At-Home Routine for Acne (and When It’s Time to Consider Professional Treatments)

If you’ve dealt with persistent acne, chances are you’ve spent countless hours (and dollars) looking for the holy grail product that will finally get rid of your blemishes for good.

Unfortunately, the reality is that acne is a disease of the skin for which there is no known cure. I’ve said this before, and I think it’s worth repeating. I notice so many companies claiming their products will totally clear your blemishes and you’ll never get a breakout again. I believe this sets people up with unrealistic expectations about their skincare journey. Trust me, if there was a true cure for acne, we would ALL know about it. Word would spread really fast. 

Now, that’s not to say that the right at-home routine can’t be incredibly effective against acne! As an acne specialist, I have witnessed thousands of clients have had life-changing results. With the right products, many people are able to significantly reduce and control their breakouts. In this post, you’ll meet Priscilla and learn how she got her acne under control using just an at-home routine I designed for her. I’ll also talk about the limitations of an at-home routine and how to know when it’s time to start thinking about professional treatments for acne. 

Meet Priscilla

“Hi! I’m Priscilla. I’m twenty-three years old and I’ve been struggling with acne for about seven years now. I first started experiencing breakouts after getting the Depo shot for birth control; that was what made it flare up, and I’ve been dealing with it ever since.”

Have You Found Anything in the Past Seven Years That Has Improved Your Acne?

“Retin-A (a prescription retinoid) is legit the only thing I have ever seen any results from,” Priscilla said, “but I was still getting a lot of breakouts even when using that. I’ve tried a lot of different products, it’s like when people say, ‘I’ve tried everything.’ I feel like I’m in that boat. I’ve never really been able to identify any specific triggers for my breakouts either. I eat super clean and work out, take care of my body, but I haven’t really found anything that works for me perfectly yet.” 

Priscilla is by no means the only client of mine who has experienced this. So many people feel like they should be able to control their breakouts by cutting out certain foods, taking certain supplements, or living a “clean” lifestyle. While taking care of your overall health is certainly beneficial for your skin, I’ve never liked this narrative because it makes people feel like they have acne because of something they’re doing wrong. The fact is, sometimes our skin is just wired a certain way! Having blemishes is not a shortcoming. Learn more about how the food we eat really affects our skin.

Going Into Our Consultation, What Were Your Top Three Skin Concerns?

“My top three goals were to lessen the number of my active breakouts, reduce redness (post-blemish scarring), and smooth out the texture of my skin,” Priscilla said.

Priscilla’s Routine for Acne

After having a consultation with Priscilla and examining her skin, I identified four main issues that I wanted her routine to address:

  • Current, active breakouts (most of which didn’t come to a head)
  • Redness leftover from recent breakouts
  • Vascular damage from older, nodular breakouts (Priscilla had a few V-beam laser treatments that had already helped improve this.)
  • Pitting/scarring from nodular acne when she was in her early twenties (Priscilla will likely have a lifetime of dealing with this. I suggested that once her active breakouts are under control, she gets on a retinoid to address pitting and improve skin texture.)

With these goals in mind, this is the routine I recommended for her from my line. 

AM Routine

PM Routine

*Anti Bump Solution can be used as a spot treatment for individual cysts, or it can be used as a preventative treatment against cysts. To use preventatively, apply a thin layer to the entire affected area two to three times a week.

Weekly Facial

I recommended Priscilla do her weekly facial on a Skin Correcting+Anti Bump Solution Night.

  • Double Cleanse: Soothing Aloe Cleansing Milk then AHA/BHA Blemish Control Cleanser
  • Peel: Triple Berry Smoothing Peel (Leave on for 5-10 minutes. It may sting/tingle but that’s normal.)
  • Mask: Rapid Response Detox Masque (Leave on for 15-30 minutes. Put it in the fridge beforehand for extra cooling benefits!)
  • Toner: Elderberry Soothing Toner
  • Hydrating Serum: Skin Correcting Serum
  • Treatment Serum: Anti Bump Solution
  • Moisturizer: Skin Recovery Lotion

“It took me about two months to really start seeing a noticeable difference,” Priscilla said. “I was floored by this because I had spent so much time, literally years, on medications and harsh topical creams with no real, lasting results. So after getting results from my regimen after 2 short months of staying consistent and committed to the process, I was hooked and haven’t looked back since. That said, it is all about consistency. Stay the course!” 

Priscilla’s Gamechanger Products

These were the products Priscilla felt made the most noticeable difference in her skin.

  1. Vitamin C&E Treatment. “This makes me feel confident in my skin because it gives me a glowy, plumped feel. I can’t wait to use it every morning!”
  2. Skin Correcting Serum. “This serum is everything. I have noticeably fewer bumps and less redness.”
  3. AHA/BHA Blemish Control Cleanser. “The gentle exfoliation that this product has is absolutely amazing. It’s not abrasive, it’s just the right amount of gentle scrub to get that good clean feel. It feels like I’m scrubbing the day off which it’s so refreshing after a long day.” 

Additional Tips

If you’re starting an entirely new routine like Priscilla was, I can’t stress enough the importance of introducing the products slowly. In the case your skin has a negative reaction to an ingredient in a product, this will make it easier to pinpoint what exactly your skin doesn’t like. I recommend adding one new product to your routine every two days. Learn how to patch-test for a negative reaction.

When Is It Time for Professional Treatments?

As you can see in the photo above, a tailored, consistent skincare routine was able to significantly improve Priscilla’s skin in just two months. That said, there were still issues she was looking to improve.

“My biggest concern now is reducing my acne scarring,” Priscilla said. “I still experience some breakouts, but only once in a while. Which is a huge win for me.” 

Because Priscilla has experienced mostly nodular and cystic breakouts (which occur deep within the skin as opposed to on the surface), she was left with deeper redness as well as some indented scarring. This is where professional treatments come in. While skincare products can make a huge difference, they work on the top layers of the skin and may not be enough to solve problems rooted within the deeper layers of the skin. 

