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This review contains PR samples° and affiliate links* Rovectin is one of THE most talked-about Korean skincare brands at the moment, and so it’s time for me to give you my thoughts on all of the brand’s cult faves: which ones are worth trying and which are maybe the more problematic faves in my eyes?
Founded in 2011, K-beauty brand Rovectin has shot to elevated heights of popularity during the last 2-3 years, and now that most of the big-name Asian beauty stores with international shipping offer their products, they are becoming increasingly successful overseas. No wonder, given their claims to be “clean” (the big buzz-word of 2019/2020!) and formulated to provide skin-barrier protecting benefits with as little irritation as possible. The brand is also fully vegan from what I have seen, so it will appeal to animal-lovers.
I had been keen to try the brand for a while now, and so it was truly amazing to be sent a whole range of Rovectin goodies by Wishtrend, who are now carrying most of the products.*
The following Rovectin products were sent to me:
- Cica Care Purifying Toner, 260ml »jump straight to the review!
- Cica Care Balm, 40ml »jump straight to the review!
- Dr. Mask Cica, 5 sheet masks »jump straight to the review!
- Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser, 175ml »jump straight to the review!
- Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion, 180ml »jump straight to the review!
- Skin Essentials Aqua Soothing UV Protector SPF50+ PA++++, 50ml »jump straight to the review!
- Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule, 15ml »jump straight to the review!
At first I considered doing single reviews of every product I got sent, but I think it will just take too long for me to get through all of them this way. So, I thought it would be more beneficial to give you guys a general overview of the products I’ve tried, and tell you which – in my eyes – do and don’t live up to the hype: my Rovectin Hits and Misses!
Rovectin Cica Care Line: Much Ado About Fragrance
The Rovectin Cica Care skincare range is formulated with sensitive acne-prone and/or oily skin in mind that is usually hard to treat given the sometimes harsh ingredients traditionally used to treat blemishes and excess sebum. Rovectin prides itself on formulating gentle skincare solutions, and the three Cica Care products I received – toner, balm and sheet masks – all claim to have “no fragrance.”
Now, imagine my surprise after reading the “no fragrance” label when I opened my bottle of toner and was hit by a strong lavender scent! No fragrance? Methinks Rovectin doth not speakest the truth here fully… And indeed, lavender essential oil, a fragrant oil used as a natural perfume in many a sensitive skincare product, prominently features in the ingredient list of all three Cica Care products. I suspect that by “no fragrance”, the brand means “no artificial fragrance”, but this is just so needlessly misleading – most people with fragrance allergies and sensitivities actually tend to react the strongest to natural, essential-oil based fragrance, as it can contain a number of allergens such as geraniol or linalool, just to name two. And, well, lavender oil is particularly well-known to cause irritation issues for people with sensitivities, so it would be really important to not make fragrance-sensitive people think the products are safe for them.
So… I was already a tad disappointed in the Cica Care products, even before using them, just because the marketing of this is needlessly misleading, for reasons I honestly do not understand. Because the moment you open the products, you will absolutely smell the strong fragrance. Just be honest with your consumers! And, while I am at it – why is it that most K-beauty shops do NOT list lavender oil in the supposedly full INCI-list for the Cica Care toner and balm? It is clearly listed on the original packaging, but mysteriously doesn’t appear even on COSDNA. What is going on there?
Now, all that being said, I personally do not mind a bit of fragrance, natural or otherwise, so I was still willing to try the Cica Care products. Here is how I felt about each product of this acne-combatting trio!
1. Rovectin Cica Care Purifying Toner Review
The Rovectin Cica Care Purifying Toner is a watery toner formulated with a number of great ingredients known to combat acne and known to be big faves of mine: Centella Asiatica, Madecassoside (also won from Centella), the currently trending Houttuynia Cordata (or Heartleaf) extract, and Calamine, that lovely pink powder said to help calm down irritated skin and provide gentle antibacterial action on pimples and inflamed acne.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Cica Care Purifying Toner:
“Water, Dipropylene glycol, Propanediol, Methylpropanediol, Glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, c12-14 pareth-12, Sodium citrate, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric acid, Disodium edta, Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Pentylene Glycol, Phosphatidylcholine, Madecassoside, Ceramide NP, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Serine, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Proline, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.”
As I already noted, the lavender fragrance is pretty intense when you open the toner bottle, and I fear it will turn people off this actually pretty nice product. I love a good watery toner in summer, and the Rovectin Cica Care Purifying Toner offers a lightweight, yet still slightly viscous texture that is so pleasant on a hot summer’s day.
