Something Could Be Wrong With the Latest Batch of This Drugstore Cult-Classic Skin Care Item

In a few short years, micellar water has gone from a French woman and makeup artist secret to a staple in the American beauty routine. So prevalent is this product now, that you can get it anywhere, and some of the best options can be found right at the drugstore.

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A Reddit user who goes by Skinnyjunk is one fan of this skin care product, which helps to dissolve makeup, clear impurities and tone and hydrate skin all in one step. In fact, she calls Garnier SkinActive Miceller Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Waterproof Makeup her “holy grail cleanser”—until she noticed something disturbing in a couple recent bottles she purchased.

In a viral Reddit thread, Skinnyjunk writes: “I noticed something [weird] started growing in my third bottle (which I got from Ulta), and it kept getting bigger and bigger. For a while I didn’t realize that’s what was setting my skin on fire and breaking me out in tiny little red and white bumps all over my cheeks in localized clusters, giving me random red patches, and making everything I put on my skin sting like hell. I would compare it to what a damaged moisture barrier is like. When your skin flips out at anything you put on it and everything hurts. It even hurt from gentle touch. I saw some weird floating white flakes in it occasionally, but they would disappear and the liquid would look normal. It was a little cloudy, but I didn’t notice that that was out of the ordinary and thought maybe it just hadn’t settled all the way. Well the flakes kept getting bigger until they became big white globs that would move between the two layers. And one day I saw them and that was when I finally decided that I was completely done with that bottle. Something wasn’t right.”

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Like many people, the user thought she had stumbled upon a bad bottle and went to purchase a fresh one at Walmart. She reported that when she started using the new bottle, her skin issues went away. Unfortunately, a few weeks into using it, she started noticing that her skin went back to being irritated, writing, “It’s been a couple of weeks to a month, and my new bottle is growing whatever the hell that stuff is too. I noticed some stinging when removing my makeup Saturday night and thought maybe I might have rubbed my skin too hard. I try to be gentle but I sometimes I may apply too much pressure...but it has never stung like this when I’ve done that before. Yesterday morning I noticed my face BURNED and stung after I was done with my routine, and continued to burn the same way throughout the rest of the day. But I chalked it up to using salicylic acid. Which I use all the time without a problem, and certainly never this kind of a reaction. Meh, must have been my rosacea acting up. But it wasn’t a typical flush. When I removed my makeup tonight it stung even more, and that’s the point at which I went “hmmmm” and looked at the bottle. Lo and behold, the same thing is happening, AGAIN.

The user dug around on Garnier’s website and noticed that a few other users had also reported white flecks in their bottles of micellar water. The beauty company issued a statement in response, clarifying that they were two different products. While Skinnyjunk was using the blue cap version of the micellar water, the reviews on the Garnier website were in reference to the pink cap product. The company clarified the solid parts in the pink cap bottles were “a result of an ingredient (which is part of the formula) that solidified in the micellar water and does not impact the product’s effectiveness or present any health risk to someone using it. We have already corrected this in our manufacturing process.”

As for the solid white growth, what is it? We’ve reached out to a cosmetic chemist for an expert opinion and will update when we hear back. According to Garnier’s statement, this was an isolated report and they have not heard similar reports from other consumers. 

3 Comments
  • GG
    Posted on

    I say just use a cleansing oil like Dermalogica's Precleanse. Amazing. Gets all smoke, smog, makeup and spf then you cleanse your skin.

  • Jaysie
    Posted on

    I can't imagine anything growing in this product (like a mold) because L'Oreal loads up on chemicals in all their formulas, including the most noxious preservatives.

  • El
    Posted on

    Creepy! Reminds me of the reactive slime from Ghostbusters 2.

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