Rosen Skincare Review: The Brand Saving My Acne-Prone Skin

If you haven’t heard of Rosen Skincare, allow me to introduce you. This clean brand is re-thinking the way we think about acne. Rather than the same old synthetic formulas and skin shaming, Rosen offers thoughtful skincare for people with acne-prone skin.

As someone who only started to struggle with acne when she turned 18, I have dealt with feeling ashamed of my skin at the same time that I try to navigate college & the real world.. Adult-onset acne is no joke. I’ve tried so many things, from anti-acne pillowcases to expensive pimple patches to incredibly effective clay masks. Those three things in particular have helped, but the struggle with zits and bumps seems never ending. Rosen’s goal of helping their customers be confident, comfortable, and happy with their skin resonated with me, so I knew I had to check them out. Their acne positivity in addition to their transparency about what goes into their (very effective) products have made this brand a staple on my shelf.

Why is Rosen Skincare so dedicated to acne positivity?

Their founder, Jamika Martin, started her line because she had dealt with acne for most of her life and tried so many things that never completely fixed it. “Over the acne care industry” that always seems to make people feel worse about their skin, she wanted to change things up. And so Rosen was born: a brand that’s “all about bringing you confidence with clean ingredients.”

Now that we’ve covered the brand’s backstory, let’s get into some of their amazing products (as well as the ones that fell a bit short).

Earth Cleanser

rosen skincare earth cleanser

The Earth cleanser is a creamy, slightly foaming cleanser designed to help those with acne-prone skin. It contains Fuller’s Earth Clay, Zinc Oxide and Eucalyptus Oil. These ingredients’ natural anti-bacterial and astringent properties help fight bumps and texture. Other great ingredients include Niacinamide, Spirulina, and Peppermint. At $18 for 4oz, this cleanser is pretty affordable especially compared to other high-end anti acne cleansers.

To use, apply a quarter sized amount of the cleanser to damp skin and gently work up to a lather. Lather on cleanser for 60 seconds and rinse off.

I’m on my second bottle of this cleanser and am completely obsessed. It’s cooling sensation and ability to calm down my open spots and texture has made it a staple in my routine. My favorite way to use it is in the morning, by applying it and then leaving it on while I brush my teeth (a trick I learned from my Insta friend @reignofglow). I would recommend this to anyone who struggles with bumps and uneven skin texture.

Tingling Mud Mask

tingling mud mask

This mask is described as an “all-around workhorse for folks with acne prone skin.” It has bentonite clay, zinc oxide, and tea tree oil to help banish bumps and breakouts. The 2oz jar costs $18.

Rosen’s recommendation is to apply an even layer to the entire face. Ensure dry hands or brush when removing mask from jar to keep the product fresh and free of bacteria. Once dry, rinse off with water completely then go back in with face wash to remove excess residue. Can be used 2-4 times a week.

I use this mask in a slightly different way. I apply it to my nose and jaw/chin area, where my breakouts are quite bad and I tend to have the most texture. With drying clay masks, I prefer to focus just on problem spots. After using, my skin felt smoother and my spots less angry. This is another winner from the Rosen line.

texture of tingling mud mask

The Star of the Rosen Skincare Show (for me): Earth Mask

rosen skincare earth mask

This was the first product I tried from Rosen and it is definitely the star product for me. A hydrating cream based mask, it contains Fuller’s Earth Clay, Zinc Oxide and Eucalyptus Oil to help smooth out bumps. Unlike many clay masks, this doesn’t dry down – making it perfect for drier or more sensitive skin types. Like the tingling mud mask, this costs $18 for 2oz.

To use, apply an even layer to the entire face. Gently rub in, as you would a cream, and let sit for 15-20 minutes before washing off.