The toner is hydrating without being sticky – it does contain hyaluronic acid and glycerin, so it’s neat that these two humectants don’t thicken the formula as much as they often do in other hydrating K-beauty toners. I do not notice any particularly soothing qualities from the Purifying Toner, but my skin always feels smoother after use. To me, this is a nice toner for summer, especially if you have combo skin. It didn’t completely blow me away, and the fragrance issue just leaves me a bit unsettled, but it isn’t a full miss in my eyes and could work for people who do not like thick toners while still needing deep hydration.
You can purchase the Rovectin Cica Care Purifying Toner at Wishtrend* for 24$ for a large 260ml bottle that seems to last forever, so the pricing is pretty fair in my eyes. This also sells at Stylekorean* for 24$ and at Yesstyle* for around 20$.
2. Rovectin Cica Care Balm Review
The Rovectin Cica Care Balm is a thicker healing balm that still elegantly glides onto skin. French pharmacy brand cica balms can often feel too greasy or heavy for me, and I love that this Korean version is markedly lighter overall, while still providing the occlusive strength you kind of need from this type of product. Basically, a cica balm is meant to be applied on sensitised areas of the skin, especially when dealing with a damaged skin barrier from, say, using too many actives, or when the skin is inflamed from acne breakouts.
This is a mineral oil free product, which I honestly prefer, even though I know skincare specialists stress that petrolatum and co. are actually not as bad as many non-sciencey bloggers claim. The thing is just that I personally do tend to break out from too mineral oil heavy products, and they can also “creep” into my sensitive eyes overnight, causing them to get red and swollen.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Cica Care Balm:
“Water, caprylic/capric triglyceride, propanediol, glycerin, sorbitan stearate, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, 1,2-hexanediol, trehalose, vinyl dimethicone, glyceryl stearate, centella asiatica extract, hydrogenated lecithin, arginine, madecassoside, calamine, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, sorbityl laurate, phytosteryl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, synthetic beeswax, behenyl alcohol, carbomer, glycol stearate se, betaine, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, xanthan gum, protease, disodium edta, lavandula hybrida oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil.”
There is that darn lavender oil again, two different types even, and again the fragrance is very strong unfortunately. I just…do not understand why a young brand like this would still use the somewhat old-fashioned logic of “lavender oil calms down the mind, so it must also calm down skin”, because that’s just not how it works for many people with sensitive skin.
Ah, but let us focus on what I actually like about the product: this really does a great job at providing soothing and healing for my skin. I had overdone it a bit with my actives after getting an exciting delivery from Geek & Gorgeous, and through no fault of theirs had dived too deeply into a bunch of new products, resulting in slightly oversensitised skin. I used the Cica Care Balm as a sleeping mask overnight and it made my skin look so much better the next morning, less “angry” overall.
This could work well as a moisturiser for dryer skin types still dealing with acne, as the Centella Asiatica and Calamine provide anti-inflammatory soothing, while glycerin and synthetic beeswax help to strengthen and moisturise the skin barrier. I feel that come autumn, I will reach for this balm quite a lot as an overnight sealant for my hydrating layers. Again, you need to be ok with fragrance and essential oils when using this, but otherwise, I like it!
3. Rovectin Dr. Mask Cica Review
The Rovectin Dr. Mask Cica is one of the brand’s bestsellers, and I was very excited to try this sheet mask. Now, it does contain lavender oil and also ethanol/alcohol, which the other two Cica Care products I’ve tried do not, so it may not be for everyone. That being said…I love this sheet mask! It’s probably one of my favourite products out of the mix I got sent, and I’ve already used up three of the five masks, loving the effect it has on my heat wave challenged skin.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Dr. Mask Cica:
“Water, Glycerin, Alcohol, Methylpropanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Extract, Arginine, Centella Asiatica Extract, Madecassoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Trehalose, Betaine, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Calamine, Disodium Edta, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin.”
The sheet material is made from bamboo cellulose, which can feel coarse but in this case is super soft and thin, holding well onto the thick, transparent essence. Despite the alcohol content and fragrance, I find this to be a very calming and super hydrating mask, which leaves my skin feeling and looking brighter, smoother and less angry-red. This is a wonderful mask to use during or before that time of the month, when oily and combo skin types like mine tend to have the most trouble with breakouts and excess sebum. It is a great trouble care mask for skin freakouts, as long as you can tolerate essential oils and a bit of alcohol. The lavender scent isn’t as extreme as in the other two Cica Care products I’ve tried, though definitely noticeable. Still – this one is a hit in my eyes!
