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.