When I was designing Priscilla’s at-home routine, my goal was to get her breakouts under control and calm her skin so it was less inflamed and irritated. This would allow her to then pursue more aggressive professional treatments to tackle redness and scarring.

The reason I wouldn’t recommend someone with active breakouts get strong professional treatments is that these treatments can actually make acne worse. Oftentimes, they are just too stimulating and can stir up or reactivate breakouts. Some treatments can also cause slight irritation, which isn’t your friend if you’re blemish-prone. Read about how this beauty editor got sudden breakouts after receiving an overly-stimulating professional treatment (and how she got rid of them). 

Bottom line, you want to get infected acne cleared up and calm the skin down before pursuing most professional treatments. Now that Priscilla’s breakouts are under control and we’ve corrected the irritation caused by harsh acne treatments, she’s free to pursue microneedling, laser treatment, or whatever else her dermatologist might recommend (in addition to continuing her at-home routine since the products will continue to keep her acne under control).

Once you find an effective routine for your acne, I suggest giving it at least four months before deciding whether it’s time to look into professional treatments to get you the rest of the way in achieving your skin goals.

Priscilla’s Advice for Anyone Dealing With Acne

“Don’t give up hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and for me, it was Renée Rouleau Skin Care. The investment in her products is worth it. Why spend X amount of money on crappy products that don’t give you results vs using quality, proven product that gives you results (and you only need a small amount of product – so it lasts). If you are on the fence, I say go for it!”

The post At-Home Routine for Acne (and When It’s Time to Consider Professional Treatments) appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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7 Things To Include In Your Bath Water For Shiny Skin

Bath is one of the most relaxing activities of our lives, as it offers dual benefits of body cleansing and stress elimination. However, you can augment its benefits by adding a few natural ingredients about which we will talk in this article.

We have compiled 7 natural ingredients to be added to your bath water for getting a clean and shiny body skin and a relaxed mind.

7 Things To Include In Your Bath Water For Shiny Skin

1. Milk

Milk has been used for ages as an additive to bath water due to its multiple properties which contribute to body cleansing. It comprises of vitamins, fats,and proteins which keep the skin hydrated and help in the retention of moisture, making skin supple. Moreover, it contains lactic acid which is extremely beneficial for skin.

How to use milk for bathing? All you need to do is pour a few cups of milk to lukewarm water and soak your body in it for 15 minutes.

2. Salts

Bath salts work magic by softening and smoothing the skin. They de-stress the mind and lends a relaxed feel.

You can experience this magic by sprinkling bath salts in a bathtub and taking a dip. The advantages will include relaxed sore muscles and moisturizing of the skin, causing a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Ginger

Ginger contains several anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting congestion, flues,and colds. When you add ginger to your bath on a cold day, the bath will raise the body temperature and make you feel warm throughout the day. For skin, ginger will do the cleansing job and get rid of the toxins.

4. Tea

Tea is a great ingredient for the detoxification of the skin and improvement of hair growth. So, get good quality tea bags for your bathing regime.

You need about 3-4 tea bags or 1-3 cups of brewed herbal tea such as peppermint tea or green tea and let your body seep into the water for about 20 minutes.

5. Essential Oils

Essential oils help to relax both the body and the mind. They help in keeping away stress, achy muscles, dull skin while promoting shiny skin and healthy hair growth. Just add a couple drops of the oils to your bath water and enjoy the aromatherapy bath.

6. Honey

Everyone knows that honey is superbly good for skin so you should consider adding honey to your bathwater. Add a couple of honey-filled cups to the bath water and relax in the tub for about 15 minutes.

The advantages of a honey bath include cleansing of pores, moisturizing of the skin and radiance of the skin.

7. Lemon

Lemon is a universally acknowledged remedy against thedull and blemished skin. Just get lemon juice (about ½ cup) and add it to your bath water. When you come out of the tub, you will easily notice the brightness in your skin.

If you did not know already, let us tell why you should definitely give lemon a try: it refreshes mind, shrinks pores, fades away blemishes and revives your skin.

The post 7 Things To Include In Your Bath Water For Shiny Skin appeared first on Skin Care Beauty Zone.

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Here’s How to Start Managing Teenage Acne at Every Stage

To some, experiencing acne and blemishes for the first time during the teenage years may seem like a rite of passage and something that just needs to be “gotten through.” But as an esthetician, I believe it’s best to start getting on top of acne and clogged pores as soon as they start (especially since 85 percent of teenagers will experience acne at some point). Even if acne is mild, learning to take care of your skin during puberty will set you up with healthy skincare habits to last a lifetime. If acne becomes more severe, treating it early on can prevent potentially permanent scarring as well as unnecessary emotional distress. 

Keep reading for my expert tips on managing teenage acne at any age.

Teenage Acne Vs. Adult Acne

While the breakouts that occur in your teens aren’t inherently different from breakouts you might experience as an adult, teens may need different factors to control their breakouts. Teenage acne is most often caused by an overproduction of oil brought on by hormones. Androgens, a group of sex hormones that can cause oil glands to become overactive, increase in both girls and boys during puberty. 

This means that keeping skin clear and managing acne in your teens should focus on proper cleansing and oil control.  

While teenage acne can be frustrating, the good news is that teen skin is more resilient than adult skin. It has a higher rate of skin cell turnover and heals more rapidly. The fact that teens produce more oil than adults helps keep their skin’s natural barrier protected, making them less prone to irritation. 

Learn more about the science behind breakouts and why they form. 

Best Products for Managing Teenage Acne

As I mentioned, managing teenage acne should focus on proper cleansing and oil reduction. That said, younger, pre-teen skin should be handled somewhat differently than teenage skin on the older end of the spectrum. I’ve broken down the best products and routines for managing teenage acne by age group. 

