Micellar Water with Kumerahou & Manuka

Learn how to make this beautiful 3-in-1 micellar water, which cleanses, tones and hydrates your skin, without the need to rinse afterwards. Mild, soothing, anti-inflammatory, this gentle water removes dirt and grime from your skin, leaving your skin feeling clean, soft and hydrated. Great for people on the go, not wanting a long morning skin care routine, or just in between during the day, when you feel your skin needs a fresh up. This micellar water is also perfect to use after shaving. The calming, soothing properties of both chamomile and kumerahou help reduce shaving rash with the added antibacterial benefit of manuka to prevent and heal infections. Suitable for ALL skin types, but particularly for sensitive, irritated or acne-prone skin.

All the ingredients I used to make this beautiful micellar water are available from Pure Nature.


  • German chamomile hydrosol
  • NZ Manuka hydrosol
  • Palm-free glycerine
  • Kumerahou extract
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine (palm-free)
  • Geogard Ultra

So let’s talk quickly about the ingredients and why I used each particular ingredient.

German chamomile hydrosol: The first thing Karen and I noticed when we tried the chamomile hydrosol the first time was how much of a honey scent it had, which was really not what we were expecting, but what a cool bonus! Honey fragrances are always synthetic, so here’s an amazing skin care ingredient that also smells like honey! Of course for those of you who do not like honey, this might not seem a good thing. You might want to dilute it half/half with distilled water. Apart from the aromatic surprise, chamomile is one of the best hydrosols for your skin, as it suits and benefits all skin types. It has soothing and calming properties, and is strongly anti-inflammatory – great for irritated and acne skin, and also excellent for men to use to cleanse their face after shaving. Additionally, it hydrates and moisturises your skin, which is particular good for oily skins, when you are trying to steer clear from extra oils. Chamomile hydrosol, together with the manuka hydrosol forms the basis of this micellar water.

NZ Manuka hydrosol: Unlike the manuka essential oil that you might be more familiar with, the hydrosol does not have that same strong, penetrating scent. I would describe it as mild, herbal, and lightly woody, but then again, I’m not really good at describing fragrances and aromas, so lets just call it a very pleasant scent. Manuka as we all know is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory, and some of these components can also be found in the hydrosol. Both manuka and chamomile hydrosols are produced as a by-product of the steam distillation of the essential oil, containing the all the volatile water-soluble and some of the oil-soluble goodness of the plant material.

Pomaderris kumeraho flowering.
Contributed by Ewen Cameron.

Glycerine: I added glycerine to this formulation for it’s humectant properties. Humectants have the ability to draw water to itself. This is the reason that glycerine soaps ‘sweat’ – they draw moisture from the air. In skin care products, this is highly desired, because it will aid with the re-hydration of the skin. The glycerine I’m using is derived from rapeseed oil. Note that some can be palm oil derived, just be aware of that when buy it.

Kumerahou extract – Used in Rongoa, traditional Maori healing medicine, for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, this native New Zealand plant is high in saponins – hence the other name for it: ‘Gumdigger’s Soap’. I’ve added the kumerahou extract mainly for its saponins, which allow me to reduce the amount of surfactant in the formulation, but the beneficial properties of the kumerahou tie in nicely with the overall purpose of the micellar water.

Cocamidopropyl betaine – such a mouthful to say and you have no idea how long it took me before I could write this without having to look it up each time! Cocamidopropyl betaine is a naturally derived and very mild surfactant. In my surfactant tests I did earlier, I came to the conclusion that this one felt the nicest on my skin and didn’t have that soapy feel that the poly-glucosides tend to have. For a micellar water to be really effective as a cleanser, you do need to add a surfactant. The hydrosols will remove anything water-soluble, but to remove any oil-soluble grime on your skin that’s a job for the cocamidopropyl betaine. The amount I used is really small, 2%, and not only that, cocamidopropyl betaine is a very mild surfactant, which is why there’s no need to rinse or wipe your skin after using this micellar water.

Geogard Ultra: This is the broad-spectrum preservative I used. It is considered natural and it is ECOCERT and COSMOS approved. You can substitute this for a different preservative if you like. Microcare DB is another natural option. Or you can use the widely used and effective liquid Germall Plus, though this one is synthetic. You will need to use a preservative to prevent growth of mould, fungi and other microorganisms.

So there you have it. Now you know what each ingredient does, let’s get down to making it, which is really, really simple!


Makes 100 g. You will also need a 100 ml bottle. I used a spray bottle, but you can also use a normal bottle.

StageIngredient Category%g
AGerman chamomile hydrosolFoundation5050
ANZ manuka hydrosolFoundation4040
BKumerahou extractBotanical extract22
BCocamidopropyl betaineSurfactant22
CGeogard UltraPreservative11


  1. Mix ingredients from stage A together.
  2. Add ingredients from stage B, stirring after adding each ingredient.
  3. Add the preservative and stir.
  4. Pour in a bottle and give it a good shake.

How to use the micellar water

Spritz or dab onto a cotton pad and wipe over the face to remove grime. There’s no need to rinse.

If you want to learn how to formulate your own skin care products, sign up for the FREE Masterclass by Formula Botanica*. This is the accredited school that I am studying with.

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