I set out to create my own skincare line…to address the needs of all the different types of skin that I had encountered as an esthetician. Skincare products back then—and still to this day for many companies—cater to the standard dry, normal and oily skin types. When you work hands-on with skin and are 3″ from people’s faces, you quickly learn that each type of skin is really unique and requires its own needs.
My interest in skincare first started…as a young girl at my grandmother’s hair salon. Her name was Irene and she owned The Powder Puff Beauty Shoppe. I watched her do clay facial masks on clients while they were getting their hair washed. She would let me rub the goop on my own face and I was completely fascinated with looking in the mirror at my skin with a green mask.
I consider myself lucky because…I knew at age 18 what I wanted to do with my life—help others look and feel their best. I didn’t waste any time and was enrolled in beauty school the fall after graduating high school. That was 30 years ago and my passion and vision have never changed. I love the skincare industry so much. It is truly my life’s calling.
My approach to skincare is different from others because…my line of almost 50 products caters to nine different types of skin. I created a 2-minute Skin Type Quiz and product collections for each skin type to make it really easy for people to choose what products are best for them. They can choose a routine that fits into their lifestyle.
- For someone who wants a simple routine, the 3-piece Basic Collection has the best three products for their skin type.
- For those that like something a bit more comprehensive, the 6-piece Essential Collection is great.
- For the person who wants to go all in with a 12-piece routine, the Complete Collection covers everything.
How I feel about the “natural” product movement is…there are benefits to both a scientific and a natural approach. I embrace the best of both. Nature offers us a slow and steady course that works gently with the skin with proven results, while science offers the more advanced, sometimes stronger ingredients, that are required as we age. Skin metabolism slows down considerably with age so science is best when you want to give it a boost. Advances in medicine will continue to expand in the field of skin care, so it’s a very exciting time.
The one skincare myth I wish people would stop believing…is that the skin doesn’t get used to products and decide to stop working. This is because there is no direct mechanism for your skin to become immune to the effects of products. When you apply a product, your skin’s receptors will take it in, and, assuming it’s a well-formulated product, it will go to work immediately to perform its function. Delivering a variety of ingredients into the skin is always beneficial, just like giving your body a wide array of nutrients through your diet. However, changing your routine because you think your products are losing their effectiveness over time is incorrect. Sadly, I hear a lot of skincare salespeople promote this concept to get you to toss your current products and buy their products. Ugh!
It’s helpful to change up your skincare routine if…your skin is looking bumpy, you’re pregnant, you’ve moved to a new city and for other reasons. Read why You might want to change up your products—and here’s how to know.
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to blemishes is…applying a drying spot treatment the moment one appears. What’s important to understand is that a blemish is an infection and your body’s repair processes will kick into gear immediately to make it go away fast. For pustular-type blemishes, this means the infection comes up and out of the skin in the form of a whitehead. The problem occurs when a harsh spot treatment is applied. While this will leave the blemish looking less noticeable due to the newly opaque dry cells that cover over redness and inflammation, it actually keeps the infection trapped under the skin longer which leads to a longer blemish life cycle. The result is a blemish that hangs around longer with increased scarring and discoloration.
The way I analyze a skincare product to get a first impression is…by licking it to see what it tastes like. Weird, I know. I can get a feel (or should I say…taste!) for how the skin might react to a product. For example, a big part of knowing how a product will respond to the skin has to do with its pH level and how acidic or alkaline a product is. Products that use a lot of citrus ingredients (vitamin C or orange and lemon-based ingredients) will have a tart taste to them. For skin type #4, #5 and #9 where the skin acts sensitive and has a fragile skin barrier, this might be too irritating. As for products that are formulated with exfoliating acids like lactic acid and glycolic acid, the taste will immediately tell me how strong it is and how much of an exfoliating effect it will give. Tasting a product is helpful to give me the first read on a product. Of course, an ingredient list will always give additional insight to help me draw conclusions.
Seeing an esthetician has greater advantages than seeing a dermatologist because…you get a wider variety of solutions. Traditionally, seeing a dermatologist for a skin condition like acne results in a five-minute visit with a quick look over at your skin and sending you off with a few oral or topical prescriptions. While medicine certainly has its benefits, sometimes there is something underlying that is contributing to the acne that can’t be discovered in five minutes. An esthetician spends at least 60 minutes with their clients which allows for deep discussions to get to a root cause. I’m like a detective in that I know all of the right questions to ask which really gives me insight into creating the perfect diet, lifestyle, and skincare plan to drive results. I believe that medication can play a supporting role but it should be the last option.