If you are interested in trying out the Rovectin Dr. Mask Cica, you can purchase a pack containing 5 masks at Wishtrend* for 20$, at Stylekorean* for the same price, or at Yesstyle* for currently around 15$.
Rovectin Skin Essentials Line: Ah, I Get It Now!
While the Cica Care line left me feeling somewhat confused about the brand concept, given the addition of fragrance despite stating it was without fragrance, the hydrating Skin Essentials product range, to me, is where it gets really interesting! Here is where Rovectin can truly impress, especially when it comes to their hyper popular cleanser and toner. This turquoise-blue line is aimed at dehydrated, sensitive skin and enriched with hyaluronic acid in various molecular sizes.
1. Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser Review
This super gentle cleanser really won my heart, and I would say it’s probably my absolute favourite from all the Rovectin products I’ve tried so far! Rovectin fulfils all of the promises made with the cleanser: it is ultra gentle, free from any harsh ingredients and uses none of the stripping cleansing agents so common in foaming cleansers.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser:
“Water, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, decyl glucoside, glycerin, sodium chloride, citric acid, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, centella asiatica extract, propanediol, butylene glycol, hexylene glycol, disodium edta, glycine, 1,2-hexanediol, serine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, protease, leucine, alanine, lysine, arginine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, threonine, proline, valine, isoleucine, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract, histidine, cysteine, methionine, ethylhexylglycerin, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, potassium benzoate, peg-120 methyl glucose trioleate.”
Sensitive skin will absolutely love the Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser, which is fragrance- and alcohol-free and does not contain the harsh surfactant sodium laureth sulfate, which can strip the skin. Indeed, when I use this cleanser it always amazes me how hydrated my skin feels afterwards – no stripped or dried-out feeling whatsoever! This contains three types of hyaluronic acid, calming Centella Asiatica extract and humectant glycerin. It does not foam as strongly as other cleansers, which I personally prefer given that it points to its gentleness, and I still find its cleansing powers quite impressive. To me, this is an absolute winner, a cleanser for all skin types that respects even the most fragile skin barrier and is surprisingly hydrating for a cleansing product.
If I’ve made you curious, you can find the Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser at Wishtrend* for 17$ for the rather larger 170ml bottle, at Stylekorean* for the same price, and at Yesstyle* for currently around 15$.
2. Rovectin Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion Review
Another winner, and probably neck and neck for me in terms of what the best Rovectin product I’ve tried so far is. The Rovectin Skin Essential Activating Treatment Lotion fully lived up to the hype for me, and given that there is quite an intense hype around this hydrating toner at the moment, that was no easy feat.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Skin Essential Activating Treatment Lotion:
“Water, glycerin, methyl gluceth-20, pentylene glycol, butylene glycol, niacinamide, sorbitol, adenosine, caffeine, sodium hyaluronate, allantoin, panthenol, arginine, hyaluronic acid, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, centella asiatica extract, glycine soja (soybean) sprout extract, carica papaya (papaya) fruit extract, 1,2-hexanediol, sodium pca, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, hydroxyethylcellulose, trehalose, sodium polyglutamate, hydroxypropyltrimonium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, potassium hyaluronate, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, disodium edta.”
All of my ingredient favourites are here: various forms of hyaluronic acid with high, medium and low molecular weights to provide hydration and plumping to the deeper layers of the skin, licorice root extract for brightening, niacinamide for pore care and redness issues, and allantoin plus panthenol for soothing. The toner has a thicker, but still light texture reminiscent of the equally excellent Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner Plus – great for dry skin, but also wonderful if you have dehydrated combo or even oily skin. Like the cleanser, this is free from any added fragrance or alcohol, and only has a faint “chemical” scent to it. This leaves my skin feeling so wonderfully hydrated and calm, with zero irritation and a bit of added plumpness. Deep love!
If you are now keen to purchase the Rovectin Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion, you can find it at Wishtrend* for 29$ for the 180ml bottle, at Stylekorean* also for 29$, and at Yesstyle* for around 23$.
3. Rovectin Skin Essentials Aqua Soothing UV Protector SPF50+ PA++++
It took a bit of time for me to warm up to the Rovectin Skin Essentials Aqua Soothing UV Protector, and at first I wasn’t too fond of this physical sunscreen. When comparing it to my current fave, the Klairs Mid Day Blue Sun Shield, which also uses mineral filters, I do prefer the Klairs one, which just gives such a lovely, subtly flattering tone up effect.
