Micelles are invisible cleansing microdroplets. They are made up of surfactant (cleansing) molecules composed of a hydrophilic head (water-loving) and a lipophilic tail (oil-loving), and have the power to capture impurities while respecting the natural protective film of the skin.
These surfactant molecules are formed into a sphere and suspended in the water-based formula. When the micellar water is dispensed onto a cotton pad, the micelles burst and the water head attaches itself to the pad. As oil and water are immiscible, the oil tail is repelled by the water head to create a perpendicular-like cleansing surface. This double affinity allows them to attract all kinds of impurities and attach them to the cotton wool. Like a magnet, the micelles attract and remove sweat, oil, dirt, makeup and pollution from the skin leaving it thoroughly cleansed and skin barrier respected.

Micelles acting as cleaning agents

Only 1 cleansing agent is used in all H2O formulas to preserve skin health

Our single surfactant, PEG 6 caprylic capric glyceride, was specifically chosen for its composition that is similar to the natural lipids of the skin. This choice of surfactant is very important since it is necessary to effectively cleanse without damaging the skin’s lipids and proteins, which would weaken the skin barrier function, increase skin dehydration and risk skin reactions. Bioderma's H2O range has been formulated to effectively cleanse the skin without the addition of further surfactants resulting in a preserved hydrolipidic film and excellent tolerance.

The PEG 6 micelles in H2O will be metabolised by the skin within 10 minutes - something that other surfactants may not.

  • Stephanie Sullivan, Bioderma Skin Expert - NAOS Australia.

    Bioderma Laboratoire invented micellar technology over 25 years ago as a solution to effectively cleanse sensitive skin without the use of the harsh tap water in France, Sensibio H2O. 

    Since then, Bioderma has developed a range of H2O Micellar Water Cleansers to suit every skin type proving more than just their cleansing abilities.

    Stephanie Sullivan, Bioderma Skin Expert - NAOS Australia.

Cucumber extract soothes sensitivity symptoms, hydrates the skin and reduces the feeling of discomfort. The minimalist formula of Sensibio H2O effectively cleanses the skin of irritation-causing elements providing long-term relief.

Sensibio claims


Niacinamide and apple seed extract form our Aquagenium patent. Included in all Hydrabio products, this patent acts on the water channels within the epidermis to stimulate natural water circulation and encouraging the skin to hydrate itself more effectively over the long term. Complemented with hydrating glycerin and lipid-replenishing rapeseed oil, the skin attracts water and is able to hold it for longer.

Hydrabio claims


Copper sulphate and zinc gluconate have purifying properties to unblock the pores while respecting the skin's barrier function. Aiding in sebum regulation, the Sebium H2O will cleanse, mattify and balance.

Sebium claims



The main element of most skincare formulas, highly purified water is pharmaceutical quality water of the highest standard. It differs from other waters used by cosmetics manufacturers (purified water, thermal water) due to its microbiological criterion, and its limited and fully controlled rate of bacterial endotoxins and minerals that can irritate the skin. This nine-step process means highly purified water can also be referred to as water for injection (WFI).
Physiological pH 5.5 pH THE SAME AS HEALTHY SKIN

The pH of the cleansing product is also a key tolerance factor. Studies have shown that a solution with a pH that is too high, even if it does not contain surfactants, can cause the surface layer of the skin to become damaged. This is why Bioderma has formulated all its cleansing products to have a slightly acidic pH of 4.5 - 5.5 which is the same as a healthy skin barrier.

Adding to the beneficial ingredients already within H2O products, Bioderma's patented DAF complex is a combination of pure, biomimetic (mimic skin elements and structures) sugars that help to increase the skin's tolerance threshold against external aggravators like pollution, irritants and UV exposure, all which contribute to sensitive skin symptoms and barrier impairment.

Rhamnose - anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant
Xylitol - hydrating
Mannitol - anti-free radical, anti-inflammatory
Fructooligosaccharides - prebiotic, preserves natural microbiome

Reiterating the importance of minimising the number of cleansing agents within a formula, especially when it comes to sensitive skin. The oily phase of PEG 6 is structured the same as the phospholipids within the skin. This means the single surfactant used within H2O formulas is accepted by the skin and respects the hydrolipidic film, preserving its barrier function. The more surfactants used within a cleanser the higher risk there is of compromising the skin barrier, allowing it to lose water and become irritated from external aggressors.

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