Micellar Magnificent? REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

When I heard about the 3-in-1 Cleansing Water from the REN Rosa Centifolia range I was intrigued; this is described as a cleanser, make up remover and toner in one, that is suitable for use around the eyes and on even 'the most sensitive skin'. Priced at £13 for 200ml, this is definitely at the medium-to-top end for micellar solutions, which contain micelles (tiny spheres of suspended oil) that remove make up and impurities without stripping the skin. With an explosion of micellar cleansing waters on the market from both high street and high end brands, how does REN’s take on the trend fare against its competitors?

This cleansing water is alcohol, detergent and soap free, as well as containing Rosa Damascena water that aims to calm and soothe the skin, Rosa Centifolia extract to decongest and tighten the pores, and Glycerin to plump and moisturise the skin. The solution has a gentle scent of rose water and a texture almost identical to pure water, but with a tiny amount of slipperiness. This is a no-rinse product, and is to be applied over the face, eyes and neck with a cotton pad: the idea that one cotton pad would remove all my foundation, concealer and powder was quite ambitious - it took both sides of three cotton pads before I was confident that I had removed everything I could. My skin was left feeling and refreshed with no obvious oily residue but, after testing with a gel wash off cleanser, I found there were still traces of make up left that turned the water peachy and murky.

While it did a job good of removing eyeshadow and liner, I found this cleansing water really struggled with mascara... And I mean really struggled: holding a soaked pad over my closed eye removed just one light smudge of non-waterproof mascara. Sweeping the pad over my eye did break the mascara down a little, but it was then deposited underneath and around my eye contour, where it would not budge no matter how many times I rubbed with the damp cotton pad. (I truly resembled a panda.) The 3-in1 Cleansing Water has an even poorer performance against waterproof mascara, which makes me feel like I'm trying to remove it with pure tap water; each time I've used this product to remove my make up I've had to use another just for my mascara.

Applied to already clean skin however, such as in the morning or as a refresher on a no make up day, the Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Water fares much better. I need far less product to make my face look and feel clean. It sweeps away moisturisers and excess oil with ease, then dries to leave the skin feeling fresh but moisturised rather than tight. I haven't noticed much difference in my pore size while using this product so would still prefer to follow up with my favourite astringent toner, but for drier complexions the cleansing water plumps the skin and prepares it for moisturiser. As it has been created for all skin types, this water also doesn't contain blemish fighting ingredients which those of us with oily skins tend to need from our cleansers, so I'm always sure to follow up with a serum that will help with spot prevention.

I've given up trying to use this 3-in-1 Cleansing Water to remove my make up as it just doesn't do a thorough enough job for me; I would rather use one for every area of my face than having to swap halfway through. I have found this a helpful product for bare skin though, and is really convenient to use if I've overslept in the morning and don't have time to do a full cleanse. The REN Rose Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water would be a useful product if you tend to wear little to no make up but, for those of us who enjoy a full face of cosmetics, this cleansing water may not make their removal a joy.

The REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water is available from Marks and Spencer priced at £13

Written by Kirsty Paterson


  1. I find that REN products are so kind to my skin and my skin is super sensitive!


  2. I find that a lot of the micellar waters don't do a good enough job of removing both your eye makeup and cleansing your face, even though you use several cotton pads. The best ones for me are Clarins, Bioderma and Gatineau. Xx


  3. That's really too bad that it doesn't remove mascara! Such a bummer :(

  4. I love this one! So gentle x


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