National Skincare Awareness Month’s founder Renee Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and owner of her namesake spa and skincare line, knows a thing or two about skincare. She practices in Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles and has over 25 years of experience helping her clients achieve healthy, beautiful, glowing skin.
Renee shares some insight into her life and business, plus the importance of taking the bathroom sink ice challenge.
How did you start out in the business?
I was inspired by my grandmother, an exceptional woman who worked tirelessly in her own beauty salon. My grandmother’s passion and dedication to give her very best resonates with me to this very day. She was an entrepreneur back in a day when most woman stayed at home and raised their children while the men went off to work. Growing up in her beauty salon, I observed how a woman would come in to her salon feeling down, and would leave glowing — both inside and out. I never underestimate how powerful looking good can positively affect a women’s self-esteem. So from a young age, my goal was to get people to like what they saw when they looked in the mirror.
What made you launch your own skincare line?
I saw a gap in the marketplace for truly customized skincare. From the beginning of my career as an esthetician in 1988, I recognized that every person’s skin is unique but the skincare industry mostly relied on a one-size-fits-all approach. Product lines were (and still are!) catered to very generic categories of skin — dry, normal, and oily — so I began formulating my own exclusive high-performance products based on nine skin types to ensure that my clients achieved the results they desired. Technology continues to customize our information, allowing us to make informed decisions and enhances our personal lifestyle, so why shouldn’t skincare be the same?
Any new products you’re especially excited about?
I’m launching a new skin oil that I’m very excited about. It contains a blend of 12 oils including sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip oil, and safflower seed oil to hydrate and replenish leaving skin softer, and more supple. It’s ideal for post-sun, post-peel, post-laser, pre- and post-flight and any time the skin needs some serious hydration and repair. One of my pregnant celebrity clients just had her baby and used it throughout her pregnancy and got ZERO stretch marks.
What’s the number 1 skincare mistake you see women making?
This biggest mistake people make is not wearing sunscreen daily and not applying it generously enough. For starters, the number one reason why your skin will get premature aging is from sunlight, daylight, and UV rays — period. And 78% of those rays come from incidental exposure. These are all the times when you don’t think you’re getting the damaging rays — like driving in the car, sitting in your home or office near windows, or walking outside on a cloudy winter day when people don’t feel like they need sun protection. If you want to prevent wrinkles, wearing sunscreen 365 days a year, rain or shine, inside or out, is a must. No anti-aging product can be effective if you’re not stopping the DNA damage that occurs from UV light.
Share your best anti-aging skincare tip.
In addition to the obvious which is to wear sunscreen daily, exfoliate often. The quickest, easiest way to get smoother skin is to exfoliate regularly to remove surface, dry skin cells that can cause the skin to look wrinkly and older. Literally, just one use of a facial scrub can give you instantly smoother skin. It’s immediate gratification can provide a smooth canvas for which makeup can enhance. If you want even better results, add in an exfoliating acid serum while you sleep that continues to work over time to smooth the texture of the skin, making you look younger. These are simple products that can easily be used at home and can make a world of difference with your skin. I recommend using a mild facial scrub like Renée Rouleau Mint Buffing Beads ($42.50) two to three times a week. For an added boost, you can use an at-home skin peel like Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($86.50) twice a month or BHA Clarifying Serum ($47.50) three nights a week.
Share your best beauty tip.
Get a glow! I’m really an advocate for increasing blood flow to the skin for skins that need it. When the skin ages, less oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to the it. For example, by the time you are 75 years old, you have about 50% less blood vessels in your face, so with less vessels, it means less blood is flowing to the skin. The result can be sluggish, dull skin. So anything that can bring nutrient-rich blood to the face is always the best tip for aging. This includes hanging your head upside down for three minutes a day, or massaging your night cream into your skin with a bit of pressure from your fingertips. It brings a glow from within. Or even wearing a brighter blush color and avoiding clothing colors that can add to sallow skin tones like olive, burnt orange, khaki, and a warm yellow.
What is your own beauty routine like?
I am extremely diligent about caring for my skin. I use Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel ($36.50) as my morning cleanser. It’s so refreshing on my skin and really wakes it up and brings a bright glow. It’s sulfate-free so it won’t ever dry out my skin. To reduce morning under eye puffiness, I fill up my bathroom sink with cold water, add in a few ice cubes and splash my skin 20 times. The cold really helps to constrict capillaries which helps reduce puffy eyes. I always follow with an alcohol-free toner such as Elderberry Toner, ($33.50), and then my Vitamin C&E Treatment ($64.50) is a must. It has really helped to fade discoloration that I’ve gotten in my 40s, plus it gives a beautiful radiance. Daily Protection SPF 30 ($37.50) is my next product. I apply it generously to my face, neck, sides of my neck, and any exposed chest.
