Cleansing water coup d’état! Koh Gen Do vs. Bioderma

Anyone who know me long enough has heard me rave about Koh Gen Do cleansing water. If they had a cent for every time I rave about it, they would be… to buy a pack of blotting paper. Anyways, when I heard people mention that Bioderma Crealine H2O is just as good, or even better (*gasp*!)…..I can’t stand it. Are you seriously comparing it to MY KGD cleansing water? MY holy grail water? MY crowned glory? ok, maybe it’s going a bit far, but I MUST KNOW!

Cleansing Water

Cleansing water is now my preferred choice of removing makeup. I like skincare stuff but I’m lazy. Why put oily/greasy stuff on your face when you can put water on your face to take off makeup? and no rinse! It remove makeup, it cleanses, it tones, and it’s moisturizing enough that my combo skin can get away with it without moisturizer in the summer. On particularly lazy days, I just get a cotton pad, wipe once to remove makeup/cleanse, flip to clean side and wipe again to tone/moisturize, then off to bed I go. A 20 second skincare regimen, how awesome is that? To compare the two, I tried dissecting every aspect that I can think of: the skincare benefit (if I’m lazy and don’t want to do skincare), efficiency in removing makeup, ingredients and sensitivity.

Skincare Benefit

Eventho they are all suppose to feel like water, there is actually a subtle difference in the way they feel on the skin. The Sephora brand felt a little sticky, and the Caudalie one felt a little rich/too moisturizing like it left a bit of residue, a bit stuffy on my combo skin. As for today’s star:

KGD Cleansing water: There’s no stuffy or sticky feeling upon application. While it doesn’t feel exactly like water, the difference is minor and you probably can’t tell unless you are looking for it. After application, it left the skin feel slightly moisturized, like how your skin feel after a hydrating toner rather than after wiping with water. In the summer, I can just call it a day after swiping it on and wake up with moisturized but not oily skin. In the winter I wake up slightly drier and on the 2nd day I can feel the dry flaky patch starting to appear.

Bioderma Crealine H2O: I swiped Bioderma over the whole face with a cotton pad, then felt my skin and….huh? huh?? it’s the same as KGD. Left it on overnight, it feels the same as KGD feel 2nd day. Then  I tried Bioderma on one side of the face and KGD on the other….then KGD on one side and Bioderma on the other (switched side). After 3 tries on different days/areas, I’ve decided they both feel the same on the skin. One important note is that KGD bottle cap can be twist off to use like a toner as well as a flip cap with a tiny opening for cotton swap, but Bioderma cap is not twist off so if you want to saturate a cotton pad for face, you gotta use the tiny opening under the flip cap.

Effectiveness in Removing Makeup

To test this, I put on the must durable makeup I own. I prepped my arm with Hourglass no.28 primer, then put on: Tarte Amazonian Clay blush, Stila pigment in pink, UD Naked foundation in 8.0 (the darkest I have, otherwise I can’t tell if it’s taken off), KVD eyeshadow in shimmery brown, Marc Jacob Highliner crayon in black (uh oh, set the bar too high?), and Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in 69. I did do the same number of strokes/dabs and blot the whole area to simulate the same condition (yes I drew a smiley face).



For both cleansing water, I put 5 dabs on half of the cotton pad, then slowly did 5 consecutive wipes over the area. Looks like Marc Jacob Highliner gel crayon and Urban Decay Revolution lipstick lives up to their name of being stubborn. Everything is gone after 5 more wipe (a total of 10 slow wipes). I then tried it with Benefit Hello Oxygen foundation, UD eyeliner and Josie Maran cheek gelee:


After 5 slow wipes, there were still a bit remaining, but they are gone after 10 wipes. As you can see, there’s seriously no difference in makeup removing abilities. They are both effective at removing makeup without harsh rubbing, altho they both had difficulty with waterproof longlasting eyeliners when I wore heavy eyemakeup. In term of cleansing, I also used Bioderma on one side and KGD on the other side when I wasn’t wearing makeup, the cotton pad showed the same amount of oil/dirt from both side (according to my naked eyes anyways).


For skin beneficial ingredients, Bioderma contain cucumber extract while KGD contains a myriad of various plant extract…but it also contains methylparaben. KGD also claim to be “mildly-acidic”. What does that mean? I googled it and basically skin and hair are protected by a barrier called “acid mantle” against the environment. Cleansing products are usually alkaline and can throw your skin out of balance and cause dryness/sensitivity/inflammation (it’s rare for skin to be too acidic, but if it is then you get breakout and red/inflamed skin). This is why sometimes toners claim to balance the pH of your skin (huh, so it’s not just a marketing ploy?). For optimal skin condition, the skin should be slightly acidic….which leads to the KGD claim of being mildly acidic.