The skincare trend that scares me the most is…poking holes in the face twice a day using at-home dermarollers—especially for people under the age of 35. You can read my thoughts about home care devices but I just wish young people would stop injuring their skin in this way. The metabolism of their skin hasn’t slowed down much so it’s causing unnecessary aggravation and inflammation.
My skincare superpowers are…my ability to teach about skincare in an understandable way via my skincare blog. Skincare can be super confusing and complicated. My intention with my 1000+ blog posts is to try to make it easier for you. Whether you’re an industry professional or someone who just loves learning about how to best care for their skin, I think I have succeeded. Thank you for all of your enthusiasm and positive comments. Much appreciated!
I continue my skincare education by…attending cosmetic chemistry courses at UCLA, reading books and scientific studies, listening to podcasts and being a part of skincare conversations both within professionals in my industry as well as all of the amazing skincare enthusiasts out there. I also get a gazillion emails from various trade publications.
My personal skincare regret is…messing up my skin with years of skin picking. Like most people, when you get a blemish with a painful bump, you think “I can feel something in there and it needs to come out.” So, you take matters into your own hands and perform your own minor surgery in the mirror. For me, I justified this by saying, “My hands are licensed and I’m a trained skin-picking professional.” Well, that didn’t go over so well. What I failed to realize is that for cystic blemishes, they aren’t meant to come out of the skin. They develop in the dermis layers of the skin and they heal within those layers and your body reabsorbs the infection. Instead of letting my skincare routine work its magic, I would go to town on my skin and end up with so many scars. Years later, I would give up skin picking as a New Year’s resolution and finally got it under control. Read my best advice for skin pickers.
The three products everyone should use…is simple. These three products are so well studied and are game changers.
- A stable retinol product. With regular use, it will create change in the skin by smoothing away wrinkles, make pores look smaller, lift brown spots and enhance the skin’s texture.
- A daily sunscreen moisturizer. Hands down, wearing a moisturizer with sunscreen will be the most effective product for slowing down how fast your skin will age.
An under eye exfoliator. The eye is the first area to show the signs of aging. To combat this, most people know to use an eye cream but what most people don’t realize is that a gentle exfoliator to smooth away dryness will make it work even better.
I come up with an idea for a new product by…the conversations I have with clients and seeing a gap in my line. Many skincare companies resort to emulating other brands, but I don’t need to do that. I have no shortage of ideas that come with working hands-on with faces for the last 30 years. I have almost 50 products and there is plenty more to come!
The future of skin care…will continue to bring incredible advancements in skincare technology. There is tremendous scientific brainpower dedicated to research and development. Skin care products and treatments are now increasingly sophisticated at targeting the critical functions of skin health. For example, the production and maintenance of collagen and elastin are the building blocks of healthy skin. We can now safely speed up the skin renewal process without unwanted dryness and irritation, with products that contain retinol. New products coming out may be able to mimic the DNA functions of healthy skin to repair skin damage on an individual cell level. Scientific advancements are amazing at what it provides and if you’re wanting true change in your skin, there is no better place to find it then with science. We can all benefit from science when it comes to our health. But of course, Mother Nature plays an important role, too.
I think Botox and dermal fillers should be…a decision that is well thought out before you take the plunge. It’s not easy to turn back once you’ve gone down that road. Here’s what you should consider before getting Botox or fillers.
My newest tattoo…has the words “to serve.” It’s my daily reminder for the profession I chose 30 years ago. It was never about money, fame or ego. It was and still is,about being of service to others. See my tattoo.
My company is…growing fast since there is such a demand for my product line. I say “no” to almost every opportunity that comes my way to grow my company faster. Instead, I am focusing on building a great company with a great culture rather than becoming a household name and taking over the world. My mission is to do what I love, with people I love, while making a positive impact and leave a legacy. I know our customers would love nothing else for my line than to be more accessible by selling in retail stores, but it’s just not a vision that is right for me. I will most certainly keep educating you via my popular skincare blog so you can be a smart consumer and make educated skincare decisions. Stick with me. I’ve got you covered!
Thank you for the continued enthusiasm of the Renée Rouleau Skin Care line and all that we offer. I will continue to serve you well, promise!
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”