Micellar Cleansing Solution 3 in 1 All Bright is a gentle, fragrance-free fluid cleanser with an ingredient list that reads more like a mild liquid makeup remover than a standard water-soluble cleanser—which is fundamentally what micellar water is, a mild liquid makeup remover (more on that in a moment). Not surprisingly, it's applied exactly the same way, with a cotton pad that you wipe over the face, no need to rinse.
The formula is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, doesn't leave a residue, and removes most types of makeup without too much effort. Long-wearing makeup, lip/cheek stains, and anything richly pigmented won't come off easily with this cleanser; it's simply too mild, and the pressure and scrubbing needed to remove such products with this formula can damage skin. This type of cleanser is best for those who wear minimal makeup or those willing to use this as a secondary cleanser, either before or after the "stronger" product.
So what of the micellar name? Micellar involves micelles, which are a type of charged particle—this is actually true of many cleansing agents. Micelle technology is one way of explaining how any surfactant (which this product and thousands of other cleansers contain) combines with water and interacts with oils (such as the sebum our skin produces) to clean any surface, including skin. Micelle technology is one of many methods to formulate a cleanser; it's not an "advanced" method, but there's nothing wrong with it either.
Though this is a good option for a mild makeup remover or cleanser, Micellar Cleansing Solution 3 in 1 All Bright missed our top recommendation due to its inability to live up to its overstated benefits. Boots claims this cleanser unclogs pores due to the inclusion of hibiscus flower, which it absolutely cannot do. Hibiscus has no exfoliant properties and cleansing alone isn't enough to remove the buildup of dead skin cells, tiny hairs, debris, and excess oil that can build up in the pore (follicle) lining, leading to clogs. We wish it were that simple! A leave-on AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) exfoliant is the chief product needed to unclog pores, not to mention all of the other benefits exfoliants have for skin.
Note: Although this contains hibiscus and this plant can be fragrant, the flower extract used doesn't depart a discernible scent.
Originating in England, Boots is named after founder John Boot, and it already had a worldwide presence before its 2004 pilot launch in the U.S. retail market through select Target and CVS drugstore. (Note: Boots is no longer available at CVS.) Its success in these stores led to a full-scale launch in spring 2007. Boots has been part of England's cosmetic history since 1839, and now over 1,500 freestanding Boots stores dot the British landscape. Of course, history has its place, but Boots, on the basis of their longevity, believes that it offers consumers the best products full of quality ingredients and also at a value price. Although it's true that Boots' price point is lower than many drugstore lines (at least those whose products make similar claims and have the same target audience), their line consists of some impressive options, but also contains some areas that left us wanting for more.
Boots’ sunscreens tend to be good, but be aware that some have SPF ratings below the benchmark SPF 30+. Although there are dozens of moisturizers available, you’ll find that many are indistinguishable from one another in terms of their formulas. While there are many great options for sensitive skin among the Boots’ line, there are much fewer choices for those seeking impressive anti-aging formulas due to the lack of beneficial ingredients.
Boots does feature antioxidants, peptides, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A not to be confused with pure retinol) in many of its products, but they tend to be present at less than impressive, or jar packaging compromises their benefits to skin due to light & air exposure.
You'll find some great options for cleansers, scrubs, sunless tanners, and treatments for dry, chapped lips, all at fair prices, and that's good news. (There are also quite a few impressive makeup products at surprisingly inexpensive prices.) Check our reviews for the products that shouldn’t be missed (as well as the less-than-impressive options).
For more information about Boots, call (866) 752-6687 or visit www.boots.com.
Note: Boots No7 and Botanics brands (only) are sold in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart stores. In the U.S., most of the lines can be found at Target, Walgreens, and Ulta. As of August 2015, Boots has been acquired by Walgreens.
Strengths: Inexpensive; outstanding options for sensitive skin; good sunscreens; some impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: Occasional use of jar packaging; some formulas with limited amounts of beneficial ingredients.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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