In the evening, I cleanse, tone and alternate nights between Advanced Resurfacing Serum (with retinol, $83.50), Skin Drink (with hyaluronic acid, $40.50) and AHA Smoothing Serum 17% (with pure glycolic acid, $45.50). Serums make all the difference for giving my skin results. I then follow with a lightweight moisturizer, Sheer Moisture ($37.50) and eye cream, Total Eye Repair Cream ($61.50). Once a week, I’ll use a facial scrub, Mint Buffing Beads ($42.50), followed by an at-home gentle peel Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($86.50) and then a hydrating mask Bio Calm Repair Masque ($51.50). I also listen to my skin. I change up my skincare routine at night a lot. Healthy, beautiful skin requires a variety of high-performance ingredients and at night is the best time to do that.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out in the business?
It is a fact that a large percentage of people who go through the effort and investment of attending and graduating from esthetics school will never end up practicing esthetics, or will do so for a short time. I believe this is because they could not find a job or if they did, the job was not the right fit for them. My best advice is to explore every option for employment, but be sure to only apply for a position that best suits your style and personality. This way you’re going into the career with a better chance of success.
A commitment to health and wellness has guided Terese Linke’s career path over the past 25 years. Currently, she is global education and spa training director for Amala, a natural skin care line used in spas and wellness centers across the nation. She works behind the scenes to make sure that the aestheticians that use and sell Amala completely understand the line and how to customize treatments for each individual client. Here Terese shares her natural skin care expertise with Beauty in the Bag and details the benefits of using only natural and organic products on your skin.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you become involved with green beauty products?
Having a very strong interest and enthusiasm for health—wellness, sustainability, beauty, and fitness have been my life’s passion and inspiration. My primary goal in life is to be conscience of life, meaning, and destiny with a self-felt calling to cause good growth in my life and the lives of others. This has inspired me to follow a career that includes education and training, manufacturing, and sales, specializing in international training of products and healing lifestyle treatments, over the past 25 years.
In April 2006, I co-founded WPR Source, a world-class health and wellness education business development company that specializes in luxury spa and boutique retail. Prior to this, I worked for 11 years in the private education sector and during this time I become an accredited fitness instructor in 1988 and an esthetician and massage therapist in 2000. I have spent over 15 years in sales management and international training for several authentic green companies including Amala and PRIMAVERA. I have a real passion and enthusiasm for the training and education of others, which together with my commitment to my primary goal, has been a major force in energizing and inspiring others whom I connect with both personally and professionally.
Many active anti-aging ingredients like retinol or growth factors are not included in natural skin care products. How can natural products turn back the hands of time?
Rooted in nature’s wisdom, natural and organic products and treatments nurture and feed the skin with powerful plant botanicals. In addition to correcting problems, the right natural skin care products have the ability to create a more healthy and youthful appearance as we age. We need to remember that our skin is our body’s largest organ; therefore, our skin eats too. I cannot stress enough how important it is to choose only certified natural, organic skin care products as opposed to commercial products that are made with cheap, synthetic inorganic ingredients, where some of these ingredients have been proven to be harmful to our overall health and the appearance and health of our skin. Natural products that use organic seed and plant oils actually penetrate deeply into the skin to improve the structure and hydration of the skin rather than just sit on top of its exterior. Natural plant ingredients also help the skin to become thicker and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They also help tighten and lift the skin, as well as improve discoloration and uneven skin tone that we all experience with aging.
Does Amala skincare have a hero product? Why is it so popular?
Our hero product is without a doubt Amala Rejuvenating Advanced Firming Complex. It really stands out because it is our most results oriented, anti-aging product to date and the first Amala product with proven seven day clinical results. Since its launch in 2012, it has rapidly become Amala’s number one international best-selling product due to its amazing results. Our customers just can’t seem to get enough of it. I love the Rejuvenating Advanced Firming Complex not only for its fast and effective results, but also for its instant smoothing benefits and ultra-luxe texture. It’s very hydrating without being overly heavy.
Is the shelf life of natural beauty products shorter than traditional products?
Yes, it is. Certified natural and organic beauty products are made from ingredients from nature, therefore do not use any harmful chemicals, toxic preservatives, or cancer causing binders or fillers that you find in more traditional, conventional beauty products.
