Vichy ‘NormaDerm Micellar Solution’ (trial & review)


It’s true that I have been a fan of beauty products & cosmetics since probably before I was born (I’m fairly certain that it all began then!), but I haven’t always been as vigilant with my skin care as I should have. As I got older and began noticing changes happening to my “canvas” ie: my face, I began my frantic search to try and reverse some of these telltale signs and realized that I have to start from the beginning: clean skin. Even knowing that I have to ensure my skin is thoroughly cleansed each and every day, I still have my lazy days/nights and it’s at those times where a product like Vichy’s ‘NormaDerm Micellar Solution’ comes in handy.  That, and the fact that I’ve been hearing the terms “micellar waters/solution” for quite some time now, and my curiosity needed to be satisfied.


‘NormaDerm Micellar Solution’ from renown French skincare laboratories, is a watery, soap-free cleanser, that is designed to be used as a makeup remover for both face and eyes, and which does not need to be rinsed off. According to the company:

The Micellar Solution is a cleanser that is specifically adapted to sensitive skin with imperfections. It is ultra-efficient and acts quickly. Thanks to its micellar technology combined with Zinc PCA, an antibacterial agent, it removes makeup, sebum and impurities without rubbing or rinsing the skin, while gently purifying it. Easy to use and extremely practical.
Its efficiency as a cleanser and a makeup remover for eyes, even sensitive ones, has been clinically proven. Its tolerability has been proven under dermatological and ophthalmological control.
Efficacy proven under dermatological and ophthalmological control.
The ideal cleanser to remove makeup while soothing the skin:
1- Cleanses all impurities. 
2- Balances skin’s pH.
3- Purifies the skin without the need to rinse

I found this excerpt from BeautyGeeks to be quite helpful for us non-sciency types:

In simple-ish terms, a micelle is a type of molecule cluster. One end of each molecule loves water (hydrophilic); the other hates it (hydrophobic). In a water solution, they group to form a spherical shape with a water-loving exterior and a water-hating interior. When gently applied to a surface — the skin, let’s say — the micelle spheres split open against that surface. When the application pressure lifts, the molecule cluster closes up again, and in the process grabs whatever isn’t water from that surface.

Essentially, micelles are kind of like mute Pac-Man types that wokka-wokka-wokka-wokka up all the makeup and dirt off your face in a jiffy. Regular makeup remover doesn’t gobble. It dissolves the bond between cosmetic pigments and your skin so you can wipe it off. Doesn’t sound all that different, but if you think about it, when you’re wiping stuff off something, a fair amount of smearing goes on, and maybe you need toner, or sudsing cleanser and rinsing, before it all comes off. Basically, you have to work a bit harder, which takes more time and can be a challenge for sensitive skin. Gobble-up molecules require less pressure and less work, the way a vacuum suction cleans a floor faster than sweeping with a broom.

My skin type: Combination, normal with an oily t-zone, some fine lines around the eyes

My experience: After having read numerous online reviews on these types of cleansers, I felt forewarned not to expect any miracles … and I didn’t experience any either! To properly test how effectively ‘NormaDerm’ worked, I used it at the end of the day to remove my fully made-up face, excluding any eye makeup. The reason I left out my eyes, is because I have had a few scary experiences with other removers, and didn’t feel it was worth taking a chance here — especially since I’m more than happy with my regular eye makeup remover. That being said, had I not been wearing mascara, I would have given it a try – something to keep in mind for the future.

As you can see in fig. 1 below, I needed both sides of 3 cotton squares (I’m using Shisheido’s ‘Facial Cotton’ pads) to fully remove all evident traces of makeup. This solution really does dispense like water and you need to be careful not to pump the spout too vigorously, or you’ll splash it all over. I found it useful to tilt the bottle forward with the pump nozzle touching the cotton; 2 quick pumps thoroughly saturated the pad. After finishing, my skin felt clean, although I did experience a slight dry/tight feeling; as I was going to be following up with moisturizer, I wasn’t that concerned, but it’s something to note. The next morning, I used one more cotton square and was not that pleased to see that I was able to pick up even more traces of makeup (see fig. 2).

simple directions on the back – written in several languages

clear & short ingredients list

Once more according to the company:

- Alcohol-free
- Colorant-free
- Hypoallergenic
- Paraben-free
- Tested on sensitive skin 
- Soap-free
- With soothing and fortifying Vichy thermal spa water

pump dispenser – great for one-handed use

fig. 1 – the 3 cotton squares needed to remove al makeup

fig. 2 – the residue picked up the following morning


Final thoughts: Will Vichy’s ‘NormaDerm Micellar Solution’ replace my regular cleansing regimen? No … but it will definitely enhance it. I have to say that I love the watery feel of this product; I’m not always crazy about smearing my fingers with more emollient type cleansers, even if they do work well. If you’ll be wearing the barest minimum of makeup and no mascara, then this cleanser should be more than sufficient for a full removal, but I think I prefer using it more in a toner/after cleansing capacity to completely eliminate any last lingering traces. I also found it quite refreshing in the morning, before I applied my regular skincare – made me feel like I was thoroughly prepping my face. Apart from knowing the excellent reputation that Vichy Laboratoires enjoys, I was able to pick up this product for CAD $10.00 off (I believe the regular retail price at Shopper’s Drugmart/Pharmaprix is CAD $24.50), and for its large economic size of 400 ml, that just sweetened the deal!

Do let me know what other types of micellar cleansers/waters you’ve tried and what you thought … I’d love to know!

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