Note: Due to the nature of their hormones, boys often experience a more severe onset of teen acne than girls. That said, boys are also more likely to recover from their acne during their teens whereas girls are more likely to carry their acne into adulthood. (No fun, girls!)

Acne at Ages 11-14 

The first signs of acne often start to appear with the onset of puberty, which typically happens between the ages of eleven and fourteen (or even earlier for some). These first signs of acne usually manifest as congestion, meaning clogged pores (little bumps under the skin) and blackheads in the t-zone. Since acne is usually still mild at this stage, it’s a good time to get on top of it.

The challenge with this age group is that the skin is still very young and often resembles childhood skin more than adolescent skin. This means it needs to be treated gently without the use of overly harsh or active ingredients. My best advice for this age group is to establish a simple, consistent skincare routine and stick to it. Not only will this help keep acne under control, but it will also establish healthy skincare habits that will serve you for life.

Cleanser

The ideal cleanser for someone in this age group would be something gentle and free of SLS (a harsh sulfate that can dry out the skin), synthetic fragrance, or drying alcohols. I recommend either a gel or lotion cleanser. Be sure to cleanse both morning and evening as well as after sports or activities that make you sweat a lot. 

Toner

Using a hydrating, alcohol-free toner with soothing properties after cleansing is a great way to make sure any remnants of cleanser are removed to keep pores clean. 

Moisturizer

Get in the habit of using two moisturizers: one without sunscreen for nighttime and one with sunscreen for daytime. It’s thought that 80 percent of a person’s sun exposure occurs before the age of eighteen, so if you can lock this habit down early on, your skin will be thanking you for years to come! I recommend a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer for nighttime and a moisturizing sunscreen for daytime. 

Spot Treatments

Spot treatments are a great option for someone experiencing blemishes at this age. The benefit is that you don’t use drying acne treatments all over the skin and risk causing irritation, you just get treatment where you need it. I recommend something like my Night Time Spot Lotion to help dry up surface whiteheads FAST.

Manual Scrub

If you’re seeing a lot of congestion, you can introduce gentle, physical exfoliation a few times a week using a well-formulated facial scrub. Just be sure the beads used in the scrub are round and non-abrasive. (Look for ones with jojoba beads which are round and they glide across the skin nicely without creating micro-tears to your infected breakouts.)

Acne at Ages 15-19 

Around age fifteen is when acne often starts to become more severe in teens. This is also when sebaceous glands are kicked into overdrive, so you really want to start focusing on products that help with oil reduction. This is also the age at which I typically start to recommend chemical exfoliation. 

Cleanser

I recommend using a cleanser with either exfoliating or oil-absorbing elements. AHA/BHA Blemish Control Cleanser combines chemical exfoliation with a gentle physical exfoliant and is one I recommend to many people in this age range. Rapid Response Detox Cleanser is another good option that includes antibacterial properties as well as oil-minimizing ingredients. Be sure to cleanse both morning and evening as well as after sports or activities that make you sweat a lot.

Toner

Traditional astringent toners often include drying alcohol and can strip the skin doing more harm than good. Instead, I suggest a hydrating, oil-free toner with antibacterial properties to balance the skin. Mindful of skin’s natural biome as well as brighten, hydrate. 

Vitamin C Serum

Using a vitamin C serum under your sunscreen in the morning will provide great antioxidant benefits to protect from UV damage. In addition, a vitamin C serum can be very beneficial to teenagers experiencing acne because it will help inhibit the pigmentation that causes lingering acne scars. 

Night Time Serums 

Salicylic acid (BHA) is an acid (chemical) exfoliant and a key ingredient to look for. It’s oil-soluble, meaning it can get inside the pores to clear them out and curb oil production. A salicylic acid serum works well for clearing congestion and eliminating superficial acne such as whiteheads, pustules, and papules (as opposed to deep nodules and cysts that stay under the skin and never come to a head). Learn why I prefer exfoliating acids in serums instead of acid toners.  

To avoid over-exfoliating, I recommend alternating your salicylic acid serum with a hydrating serum to support the skin’s moisture barrier and immune function. 

Moisturizer

When someone produces a lot of oil, their instinct is often to use products that dry out the skin and skip using moisturizers. This can leave skin dehydrated and flaky, and your skin will become even oilier trying to compensate for the lack of hydration. Moisturizing is especially important for those treating their blemishes because it offsets the dryness caused by many acne-fighting ingredients. Use a light, oil-free lotion like Skin Recovery Lotion. If you’re extremely oily, you can also opt for a mattifying gel moisturizer

Be sure you use a moisturizer in the morning that contains an SPF of at least 30. This is crucial for preventing those red and dark post-breakouts marks that can linger for months. 

Masks

Masks can be a great skincare addition for teens and are a useful tool when it comes to managing your acne. A hydrating, antibacterial mask can be used any time breakouts are flaring up. For those with very oily skin and congested pores, try a gentle clay mask that includes hydrating ingredients beforehand. 

Additional Tips for Managing Teenage Acne

Establishing a consistent routine is the best thing you can do to manage acne, but these few other tips can also make a big difference.

Consider When to See a Dermatologist

If you’re experiencing severe acne, especially nodular or cystic acne (hard, painful lumps that don’t come to a head), it’s a good idea to consult with a dermatologist. Because they occur so deep within the skin, cystic and nodular acne are most likely to leave permanent indents and scarring. A derm may prescribe products such as a retinoid to help regulate skin cell turnover and prevent clogged pores or benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide can also be found over the counter and used as a treatment on areas where red, infected blemishes are present. 

Always Wash Your Face After Exercising

Because keeping the skin clean and free of oil and bacteria is key, cleanse your face any time you work out or sweat (in addition to morning and evening). Focus especially on cleansing areas where sweaty sports equipment rubs up against the skin. This will help prevent breakouts from forming in the first place. Learn more about how to care for your skin when working out.

Change Your Pillowcases

Change your pillowcases often to avoid reintroducing oil and bacteria to the skin. 

