First Impressions Review | Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil and Kohgendo Cleansing Spa Water

Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil and Kohgendo Cleansing Spa Water

I’ve been using this pair of deluxe-sized products a lot lately and thought I’d share a little about them.

Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil is a fuss-free oil that quickly removes makeup, including waterproof products. I do find that I need to let it sit a little longer on more tenacious waterproof mascaras before they come off. Other than that, it’s pretty effective.

It’s rather runny and I find myself pumping a little more than I would for most cleansing oils. It doesn’t rinse off cleanly but this is true of many of the cleansing oils I’ve tried – I always follow up with a foaming wash. While some Makeup Alley users have broken out with this cleanser, I’ve not experienced this at all. A newer – soothing – formulation has since replaced this one but I’ve not tried it yet.

Note: This travel-sized bottle, part of a Bobbi Brown eye kit, leaked in my pouch when I brought it abroad with me. To prevent the same thing from occurring when I was away recently, I made sure the pump cover was tightly fastened and placed the whole thing in a sealed Ziploc bag just to be safe. Thankfully, it didn’t leak this time around!

Kohgendo Cleansing Spa Water is one of the brand’s star products and boasts a celebrity following. It really feels and behaves like micellar water, more notably the Bioderma one. Formulated with mineral-rich hot spring water (more specifically from Yumura hot springs in Izumo, Japan), it contains a few more chemical ingredients but also has several more plant extracts that purport to be nourishing and anti-ageing.

They work about the same to me: I use them to quickly remove non-waterproof makeup/skin swatches and to freshen up my face, paired with a thermal water spray to wipe down after. However, the Kohgendo does have a slightly more moisturising touch. I’ve recently begun using it to remove traces of lash glue (yuck!) after cleansing my face and it works perfectly for this purpose.

For reference, here are their ingredient lists:

Kohgendo Spa Cleansing Water

Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Lactic Acid, Arginine, Butylene Glycol, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, Betula Alba Juice, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Glycerin.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution (Sensitive Skin)

Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric glycerides, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) fruit extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene glycol, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium bromide.


  • I go through makeup removers like water that I think the Bioderma still works well enough for the price. Great review, helped me decide not to buy both. =D

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi there, PositivelyNice!

      Glad to know you found this useful. :) For me, the draw of the Kohgendo cleansing water is no doubt the hot spring water – I can’t help but be attracted to products made with spring water, haha! (Avene, Vichy, LRP – they all come to mind as I type!)

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