How do you use them? Let me know and I hope this post was helpful! 🙂

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee

Published inReviewsSkincare 101

3 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Jensen Elizabeth Jensen

    Yes I do but only a cheaper garnier one. Interested in your thoughts on the even tone serum though. I bought one from their MD range but wondered if there is a difference with regular range and what??

    • beautybee beautybee

      Hi Elizabeth! 🙂 Oh yes, I have a mini bottle of the Garnier Micellar Water which I use for travel! I don’t mind that one at all. If anything, the Bioderma and Ultraceutical’s offering, have a few more ‘hard working’ ingredients which probably only really matter if you are using the product daily for cleansing (more so than makeup removal).

      Is the MD serum called the Ultimate Brightening Serum? I can’t find the full ingredient list online, but it seems to also contain AHAs/BHAs and niacinamide, just like the Even Skintone serum. Perhaps it’s just a touch more concentrated, so higher levels of AHAs/BHAs (not that they list the concentration percentage in the ingredients list). It could be more similar to the Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Concentrate 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Jensen Elizabeth Jensen

    Yes it was that one. I’m not sure how much difference it made. I did use hydroquinone for 10 weeks. But it’s harder to get than the other.

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