Treat Body Acne as Diligently as Acne on the Face

Many teenagers can develop acne on the body as well as the face. Learn how to manage body acne.

Don’t Use Bar Soap

When used to wash your face, the ingredients that help bind bar soap together lower the pH of your skin and can cause dryness or even irritation over time.

Don’t Pick!

As tempting as it may be, this is a habit you’ll want to kick early on. I’ve seen picking cause a lot more damage to people’s faces than acne ever could. If you have clogged pores or blackheads that need to be removed, it’s always best to schedule a facial and see a professional for extractions. Learn the benefits of a facial for teenagers.

I hope you found this post helpful! Navigating acne for the first time can be confusing for teenagers and parents alike. But trust me—spending a little time and effort upfront to establish a consistent skincare routine will benefit you so much later on. If you’re still struggling to find a routine that’s just right for you, you can book a virtual consultation with one of our in-house estheticians.

The post Here’s How to Start Managing Teenage Acne at Every Stage appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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Improve Your Skin With My 5-Day Post-Summer Skin Repair Plan

The summer months can cause significant damage to the skin due to the amount of time spent in the sun, heat, chlorinated pools, lakes, and saltwater oceans. Even if you were super diligent about protecting your skin from the elements by wearing sunscreen, reapplying it often, UV protective clothing, a big hat, and sunglasses, the reality is that spending all that time outside still puts your skin in a vulnerable position due to the increase in free radical activity.

Because of this, brown spots are increased (due to heat), the skin’s texture gets rough, and the skin can be left feeling tight and parched (looking less-than-radiant). I know this all too well as I do a ton of bicycling outside in Austin and my pigmentation is all fired up! Since the skin has incredible repairing mechanisms, I’ve created this effective at-home treatment plan to kickstart them and repair the skin from summer sun damage which I’ll start doing soon once the temperatures cool down a bit.

The results: This five-day treatment encourages new, healthy skin cell growth to reveal smoother, more even-toned skin just in time for fall. The #ReneeRouleauGLOW, for sure!

The Three Products You’ll Need (and One More You’ll Probably Want, Too)

These are the three products you’ll need for your five-day skin repair plan, plus one bonus product that makes a great add-on.

1. A Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub

First and foremost, it’s important to use a facial scrub with ROUND beads. This is one of the times where “natural” is definitely not better. Pits of apricots and walnut husks are ground up into tiny little pieces to be used in facial scrubs, but the edges can’t be rounded in the process. This means that when you use it on your skin, it causes scratches and makes lacerations that can cause irritation. Not good. I also don’t recommend using plastic beads because of the negative impact they have on the environment. Instead, I like to use round jojoba beads. They work beautifully on even the most sensitive skin (and are biodegradable).

As for facial scrubs, they can get a bad rap. Learn why I believe scrubs should definitely still be part of your routine.

Product Recommendation: Mint Buffing Beads

2. An Exfoliating Peel

Some people might not have ever used a product like this, but it’s crucial if you really want to get the full results from this treatment plan. Many companies make special exfoliating treatments that use ingredients like glycolic, malic, tartaric, salicylic, or lactic acids. The best product to look for in this case is one with a high concentration of acids. This will usually be a specialized mask or peel treatment that is left on for five to ten minutes and rinsed off. Generally, masks and peels are stronger (and therefore more effective for this treatment) than a lesser-strength leave-on acid serum or toner that is mild enough to stay on the skin while you sleep.

Product Recommendation: Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

3. A Soothing Gel Mask

Most masks come in the form of gels, creams, sheets or clays. While all have their benefits, for the purpose of this treatment I suggest using a gel mask due to its cooling, soothing, and deeply hydrating properties. This treatment is intense (in a good way), so a calming, anti-redness mask is best to round it out.

Product Recommendation: Rapid Response Detox Masque and Bio Calm Repair Masque

Bonus Product (Optional But Highly Recommended)

An antioxidant vitamin C serum is a great add-on treatment if you have it. Since this treatment works to reveal fresher, younger cells, it’s best to protect and nourish them by applying a potent dose of stable vitamin C under your moisturizer at the end of the treatment. In addition, vitamin C is excellent for suppressing melanin cells to help put pigment cells asleep. Basically, it’s good for visibly fading brown spots and discoloration. Many of you are probably already using one, so this makes a great addition.

Product Recommendation: Vitamin C&E Treatment

How to Perform the Five-Day Treatment

While this treatment plan can be done by anyone, there are special considerations I suggest taking if you have very sensitive skin. Because of this, I’ll provide two versions of my post-summer skin repair plan.

If Your Skin is: Sun-Damaged, Acne-Prone, Aging, Oily, Normal or Dry

This is the original version of the post-summer skin repair plan and the one that will be used by most skin types.

Night #1: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Step 1: Cleanse skin with your regular nighttime cleanser. Rinse well.

Step 2: Immediately apply a thin layer of the exfoliating peel to the entire face. Be sure to apply on the crow’s feet area near the eyes, but avoid getting onto the lashes or into the eyes. Leave the peel on for ten minutes. (A tingling sensation is normal while the peel is on the skin, although not all will feel this.) After ten minutes, rinse well with COOL water and gently pat off dripping water but DO leave skin still damp.

Step 3: On damp skin, apply a small amount of the facial scrub to the face and massage in gentle, circular motions for sixty seconds. DO NOT apply pressure. Just let the beads gently roll over the skin. Be sure to use on the crow’s feet area (gently) but avoid getting into the eye. Rinse well.

Step 4: Apply a thin layer of the gel mask to the entire face. Let dry for 10 minutes and rinse well with COOL water. Proceed with using an alcohol-free toner then apply a thin layer of a vitamin C serum for an antioxidant infusion/brightening and follow with your nighttime moisturizer. At this point, the skin should start to feel calm again, but reddening of the skin is considered perfectly normal.

