Photography courtesy of Filorga

A Love Letter to the Micellar Water I Can’t Live Without

Move over, Bioderma. There's another French pharmacy staple you need to know about

Every once in a while, a special beauty product changes the course of your life—okay, maybe just your skin—forever. For me, that item has long been Filorga Anti-Aging Micellar Solution. I first stumbled upon it in the skincare aisle of a Shoppers Drug Mart, on a day when a brand rep happened to be in-store spreading the word. Unscented, decidedly un-gimmicky and altogether unassuming in appearance, he urged me to give it a try.

I’m normally not one to be sold on anything by anyone with any interest in a company, but I heard him out, my interest piqued at “French laboratory of aesthetic medicine.” After a little more digging, I found out that it was actually the first skincare lab of its kind, founded in Paris by French doctor and cellular biologist Michael Tordjman in 1978. First starting out in anti-aging injectables—long before Botox became a household name—the brand transitioned into skincare in 2000, focusing on medical-grade products to be used both by doctors and the general public.

While not at the heights of popularity of [the somewhat over-hyped, IMHO] Bioderma’s Sensibio, this French pharmacy staple doesn’t just take off your makeup and leave your skin feeling refreshed, like most micellar waters out there. Thanks to a few secret ingredients—like, Zinc PCA, a moisturizing agent with antibacterial properties—it delivers a dose of hydration at the same time. At $35 a bottle, it’s a bit pricier than its peers, but lasts a solid three months and creates a more perfect base for serums, moisturizers and makeup than anything else I’ve ever tried. I apply it first thing in the morning in the place of face wash, and as a second cleansing step in the evening after oil cleanser—and strongly feel it’s been responsible for holding off the onset of at least a few fine lines. (Not because of any particularly strong anti-aging active, but because of that extra wrinkle-delaying dose of moisture, in a skincare step usually devoid of it.)

Mostly, it’s just the perfect unfussy skincare solution for that feeling of clean without a trace of tightness post-cleanse. You probably won’t see it on any best-of lists, but the reason more North Americans haven’t heard of it probably has more to do with marketing than anything else. Consider Filorga the unassuming neighbour to the more popular French products on regular rotation in the beauty community. It’s a skincare underdog worth seeking out.