I still ended up enjoying the Rovectin sunscreen in the end, thanks to it working so well on hot days, where I felt it helped keep my oiliness in check, and it leaves a nice semi-matte finish on the skin overall. But, well, the ingredient list is… a bit problematic again…
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Skin Essentials Aqua Soothing UV Protector:
“Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dibutyl Adipate, Niacinamide, Caprylyl Methicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Sulfate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Trehalose, Aluminum Hydroxide, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, Prunus Amygdalus Amara (Bitter Almond) Kernel Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Leaf Extract, Octyldodecanol, Adenosine, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Fructooligosaccharides, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Pullulan, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Undecane, Tridecane, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.”
Basically, I am a bit unsettled by the added bitter almond oil, apparently used as a whitening ingredient in some skincare. Smaller quantities are usually safe, but I still don’t really want arsenic in my products, ya know! I don’t know, this is another mixed bag product for me, I enjoyed it, but also have questions regarding the ingredient list, and just do not see why bitter almond oil needs to be in any product given its potential toxicity and questionable benefit compared to safe brightening ingredients such as niacinamide or licorice extract.
I’m not a fear-monger when it comes to cosmetic ingredients, but bitter almond oil just doesn’t really have any superior effects in comparison to the totally harmless sweet almond oil, or any oil really, so why risk adding it, especially when your whole branding is around safe, clean ingredients? Ultimately, I do trust that a large skin brand wouldn’t use anything truly toxic in their products, but as I said, it just unsettles me a bit… Maybe I’ve just read too many Agatha Christie novels?
Nevertheless, I do like the silky texture of this product, and even though it gives a bit of a white cast, it worked well for my paler skin – I had no breakouts or sensitivity issues with it. The Rovectin Skin Essentials Aqua Soothing UV Protector is available at Wishtrend* for 29$ for the 50ml tube, at Stylekorean* for the same price, and at Yesstyle* for around 24$.
Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule Review
The Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule is another big bestseller from the brand, and I can very much see why. I’ve written about LHA, a gentle derivate of BHA, in my recent summer skincare article, and recommended the ampoule as a delightfully light hydrator for the hotter weather.
By now I have actually used up the small 15ml bottle and will sorely miss this concentrated, syrupy gem in my routine. It does contain alcohol, but still felt very hydrating and gentle. It mixes well with other water-based gels, and I love combining it with the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide serum to keep excess sebum in check during the day. This combo also does well in reducing my pesky redness issues, so I’ve grown quite fond of it.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule:
“Citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) Flower water, Propanediol, 1, 2-hexanediol, Methylpropanediol, Niacinamide, Purified water, Sodium hyaluronate, Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, Glutathione, Hyaluronic acid, Capryloyl salicylic acid, Hyrolyzed hyaluronic acid, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, Panthenol, Carbomer, Glycerin, Raspberry ketone, Hydroxyethyl urea, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tromethamine, Ethylhexyglycerin, Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Butylene glycol, Benzyl glycol, Beta-glucan, Hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, Disodium edta, Ethanol.”
The ampoule contains 85% neroli water and multiple forms of hyaluronic acid, plus glycerin, beta glucan and urea, three great humectants, so it feels deeply hydrating. I do wish this came in a larger size, as you do need a regular-sized amount and it isn’t really that concentrated overall. On the plus side, the small size means it’s also an affordable product and thus a good way to test out the brand for yourself. This works great for dehydrated combo or oily skin, and I feel could also be something for dry skin if combined with other, richer products in your routine.
Phew, this was a long one – I hope you’re still with me! As you can probably tell, Rovectin turned out to be a mix of “yay!” and “hm, well!” all in all. There are some problems with the marketing in my eyes, especially in regards to labelling clearly fragranced products as being “no fragrance.”
That being said, there are some absolutely stellar gems in the mix as well: the Conditioning Cleanser is nothing short of outstanding, and the Activating Treatment Lotion equally wonderful, so hydrating and gentle, a strong new favourite of mine. I also greatly enjoyed the Dr. Mask Cica and the Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule for my oily combo skin, and would recommend them for similar skin types, as long as you are ok with a bit of alcohol (and fragrance) in your products.
Let me know in the comments: Have you tried any Rovectin products yet? What are your brand faves or wish list candidates?
Take care guys, and stay safe!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by a brand or shop – I am not obligated to write this blog article, was not paid for the article, and my opinions are entirely my own.
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!