Why this works:

The idea here is that first,  you’re chemically dissolving and loosening up damaged, pigmented cells. Then, you’re gently lifting them off the skin with a physical exfoliating scrub. Next, you’re treating those new baby cells to water-based hydration to ensure your skin’s barrier stays intact and healthy. Then, the vitamin C helps work deep within the skin to fade pigment. All in all, you’re visibly repairing summer sun damage.

Night #2: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, leave the peel on for eight minutes.

Night #3: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, leave the peel on for six minutes.

Night #4: Peel + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, you will NOT use the facial scrub. Leave the peel on for five minutes.

Night #5: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, leave the peel on for eight minutes.

This concludes the treatment! Say hello smoother, less-lined, more even-toned skin with a radiant glow. You will want to avoid using any exfoliants (chemical or physical) for at least four nights.

Things to Know

Keep these things in mind to get the best results from your treatment.

  • Perform this treatment prior to bedtime so the skin can rest, relax, and renew throughout the night.
  • It is normal to experience skin sensitivity during this treatment. This may include sensitivity to warm or cool water, dryness, peeling, tightness, and skin that appears flushed or feels warms to the touch. All of these are considered normal as this is part of the exfoliating and skin repair process, and should subside within a week after completing the program.
  • Discontinue the treatment if these side effects are not tolerable. Be sure to wear sunscreen (applied generously) during all daylight hours.
  • Certain skin types may experience some dryness throughout the process of this treatment, but this is considered a normal part of the cellular turnover process and should subside a few days after the five nights.
  • Many of my clients love it so much and notice a huge improvement and immediately ask me when they can perform it again. If your skin has a lot of discoloration and is not particularly sensitive, you can repeat the five-day treatment in two weeks.
  • For maintenance on all skin types, I recommend repeating this every change of season.

If Your Skin is: Sensitive or Easily Irritated

If your skin is sensitive, fragile, and easily-irritated, here’s how I recommend modifying the treatment. The same products listed above are recommended, but the main two tweaks are as follows:

  1. At least one hour prior to this treatment put the gel mask into the refrigerator. This provides extra soothing relief for sensitive skin.
  2. If after day one of the treatment, your skin is feeling particularly sensitive, then only leave the peel on the skin for four minutes for the remaining four nights.

Did you know there are actually four types of skin sensitivity? Find out which one you have.

Night #1: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Step 1: Cleanse skin with your regular nighttime cleanser. Rinse well.

Step 2: Immediately apply a thin layer of the exfoliating peel to the entire face. Be sure to apply on the crow’s feet area near the eyes, but avoid getting onto the lashes or into the eyes. Leave the peel on for eight minutes. (A tingling sensation is normal while the peel is on the skin, although not all will feel this.) After eight minutes, rinse well with COOL water and gently pat off dripping water but DO leave skin still damp.

Step 3: On damp skin, apply a small amount of the facial scrub to the face and massage in gentle, circular motions for sixty seconds. DO NOT apply pressure. Just let the beads gently roll over the skin. Be sure to use on the crow’s feet area (gently) but avoid getting into the eye. Rinse well.

Step 4: Apply a thin layer of the gel mask to the entire face. Let dry for 10 minutes and rinse well with COOL water. Proceed with using an alcohol-free toner then apply a thin layer of a vitamin C serum for an antioxidant infusion/brightening and follow with your nighttime moisturizer. At this point, the skin should start to feel calm again, but reddening of the skin is considered perfectly normal.

Night #2: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, leave the peel on for six minutes.

Night #3: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, leave the peel on for five minutes.

Night #4: Peel + facial scrub + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, you will NOT use the facial scrub. Leave the peel on for five minutes.

Night #5: Peel + mask

Follow the same instructions; however, on this night, you will NOT use the facial scrub. Leave the peel on for four minutes.

This concludes the treatment for sensitive skin. Say hello to smoother, less-lined, more even-toned skin with a radiant glow!

Things to Know

Keep these things in mind to get the best results from your treatment.

  • Perform this treatment prior to bedtime so the skin can rest, relax, and renew throughout the night.
  • It is normal to experience skin sensitivity during this treatment, which may include sensitivity to warm or cool water, dryness, peeling, tightness, and skin that appears flushed or is warm to the touch. All of these are considered normal as this is part of the exfoliating and skin repair process, and will subside within a week after completing the program.
  • Discontinue the treatment immediately if these side effects are not tolerable.
  • Be sure to wear sunscreen (applied generously) during all daylight hours.

So there you have it! A five-day treatment program to repair your skin from summer sun damage and go into fall with a certified #ReneeRouleauGLOW. I hope the results from this treatment give you confidence and make you feel great in your own skin. Looking for more treatments you can do at home? Consider this DIY chemical peel if you have a tube of prescription retinoid lying around.

The post Improve Your Skin With My 5-Day Post-Summer Skin Repair Plan appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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Podcast Roundup—Renée’s Top Skin Tips, Business Advice, and How She Stays Resilient

Something that’s brought me a lot of joy these past few years is being on the podcast circuit. It’s no secret that podcasts as a medium have really taken off, and I think it’s such a great way for people to connect with like-minded communities and learn more about subjects they have a passion for.

I’ve had the pleasure of being invited to discuss a variety of topics. I’ve talked about everything from skincare tips (no shocker there!) and business advice for those in the beauty industry to my experiences with love, grief, and loss. There’s definitely something for everyone, and I hope you gain some new wisdom from things I have learned along the way in my career and life.

On My Best Skincare Advice

First up, I talk all things skin and share the wealth of knowledge I’ve accumulated over the past thirty years as an esthetician. No matter your skin type or how advanced you are when it comes to skincare, I guarantee you’ll learn something new!

Breaking Beauty (Ep. 99)

Listen to Breaking Beauty to learn:

  • How to build your perfect skincare routine (after all, even the most experienced among us need to take it back to basics sometimes!) Also, Jill and Carlene, the hosts of Breaking Beauty, told me this is one of their top five most popular podcasts of all time!