All Amala products are of 100% natural origin, free of petrochemicals, parabens, and synthetic or genetically modified ingredients. In the world of natural and organic skin care, Amala emphasizes quality over quantity in regards to a product’s lifespan. Synthetic products may offer an extended “shelf life” with chemically-based preservatives, but Amala’s all-natural preservation system allows the benefits of its living plant ingredients to remain fully intact and active. Natural botanicals, used in all Amala products, are the ideal preservatives. Amala’s cosmetic chemists are aligned with nature and use the intelligent properties of plants via extracts and essential oils to harness their innate intelligent system of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. By using the highest quality raw botanical materials that are grown in their idyllic setting, Amala capitalizes on nature’s “logic” to naturally fight bacteria and preserve its products.
What is your beauty philosophy?
I feel that many women these days spend way too much time worrying about their bodies and a few lines and wrinkles here and there. Beauty is so much more than just skin deep. I believe real beauty is a result of happy, healthy living, and doing good for yourself and others. It is about self-esteem, self-confidence, and being comfortable in your own skin. It is about how we feel about ourselves and how we also teach our daughters to feel about themselves. I believe in aging gracefully. It is not about looking “young,” it is about looking healthy and being the best I can be. Beauty is reflected from the inside, out. I focus on noninvasive alternatives to surgery, like using pure, natural and organic skin care, a healthy balanced diet that is rich in organic, preferably locally grown fruits and vegetables, and throughout my entire life I have placed a very high importance on personal fitness. I embark in daily exercise consisting of combinations of cardio, yoga, and Pilates.
What’s next for Amala and natural beauty?
The natural beauty category is really moving towards high performance skin care that is results driven, with proven benefits comparable to those from traditional beauty products. We are seeing more and more demand for active anti-aging and skin brightening products that deliver visible results without potentially harmful chemical ingredients. Amala is continuing to push the boundaries of what natural ingredients can do, and you can expect to see more and more highly advanced skin care products from our line in the coming years!
Founded in France in 1957 by a dermatologist and aesthetician, the professionally distributed G.M. Collin Skin Care is now based in Montreal. As the national director of education for the brand, Karen Asquith provides skincare training programs and guidance for an international staff of 140. She is a sought after speaker at skin care industry forums because G.M. Collin has a long history of being on the cutting edge of new ingredients beginning with collagen over 50 years ago to the latest in plant stem cell technology. You can also find her as a guest contributor to Web M.D.
Karen puts her technical knowledge to practice too. Since 200, she has been the lead aesthetician at the pre-Oscar suite, giving G.M. Collin skin care treatments to celebrities. In 2011, she added the Golden Globes to her itinerary.
Please tell us a bit about your background. How did you find your way to the field of aesthetics?
I always had an interest in aesthetics; however. my journey into this field began in part time college courses in cosmetology as I was enrolled in a full-time program in engineering technology. Upon completion of my engineering program, I realized that my interest in skin care was my true passion and at that point I enrolled in an aesthetic program realizing that this was the career path I truly wanted to follow.
What professional treatments really turn back the hands of time?
There are many professional treatments that will assist in both preventative and corrective actions on the skin. Presently the most popular that have proven scientific data to back them up are treatments that include peptides, growth factors, stem cells, retinol, and chemical peels.
What is your recommendation for treating acne?
Acne can be addressed with multiple ingredients. Probiotics, anti-microbial peptides, and salicylic acid are all ingredients that work well to minimize acne. Oxygen complex has proven to minimize the p. acnes bacteria, as this bacteria is anerobic, therefore, is unable to sustain itself in the presence of oxygen.
Do you believe in using active ingredients like retinol or glycolic acid?
Both of these ingredients have scientific data to prove their effectiveness for anti-aging treatments. Although they should not be used simultaneously, as this could cause over-stimulation to the skin, they should be incorporated in an anti-aging skin care regimen.
Are there any new anti-aging technologies that you find really exciting?
Growth factors are relatively new in skin care and when they are used in combination with other anti-aging actives they provide exceptional results in minimizing lines and wrinkles on the skin. Adipofillin™ is an active ingredient that won a gold award in 2012. It mimics lipo-filling results without injections to provide a more youthful looking skin. Tetrapeptide 26 boosts the expression of “clock genes,” which help to synchronize the cellular processes to protect the skin in the day and repair the skin at night.
If you could create any skin care product what would it be? Let your imagination soar.
This is a very complex question and truthfully there is really not one product that I could imagine that would be effective for everyone. As there are various skin types and even more skin conditions they all require different treatments to be properly addressed. I truly believe that within our G.M.Collin skin care collection we have products to assist with all skin types and conditions that provide the desired results. Also the skin undergoes changes at different ages, therefore what is require at age 30 is different than age 50. The key is to find a product line that has formulations to address the physiological changes for all ages which G.M.Collin has.