The Sample: Caudalie Cleansing Water (Review & Photos)

27 May

Fun fact about me: I love multi-purpose products. Give me anything, anything at all that claims to have a dual-purpose and I am all over it. A primer that brightens and helps your makeup stay put? Yes please. Treatment serums for the eyes and lips?? I’ll take two. Yes, I love products that claim to be multi-purpose–yet I’m always skeptical that they can deliver on the one-two punch. It’s rare to find a product that actually delivers on such claims–but every once in a while, you find the rare product that does everything it says it will. Now bows or frills, just results. What am I talking about? Caudalie’s Cleansing Water, of course.

Cleansing waters were designed for those who want a quick cleanse but don’t want to pull out their usual heavy-duty cleanser, for those with terminally sensitive-skin, and for those who are just plain lazy. In my opinion, cleansing waters are the sh*t–specifically Caudalie’s version. Light, refreshing, and calming, Caudalie’s Cleansing Water is a simple, non-fussy alternative to regular cleansing. Formulated with grape-seed and micellar water, this soap-free, 3-in-1 solution is really gentle and suitable for all skin types. Sure, it looks and feels just like pure water–but trust me, it’s super tough and it gets the job done.

Caudalie says that the “micellar water captures dirt like tiny ‘dirt magnets’ and sweeps it away without rubbing, while the soothing and hydrating active ingredients work to add radiance”. Don’t know what micellar water is? It’s an oil-in-water formula–the perfect emulsion of oil and water. The micronized oil forms “micelles” that trap dirt and oil, hence its superb makeup-removing capabilities. Most of you know that in order to get some real heavy-duty makeup removing done, an oil-based makeup remover or cleanser is sometimes necessary. Well with a cleansing water, you can skip all that and simply pour a bit onto a cotton pad and lightly swipe across you face until you’re left with a clean, toned complexion. That’s it, no need to rinse!

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking: “if it contains oil, then there’s no way it will work on my oily and/or acne-prone skin”–but it will! That’s the beauty of this product. My skin usually breaks out at the merest mention of oil, but Caudalie’s Cleansing Water does not break me out. If it’s good on my skin, I’m guessing it will be okay for most of you. The addition of plant glycerin ensures that your skin never feels stripped and stays soft and moisturized. I don’t even feel the need to moisturize after using this in the morning and simply follow with my serum then sunscreen.

 The cleansing water is housed in a plastic squeeze bottle and is lightly scented. The scent is extremely subtle and unoffending though, in my opinion. If you’ve tried any Caudalie products in the past, you’ll know the light grape-water scent I’m referring to (all their products are similarly scented).

Many people  think that a cleansing water is an unnecessary, superfluous step, but I beg to differ. This cleansing water is a multi-purpose product, so it will actually save you time. It will not only provide a gentle cleanse but also tone, moisturize, and refresh. Instead of using a toner after cleansing, use a cleansing water–you’ll  be amazed at how much crap it will pick up off your face, even after using your regular cleanser!!! Seriously, I just turned my cousin on to this stuff and she was blown away by how much makeup was still on her face after taking a shower and washing her face! It’s the perfect final step in your cleansing routine and ensures that you not only get off every last trace of foundation, but also tones and prepares your skin for your moisturizer or serum.

On my arm: lipstick, water-resistant eyeshadow, water-resistant cream shadow, waterproof mascara, and liquid liner

Pour the cleansing water onto a cotton pad

Gently swipe the cotton pad across your face (or in this case, my arm) to remove all traces of makeup, dirt, and oil

et voilà: perfectly clean skin! (please note: it did take quite a few swipes to get all of it off!)


I do want to stress, however, that if you wear 10 pounds of makeup on a daily basis, you probably don’t want to rely solely on a cleansing water to clean your face every night. Though you can use this to remove makeup, a cleansing water is really just meant to lightly cleanse and refresh. I use this cleansing water in the morning (when I know I need to remove all the dirt and oil that has accumulated on my skin overnight, but I don’t necessarily need the deep clean of my regular foaming cleanser), and sometimes at night after cleansing (to ensure I’ve gotten every last bit of my makeup off). This cleansing water, as with most cleansing waters, will not remove your waterproof mascara–or at least not very easily and not without using up a lot of the product. It will remove pretty much everything else, but the amount of elbow-grease (and product) it takes to remove all your makeup will depend on the amount you have on. I have no problems getting it to remove all traces of foundation, blush, bronzer, water-resistant cream shadow, powder shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipgloss off my face. I do suggest using a separate eye makeup remover though, because I find that I go through a bottle of this stuff easily–so I don’t want to waste any of it on my eyes when I can easily remove it with a separate eye makeup remover.