Fat Mascara (Ep. 178)

Listen to Fat Mascara to learn:

  • How to find a great facialist (and what questions to ask)
  • How much treatments should cost
  • Which at-home skincare devices are actually worth it (which you can learn more about in this blog post!)
  • And much more!

The Dream Bigger Podcast

Listen to The Dream Bigger Podcast to learn:

Gloss Angeles

Listen to Gloss Angeles to learn:

  • My advice for how to figure out your real skin type
  • What to do about adult acne and blemishes (my specialty!)
  • Why skin mists might be a huge no-no during your daytime routine

So This is Thirty

Listen to So This is Thirty to learn:

  • How to take care of the skin around your eyes (ever wondered whether eye creams are worth it?)
  • My daily skincare routine, both morning and evening
  • Strategy for treating brown spots and discoloration
  • My philosophy behind starting my skincare line

Drinkin Broettes (Ep. 17)

Listen to Drinkin Broettes to learn:

  • Common skincare misconceptions many people still have
  • Do’s and don’ts for skin over thirty (and what we can all do to help keep our skin looking youthful!)
  • The different skin types as I’ve observed them in my thirty years as an esthetician (hint: it’s not normal, oily, and dry)
  • The lowdown on the causes of adult acne and how to address it 

Caroline Hirons (YouTube)

Okay, so not technically a podcast, but I just had to include this one! I was lucky enough to join Caroline for a chat on her YouTube channel when I was in London last year.

Watch my video with Caroline Hirons to learn:

  • The famous dermatologist who influenced my skincare philosophy
  • How to correctly identify your skin type (I believe there are nine)
  • Why I’m not sure how my top-selling product works
  • My number one skincare myth that will probably surprise you
  • How I keep my focus as a CEO (people over profits!)

On Career Advice for Estheticians

Starting a career as an esthetician is hard, and starting a business is even harder. I’ve been a business owner since the age of twenty-one and have certainly learned from both my victories and my mistakes. On these podcasts, I talk business and get down to the nitty-gritty.

The Treatment Room With Tess & Lauren (Ep. 50)

Listen to The Treatment Room to learn:

  • My journey into the skincare world 
  • How I became a celebrity esthetician
  • How I went from a treatment room in Boston to a being  traveling esthetician for my celebrity clients (all while running a company)
  • How I went about curating and developing a product line

The Beauty Biz Show with Lori Crete

Listen to The Beauty Biz Show to learn:

  • Why everyone needs a mentor
  • What social media can do for your business
  • The personality traits of a hirable esthetician
  • How blogging attracts clients and press
  • Why you shouldn’t be scared to sell to clients
  • Why you have to ask questions when you interview for jobs
  • How to stay busy and build clientele
  • When you can offer a free service

Beauty Bizz BFFs

Listen to Beauty Bizz BFFs to learn:

  • Tips to attract and keep clients
  • Biggest no-nos when starting a business
  • Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs

On Life, Love, Loss, Grief, and Resiliency

Of course, life isn’t all skincare and business. I’ve learned some really important lessons (some harder than others) and was honored to be able to share them with a wider audience.

Grief is a Sneaky Bitch

Of all the podcasts I’ve been on, this is the one I was most nervous to record. I was apprehensive about discussing the loss of my husband, Florian, in such a public way. But in the end, it was such a cathartic experience and I’m so glad I did it.

Listen to Grief is a Sneaky Bitch to learn:

  • The lessons I learned from my business partner and husband, Florian, over our twenty-two-year relationship
  • The myths and the realities of accompanying someone through a cancer diagnosis 
  • How I’m doing my best to blaze a shining trail as I adventure on, carrying his memory into the future (follow my tributes at #thisisflorian)

Twenty-Something Trials (Ep. 22)

Listen to Twenty-Something Trials to learn:

  • How I identify my “core values”
  • How I use those core values to stay on track, both in life and in business
  • How I started my career
  • What inspired me to move and uproot my whole life and why you should, too (hint, this Elite Daily post was life-changing for me.)

Which Podcasts Do I Personally Listen To?

I love all of the above podcasts so those are listened to regularly and here are some others:

Coming Soon…

  • A few days ago, I recorded another podcast with Gloss Angeles but this time, I was a CO-HOST! I answered a ton of listener skincare questions, so it will be really informative. It will air this Tuesday, Sept. 29. Be sure to check back with this blog post for the updated link.
  • Next week, I’m recording a podcast for the EO 360 podcast. I’m a member of EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) so I’ll be talking about all business and company growth. They were inspired after they read my Inc interview on why I think bigger isn’t always better, and how I like to grow my company at my own speed.

A huge thanks to each and every one of the lovely hosts who have invited me onto their podcasts or channels! I hope you enjoy learning from these as much as I enjoyed recording them.

The post Podcast Roundup—Renée’s Top Skin Tips, Business Advice, and How She Stays Resilient appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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8 Tips To Update Your Skincare Routine From Summer To Fall

A change of season typically means a change in the way skin behaves. This can often result in any and all conditions like dryness, breakouts, and a general lackluster, pigmented appearance caused by the summer sun. Although it may seem counterintuitive, breakouts can actually increase during the fall season. Why? Increased oil flow that happens during the summer still occurs, but the cooler air also creates layers of dead skin cell buildup. This traps oil and bacteria beneath the skin’s surface, which leads to increased breakout activity. In addition, your skin may start to require more hydration.

But, here’s the thing. You don’t need to overhaul your skincare routine entirely, but you do need to make some minor adjustments to your regimen to ensure that the skin stays healthy and balanced during this seasonal change. Here’s how to transition from skincare routine from summer to fall flawlessly.

