Damn It: I Tried a $140 Micellar Water, and Now My Skin Is Addicted

valmont micellar water

Tom Medvedich


It might sound a little hysterical to say that micellar water saved my life, but I can unequivocally say it’s saved my skin. As an admitted beauty obsessive—fine, hoarder—testing out products is one of my favorite pastimes, and I’m never loyal to anything. However, after a recent experiment called “make your own apple cider vinegar toner” left my skin a legit disaster, I grabbed a random bottle under my sink I’d brought home and decided to give it a try because I’d seen so many headlines about how it’s such a savior.

Turns out, that bottle was random only to me. Skin-care obsessives are well acquainted with the formula inside, created by Swiss beauty company Laboratoires Valmont, and I soon learned this particular product, a fancy micellar water from the brand’s L’Elixir Des Glaciers line, has a strong cult following. It looks and feels like plain old H2O, but it’s made with purified rose oil and glacial spring water and costs $140—all things this drugstore-beauty devotee would have rolled her eyes at before seeing how flawlessly the formula removes dirt and makeup and how well it hydrates my dry skin, to the point that I stopped slathering on moisturizer before bed. It also smells divine, in a subtle, rich-girl sort of way, making me feel like I’m actually at a fancy spa nestled in the Alps as opposed to standing in a tiny New York bathroom that barely has enough width for me to brush my teeth comfortably.

I should note that I don’t wear makeup every day, but when I do, it’s usually all over— light foundation (holla, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm!), concealer (Pixi Undercover Crayon), and a little bronzer (still looking for the perfect one—suggestions welcome)—so it took a few cotton pads to get it all off, a big change from my Clarisonic-or-bust approach to squeaky-clean skin care.

You also might have heard (or, like me, are tired of hearing) about how French women live and die by micellar water, and—thanks to France’s harsh H2O—never let tap water touch their faces. Unless they bathe in the micellar water, that’s pretty hard to do, but I am wondering if limiting my tap-water exposure to showers since I started using Valmont’s formula is part of the reason why it’s working so well. I’m not really sure, but I am sure that it’s the best and most effective skin-care product I’ve ever tried, and when this bottle is done, I plan to make a point of buying two fewer POS Zara tops a month so as to fund my skin’s newfound addiction.

Valmont Eau Micellaire Précieuse Votre Visage, $140; at Saks Fifth Avenue