All in all, this cleansing water has proven to be a star product in my beauty lineup and I love it. It does everything it says it will do–no more, no less. Who needs frills when you have a product that actually works? It’s deceptively tough on dirt, oil, and makeup yet mild and refreshing on the skin. The Cleansing Water is truly amazing and is one of my favorite products from Caudalie (the other being their Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, as shown above in the first picture at the top). If you haven’t already, try something–anything–from the line. You won’t be disappointed! And of course, the Cleansing Water is a great place to start. It’s one of their more affordable offerings, but every bit as satisfying.

Pros: works for all skin types; extremely gentle; removes dirt, oil, and makeup; formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes; multi-purpose (cleans, tones, and removes makeup); doesn’t sting the eyes; doesn’t break me out

Cons: a bottle doesn’t seem to last very long…at least for me; does contain a small amount of fragrance–though the scent is very mild and pleasant

»»Pricing: $26/6.7 fl. oz. (200 ml.)

»»Availability: Sephora, Caudalie

»»Recommended for: all skin types–especially those with sensitive skin

»»Overall Rating: A

11 Responses to “The Sample: Caudalie Cleansing Water (Review & Photos)”

  1. Larie May 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    No need to rinse, hm? Consider me intrigued! I’ll have to check this out. The idea of still having makeup left on my skin after my cleansing milk and facial wash is alarming!

    • becca May 27, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

      Yes you definitely need to, Larie! I LOVE the Caudalie line and I love my cleansing water. It’s such a simple, no-frills product but it has made my beauty routine so much simpler and better. And yes, the amount of crap it gets is really alarming sometimes, lol!

  2. svetlana May 28, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    I am a sucker for cleansing waters. I have just a soothing tonic by Bobbi Brown. Love the smell and I love the feel of it. Even it’s just to soothe. Though I must try these! OOOooo! ;)

    • becca May 28, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      I think you’ll like it a lot, Svetlana! It’s quite a bit different from the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic though. The Caudalie Cleansing Water is meant to act as a light cleansing solution with the added benefits of moisturizing and toning. The Hydrating Face Tonic is a hydrating toner–no real cleansing capabilities. Give the Caudalie Cleansing Water a try–I bet you’ll love it!

  3. dani@callitbeauty May 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    I love cleansing waters! I was using Marcelle’s for a while and loved it and have the Bioderma in my kit. I’d love to give this a try, though!

    Great review, lady! :)

    • becca May 30, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Thanks Dani! I’ve always wanted to try the Bioderma because I know all the pros love to keep it in their kits. Such a shame that it’s still unavailable in the U.S–I’d love to be able to grab it at my nearest CVS.

  4. Sunny May 30, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    This sounds quite similar to the much raved-about Bioderma Sensibio! I’m halfway through my 500ml bottle. When I’m done I might try this out! I’ve always been a fan of Caudalie. Thanks for sharing Becca!

    • becca May 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      I’d love to be able to compare the two–but Bioderma is only available online at Amazon, etc. for those of us in the U.S. You would think with the overwhelming success of the product and the amount of bottles that are regularly brought back from Europe, they would make it available here already!! Maybe one day…

  5. Tracy@Beauty Reflections May 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    I need to try this one-I have an addiction to cleansing waters. My skin doesn’t feel clean without using them first. I love the Bioderma, but this sounds great. I love Caudalie!

  6. Emilie January 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I tried this after hearing about it here…I LOVE it. Usually I wash my face in the morning and at night, followed by a toner. When I replaced the toner with the Caudalie cleansing water, it took off even more dirt/make-up I didn’t even know was still there! And I do like that it doesn’t dry out my face, and the smell is refreshing too…kind of like cucumbers? In any case, thanks for introducing me to this!

    • becca January 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

      Dude I know it’s crazy, huh?! The first time I used it, I thought my face was squeaky clean but then after swiping the Cleansing Water on a cotton pad across my face, it came away COVERED in makeup I had missed. It’s sooo awesome! :D I LOVE Caudalie so much! They’re probably my favorite skincare brand–and I don’t say that lightly! :P If you loved the Cleansing Water, you HAVE to try one of their serums (Vinoperfect Radiance Serum or SOS serum are my favorites!) or the Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid!


Leave a Reply