TIP #1: Change Your Cleansing Routine

During the summer months, some gel and foaming cleansers are great for deep cleaning morning and night; however, these may be a bit too much once temperatures cool and less oil is being produced—especially if you’re a skin type #7, #8 or #9 which are prone to dryness and flakiness. A good rule of thumb is to use a cleanser that is sulfate-free and barely gives a lather when it’s being used. (The smaller the bubbles, the gentler it will be.) You can also use a cleansing lotion which is cream-based. Vitamin-Infused Cleansing Emulsion is a great choice for nighttime. If you prefer a gel cleanser, Moisture Protecting Cleanser is perfectly pH-balanced. It’s a unique gel-to-milk formula that is extremely gentle.

Changing up your cleanser is always my first recommendation for modifying your routine for the cooler temperatures.

TIP #2: Boost Hydration

Many people overlook toners in their skincare regimens. If you aren’t already using one, the fall is a great time to start. The reason for this is because of the hydrating benefits that alcohol-free toners provide. Since the air is getting cooler but not yet very dry, it’s the perfect way to infuse water into the skin. Wipe an alcohol-free toner over the skin after cleansing. Immediately apply serum or moisturizer while it’s still damp to seal in the hydration and active ingredients.

Take our Skin Type Quiz to determine which toner is best suited for you.

TIP #3: Opt for a Heavier Moisturizer

A lightweight moisturizer is enough for most skin types in the summer, but when the weather begins to cool down, it is important to apply something a little heavier to prevent moisture loss. If you’re using a gel moisturizer, considering switching to a lotion like Skin Recovery Lotion. If you’re already using an oil-free lotion, consider changing to a slightly more hydrating lotion like Sheer Moisture Lotion. If you’re already using a cream, consider changing to something with a thicker consistency with ceramides or lipid-rich oils like Glow Enhancing Creme.

Another option is to use a treatment oil like Pro Remedy Oil. The benefit of using an oil is that you can simply add a few drops into the palm of your hand and pat it over your moisturizer as needed. This allows you to customize your moisturizer on days when you are feeling drier and when you’re not feeling dry, you simply don’t use it! Easy peasy. But make sure you’re using your oil correctly.

TIP #4: Protect With SPF

This may come as surprise, but fall is a season during which a tremendous amount of UV damage is incurred. We often think that when the temperatures are cooler outside, the sun isn’t as harmful, but this is false. While UVB rays (the ones responsible for suntans or sunburns) are not as strong in autumn, UVA rays (the ones that cause skin cancer and premature wrinkles) are just as strong as they are in July and August. Protection is a year-round job, so be sure to apply a sunscreen formulated for your skin type to the face, neck, and any exposed chest area.

Bottom line: Don’t let the cooler temperatures of fall make you think the sun isn’t as strong!

TIP #5: Add Retinol Back Into Your Routine

If you took a break from retinol (vitamin A) during the summer, it’s time to reincorporate it into your skincare routine. Opt for either a non-prescription retinol serum or a prescription retinoid. Either will help to dramatically reduce the appearance of brown spots caused by the summer sun, lines, and wrinkles. Hands down, retinol and prescription retinoids are the most scientifically proven ingredients for smoothing the texture of the skin and I personally use this one faithfully. Read my Beginner’s Guide to Using Retinol or Prescription Retinoids.

TIP #6: Exfoliate to Remove Unwanted Pigment From Summer

Certain skin types are prone to increased sensitivity in the summertime from heat, chlorine, and sun. These types should exfoliate minimally during this time. But come fall, exfoliation is imperative to repair and brighten the complexion and remove discoloration brought out by summer heat and sun. For silky, smooth skin, a well-formulated facial scrub or an at-home exfoliating peel like Triple Berry Smoothing Peel is a must.

But almost more importantly, is the use of a facial scrub. While exfoliating acids dissolve and digest discolored cells, it’s the lifting action of a physical facial scrub that really works the magic if your goal is to make the skin appear more even-toned. Learn all the benefits of a facial scrub.

Exfoliating is also essential for reducing breakouts, as it removes the dead skin cells that trap oil. Regular exfoliation will also remove dull, tired, dry skin and encourage fresher, plumper cells to form. This will give your skin a flawless finish. And of course, using exfoliating acid serums a few nights a week is very, very important.

TIP #7: Change the Type of Face Mask You Use

Water-based gel masks are best for hydrating the skin, so they are best for oily, breakout-prone skin types that need water but no additional oil. Also, because of their naturally cold temperatures, they’re ideal for soothing sensitive skin redness or a painful sunburn if you should happen to get one on a sunny day.

During the fall, however, consider switching to a cream mask if you experience dryness. These contain moisturizing oils that help to deeply hydrate and plump up normal to dry skin types. Pure Radiance Creme Masque is a great choice. Unlike traditional gel or clay masks, most cream masks do not need to be rinsed off after they have dried. You can simply tissue off any residue and leave the excess to give your skin a moisture boost.

TIP #8: Listen to Your Skin

Regardless of seasons, our skin, like our bodies, is constantly changing and adapting to internal and external changes. It’s important to be attentive and listen to your skin for signs that it’s not getting what it needs. Tightness, dryness, increased breakouts, and sensitivity are all signs that your current skincare routine isn’t working. A change is in order. Pay attention to what your skin is telling you. You always want to work with Mother Nature, never go against her. When skin problems arise, you must ensure that you’re using products to specifically address your skin’s needs. If necessary, take it one step further and schedule a consultation with a trusted skin-care professional. Additionally, DON’T fall for the myth that your skin can get used to products and stop working!

Seasonal changes can definitely create change in the skin. If you follow these skin tips and alter your skin-care routine, though, you can keep it looking and feeling its best.

The post 8 Tips To Update Your Skincare Routine From Summer To Fall appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream

I am a total makeup geek. I am willing (and honestly, wishing) to try every eyeshadow, blush, cream, you name it, regardless of how many products I already have in my collection. I am that girl. So when the chance to try the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream came about, I was geeking out. Here’s what I thought:

Let’s Take a Look at the Product

According to the JUNO & Co. website, the Moonshine Miracle Cream is “a luxurious, super hydrating, creamy makeup primer that nourishes skin and diminishes imperfections for the perfect canvas before makeup.” I’ve heard this kind of claim from tons of products, so I needed more convincing that this product was worth the $35 price tag (ya girl has bills to pay).