KGD does not irritate on sensitive areas, like when taking off mascara or eyeliner on the waterline. Even when I accidentally got it in my eye due to oversaturated cotton pads, there is no stinging or burning, just mild uncomfortableness the same as if it’s water. When I used Bioderma to take off mascara, it was totally fine, but for waterline when I was rubbing the liner off, I felt a slightly warm sensation (as opposed to no sensation from KGD). One of my friend mentioned that her eyes get irritated from Bioderma. Cucumber extract is the 3rd ingredient and while I’m not allergic to it, it stings when the juice from cucumber slices accidentally get into my eyes and my skin burns when I use Yes to Cucumber wipes. So if you are allergic/irritated by cucumber then beware, otherwise you are probably fine. Both are good for sensitive areas.

Final Verdict

I would like to drum up the drama but , ooohhh >.<….let’s get to that later. KGD have more skincare benefit while Bioderma is makeup remover oriented. They are both great for removing makeup and friendly to sensitive skin (unless you are irritated by cucumber). Which one you chose depends on what you are looking for in your cleansing water. Bioderma crealine H2O can be found on Amazon and the larger sizes are cheaper than KGD cleansing water. KGD is available as a value set on Sephora (right now in fact!) and is 50% off on Hautelook sometimes, which makes it the same price as Bioderma. If you can’t catch KGD on sale and don’t have super sensitive skin, Bioderma is probably a better choice price-wise (have you any idea how hard it is for me to say this?).

For me, I use cleansing water because it can substitute as my night skincare regimen in a pinch, and I want the gentlest stuff for my waterline. Because KGD have more skincare benefit and my skin is not fond of cucumber sometimes, I like KGD slightly better. If I do ever run out of KGD when it’s not on sale, well, I guess I’ll be grabbing a bottle of Bioderma then.


23 thoughts on “Cleansing water coup d’état! Koh Gen Do vs. Bioderma

  1. Yaaaaay, I’ve been waiting to hear your opinion of the Bioderma cleansing water, and your detailed clinic trial description was definitely worth the wait! Thanks also for the tip on cucumber water, I’ll have to be careful about that when I try out the Bioderma. Great review, you’ve done us cleansing water fans a great service 🙂

      1. Thanky thanky! There was some stuff I cropped out but then none of the fancy editing I tried looks good to me, so I went by the Asian rule that when all else fails, just slap a cute face on it. =P

  2. This was an awesome Battle Royale of these 2 cleansing waters! I have pretty sensitive skin, so I think the KGD would be for me. I’ve seen you rave about KGD for what seems like forever, but seeing it in action is really selling me. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Nice comparison! As much as I love skincare I’ve never used/owned an actual makeup remover or cleansing water. I do face wipe and makeup removing cleanser but on those late nights home/tired days, this would be a savior! I wish Bioderma was sold in an actual store somewhere instead of only being online, so many of the youtube beauty buffs rave about it ( Tanya Burr’s my favorite!). I added the KGD one to my loves list 😀

    1. yay! It’s great for lazy days or if you don’t have access to water (camping, shared stinky bathroom etc). Bioderma is on Amazon and sometimes you can get free shipping. The KGD 4 travel size set works out to be just a couple dollars more expensive than Amazon I think so that’s definitely a good one. =D

  4. That was an awesome comparison! I’ve have still yet to try the KGD! D:
    I have a sample of it, Maybe i’ll give it a try. You now make me want to accumulate cleansing waters, and test them out! Sometimes i am wayyy to lazy to do my million step skincare regimen!! This sounds like it’s the wayyyy to go!

    1. I’m so lazy too and KGD cleansing water is the only reason why I no longer sleep with makeup on anymore even if I get back late. Just soak a cotton pad and wipe 2-3 times and apply a bit of moisturizer and voila! Takes about as much time as changing clothe or turning off all the lights before you sleep. =)

  5. Great comparison! I just started using the KGD and I really love it! and i’ve always wondered about the Bioderma, but it sounds like I am not missing anything now that I am using the KGD!

  6. love love love kgd as well 🙂 but i’ve told you this before haha. If i use it as toner sometimes it helps tone down redness for me. Anyway great job on the comparison, and i love the pics haha! all the faces!

  7. Whoa! Say it ain’t so! I never thought I’d live to see the day that another product lived up to the KGD standard. 🙂

    I started using cleansing waters a few weeks ago, and all I can say is – why did it take me so long to find these?! I started with Caudalie, which I had a smallish bottle of from a skincare kit. I liked it – liked the scent, as well – as a brief, refreshing moment. But I do prefer the KGD in terms of actually taking off my makeup.

    Question: do you recommend a particular source on Amazon for Bioderma? I did a cursory search a couple months ago because Lisa Eldridge uses it, but I didn’t see a source that I was 100% (okay, 99%) sure was legit.


    1. I just typed “Bioderma crealine” into the amazon search bar, selected free shipping, then 4+ star reviews and picked one where the price is good and the reviews say “Amazon Verified Purchase”.

      Oh wait, does that mean you are gonna get it in addition to the 5 bottle you “blamed” on me? lol, now I will be known forever as “the one with cleansing water” by your bf. =P

      1. Hahaha – I can’t stop! What if I have a major cleansing emergency and I run out of water? Did you think about THAT, madame? I didn’t THINK so! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s