Jul. 06, 2020

Tonic, micellar water, milk... Which cleanser should you use and which one should you not?

If you look at the range of facial cleaners there are numerous products: cleansing milk, tonic, lotion, foaming gel/soap, exfoliant, micellar water... Pffff! You can't see the forest for the trees any more! Which product should you use and what exactly do all these products do to your skin?

In this blog, we'll take a closer look at some of the products on the list: the tonic, the micellar cleanser, the cleansing milk or oil and the foaming cleanser. In another blog the exfoliant and the scrub are discussed.


What? Water based liquid. Often recommended as a 2nd step inthe cleansing routine

Texture: liquid

Effect: A tonic is a skincare product that you can use after cleansing. A tonic will remove the last traces of dirt and make-up and contains ingredients that have a calming, refreshing and moisturizing effect on your skin. Some tonics also contain enzymes or acids so that they have an exfoliating effect. This makes it an ideal preparation before applying your night cream.
A tonic is often confused with a toner. Both terms are used interchangeably. The term itself doesn't matter much, but what does matter are any irritating ingredients. For example, some toners/tonics contain alcohol described as alcohol denat . or ethanol in the list of ingredients. Due to the evaporation of alcohol on our skin, these products have a refreshing and degreasing effect, but can also irritate the skin. Mint and eucalyptus also have a refreshing effect but are also irritating to the skin.

Our advice: Select a toner or tonic that contains no irritants and is mild for your skin. First use a mild cleansing oil or milk, then apply the toner to the skin using a cotton pad or with your hands. Finally apply your night cream. Easy peasy!


A milky formula that removes dirt and gently cleanses the skin.

Texture: Light and milky texture that feels soft

Effect: A milk is capable of binding make-up residues and dirt and removing them from the skin without stripping the skin of its own lipids. A cleansing milk does not damage the natural skin barrier. Moreover, it is also suitable for sensitive skin and even oily skin types. It is a misconception that an oily skin should always be cleansed with a foaming or fat-removing product. As a result, you often stimulate the sebum production when using harsh or stripping cleansers.

Our advice: It's best to use a cleansing milk as a first step in your cleansing routine. Apply your cleansing milk on a cotton pad or on your hands and massage in using circular movements. Rinse your face with luke warm water. After, use a toner or micellar cleanser that removes the last dirt and debris from the skin.

Another alternative is a cleansing oil, which - like a cleansing milk - will remove dirt without disturbing the skin's natural lipids.


What? An aqueous liquid containing micelles that can absorb and remove dirt and makeup. May feel oily.

Texture: Liquid

Effect: A micellar cleanser is an aqueous liquid with small particles (micelles). Micelles have a complex structure. They have a hydrophilic (water attracting) head and hydrophobic (water repellent) tail. The hydrophilic heads are on the outside and ensure that the micelle is soluble in water. The hydrophobic tails are on the inside and trap and remove oily (hydrophobic) particles such as sebum, makeup and dirt from the skin. So, micellar water is certainly not the same as "normal" water.

Our advice: Apply the micellar water on a cotton pad and dab gently on the face. There is no need for hard rubbing. Take a new cotton pad and repeat this until no more make-up or dirt comes off. Also pay attention to the composition of the micellar water.This may vary considerably between products. Choose a product that does not contain too many ingredients, ideally 6 to 8. The simpler the better!

Some micellar waters contain aggressive or irritating ingredients. You better avoid these. In addition, some micellar waters are enriched with soothing, moisturizing and softening ingredients, such as glycerin, panthenol, allantoin, rose water. This can do no harm!


What? A cleansing product that foams strongly when applied to the skin and has a "stripping effect" (leaves a tight feeling).

Texture: Mousse, gel or soapy texture

Effect: Nothing 'nicer' than a skin that seems to feel completely clean, even a little tight. This is the effect you get after using a foaming cleanser. These products often have a "stripping" and degreasing effect. So be careful! Ingredients providing this foaming effect, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), can have an irritating and aggressive effect on the skin. As a result, they damage the skin's natural protective layer. Moisture escapes and the skin feels dry and tight.

Our advice: It is a misconception to think that strong foaming products clean better! Avoid ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). It is better to choose a mild cleanser (such as a milk or oil), which will cleanse the skin without damaging the natural protective layer.

The Nomige cleansing products consist of a 2-in-1 cleanser (a moisturizing cleansing milk that can be used with or without water) and an exfoliating tonic to gently remove dead skin cells.

Want to learn more about cleansing your skin? Then be sure to take a look at our other blogs: "What is a good tonic for your face?" & "What's a good cleanser?" &"Cleansing your face: how, why and when?"

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Connect with us and follow the hashtag #MyNomige to stay up to date of the latest skin tips and news.

Follow the hashtag #MyNomige and stay informed about the latest skin tips and news.
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Everything you need to know about your skin