I LOVE the earth mask! It’s one of the few anti-acne masks that aren’t drying. This means I can use it more frequently – which I need to, given how many breakouts I get. I notice an immediate cooling and soothing feeling that makes my skin feel less angry. Additionally, it makes my skin look less red. Pro tip: If you’re struggling with maskne, this is the mask for you.

texture of earth mask

Gold Tides Toner

gold tides toner

Made with sea salt and white willow bark, this toner aims to help brighten, smooth and micro-exfoliate oily, acne prone skin. At $18 for 4oz, this is not a bad price for an exfoliating toner.

To use, apply toner to cotton ball and swipe onto skin after washing. I personally wouldn’t follow Rosen’s advice of using twice a day – that’s too much exfoliation for most people. I used it three or four times a week in the evening.

This toner was a little intense for me, so I didn’t often apply it over my whole face. I used it as a spot treatment applied under an intense clay mask (like the PTR Sulfur Mask) to really draw out impurities from under the skin spots. I will finish up the bottle I have, but I wouldn’t repurchase as I have other spot treatments I prefer more.

A Rosen Skincare Product that Didn’t Quite Work: Paloma Serum

a rosen skincare product that didn't quite work: their paloma serum, made with AHAs

The Paloma Serum is described as a chemical exfoliant made for those with texture, dark spots or dull skin. It combines 7% glycolic acid and 7% white willow bark to give you the best of both chemical exfoliant worlds: AHAs & BHAs. A bottle costs $14 for 1oz (a little pricey, but not terrible for a chemical exfoliant).

To use, apply 1-2 pumps of the serum to hands then gently rub or pat into face. It’s best to start slowly and work up to more frequent use to avoid experiencing sensitivity.

Personally, this serum was a too intense for me. It stung despite only using it 3x a week, and didn’t seem to help with it’s described targets even after three weeks of use. I wouldn’t purchase this again.

Rose Water Face Dew

rosen skincare rose water face dew

Marketed as a way to ditch your heavy moisturizer, the Rose Water Face Dew helps “lighten up your routine and help you glow.” This has some great hydrating ingredients like rose water and rose hip oil. At $15 for 2oz, this is a relatively inexpensive face mist.

I didn’t use this as a replacement for my moisturizer. With my skin type, I would likely get too dry by doing so. It was a nice fast mist – a little heavy for my taste. It worked very well with makeup and gave a nice glow. I wouldn’t repurchase, however, because there are other mists I just prefer more.

Moonlight Moisturizer

moonlight moisturizer

The Moonlight Moisturizer is meant to do more than hydrate your skin. It contains niacinamide, sacha inchi oil and licorice root extract to help oily, acne-prone customers keep bumps at bay. They also included mica powder to give a subtle glow. It costs $20 for 2oz.

To use, apply a dime sized amount to face and gently rub in to moisturize.

I really didn’t like this moisturizer. While the ingredients list is great for acne prone skin, it doesn’t moisturize at all – which to me, is the primary reason for using a moisturizer. It was difficult to rub in, had a distinctly unenjoyable texture (grainy and gritty), and left my skin feeling dehydrated. I would not recommend this moisturizer.

The Holy Grail of Rosen Skincare Products: Breakout Stick

rosen skincare breakout stick

A “super simple paste for bumps and breakouts,” this overnight spot treatment contains zinc oxide, apple cider vinegar and peppermint, among other ingredients, to help smooth out bumps. At $12 for 11ml, the cost is on par with other spot treatments.

To use, apply a small amount of the spot treatment directly to the bump with the applicator tip. Fully cover bump so no skin is visible.

I cannot rave about this spot treatment enough! It’s incredibly effective and has helped bring down many of my pesky zits. I love the minty fresh feeling as well, which makes it enjoyable to use. If you want to see just how much I use, check out this instagram video.

Final Thoughts

With effective products, fantastic ingredients, transparency in their decisions, and a dedication to ending acne-shaming, this is a brand I can fully get behind. I’ve found a number of products I really enjoy and will be keeping in my routine permanently. Even with some products not working for me, I love the brand as a whole and am excited to try more from their line.

Have you tried Rosen? Let me know which product appeals to you most!

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