The company also claims that this product is special because of the ingredients used in the formulation. It is “infused with JUNO’s patented sodium hyaluronate and avocado extract which provides 12-hours of moisture for a dewier complexion. It helps to maintain moisture levels to help visibly smooth and plump skin with ultimate hydration. Evens surface so foundation effortlessly glides on and stays put for longer-lasting makeup wear.”

Sodium Hyaluronate

Since I’ve started working at FutureDerm and one of my jobs is to literally read the FD blog, I have been way more interested in the ingredients and products I put on my face and body. I’m not necessarily skeptical or wary enough to turn a product away, (as I’ve said before, I will try all the makeup) but just more interested. So, in true FutureDerm fashion, I wanted to take a closer look at the patented ingredient used that makes this product special.

So, we know that as people, we’re mostly water. This is also true for our skin, and as we age, our skin begins to lose its moisture, causing loss of flexibility and resilience. Sodium hyaluronate is the key molecule involved with skin moisture, and according to the Derm Review, “the most dramatic histochemical change observed in aging skin is the marked disappearance of sodium hyaluronate in the epidermis (the top layer of skin).” By adding this ingredient to skincare it will help to attract moisture to the skin, resulting in a smoother, softer complexion. Pretty cool, but does it work in the Moonshine Miracle Cream?

Personal Use & Opinion

The very first thing I noticed was that the packaging was gorgeous, and I am a sucker for packaging. The jar itself looks like it’s speckled with stars on a dark purple background, and it’s a little heavier, making it feel expensive. The cream itself is thick and luxurious feeling. It’s lightly scented and feels like a really nice moisturizer when you put it on; it reminded me of a mix between E.L.F.’s Poreless Putty Primer and cold cream texture-wise.

When I received this product, I was just getting ready to head out to my vacation at the Grand Canyon, and it was a lifesaver! My poor Pittsburgh skin was not happy about the change from rainy/snowy and cold to dry and cold. I used this alone without makeup the first few times just because my skin was drinking it up in the desert. With makeup, I did feel a difference in how my foundation wore — it went on smoother and didn’t settle in my fine lines as much compared to other primers I’ve tried before. Overall, I was really happy with the product and ecstatic it saved my skin from drying out on my vacation. Timing is everything.

Bottom Line

I love the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream! It’s a luxurious feeling cream that can be used alone as a beautiful moisturizer, or as a primer under any foundation for a smoother look. And it includes proven ingredients like sodium hyaluronate working to retain your skin’s natural moisture to reduce the signs of aging. If you’re in the market for a new primer, this one is definitely worth a try.

The post COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream appeared first on FutureDerm.

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COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream

I am a total makeup geek. I am willing (and honestly, wishing) to try every eyeshadow, blush, cream, you name it, regardless of how many products I already have in my collection. I am that girl. So when the chance to try the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream came about, I was geeking out. Here’s what I thought:

Let’s Take a Look at the Product

According to the JUNO & Co. website, the Moonshine Miracle Cream is “a luxurious, super hydrating, creamy makeup primer that nourishes skin and diminishes imperfections for the perfect canvas before makeup.” I’ve heard this kind of claim from tons of products, so I needed more convincing that this product was worth the $35 price tag (ya girl has bills to pay).

The company also claims that this product is special because of the ingredients used in the formulation. It is “infused with JUNO’s patented sodium hyaluronate and avocado extract which provides 12-hours of moisture for a dewier complexion. It helps to maintain moisture levels to help visibly smooth and plump skin with ultimate hydration. Evens surface so foundation effortlessly glides on and stays put for longer-lasting makeup wear.”

Sodium Hyaluronate

Since I’ve started working at FutureDerm and one of my jobs is to literally read the FD blog, I have been way more interested in the ingredients and products I put on my face and body. I’m not necessarily skeptical or wary enough to turn a product away, (as I’ve said before, I will try all the makeup) but just more interested. So, in true FutureDerm fashion, I wanted to take a closer look at the patented ingredient used that makes this product special.

So, we know that as people, we’re mostly water. This is also true for our skin, and as we age, our skin begins to lose its moisture, causing loss of flexibility and resilience. Sodium hyaluronate is the key molecule involved with skin moisture, and according to the Derm Review, “the most dramatic histochemical change observed in aging skin is the marked disappearance of sodium hyaluronate in the epidermis (the top layer of skin).” By adding this ingredient to skincare it will help to attract moisture to the skin, resulting in a smoother, softer complexion. Pretty cool, but does it work in the Moonshine Miracle Cream?

Personal Use & Opinion

The very first thing I noticed was that the packaging was gorgeous, and I am a sucker for packaging. The jar itself looks like it’s speckled with stars on a dark purple background, and it’s a little heavier, making it feel expensive. The cream itself is thick and luxurious feeling. It’s lightly scented and feels like a really nice moisturizer when you put it on; it reminded me of a mix between E.L.F.’s Poreless Putty Primer and cold cream texture-wise.

When I received this product, I was just getting ready to head out to my vacation at the Grand Canyon, and it was a lifesaver! My poor Pittsburgh skin was not happy about the change from rainy/snowy and cold to dry and cold. I used this alone without makeup the first few times just because my skin was drinking it up in the desert. With makeup, I did feel a difference in how my foundation wore — it went on smoother and didn’t settle in my fine lines as much compared to other primers I’ve tried before. Overall, I was really happy with the product and ecstatic it saved my skin from drying out on my vacation. Timing is everything.

Bottom Line

I love the JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream! It’s a luxurious feeling cream that can be used alone as a beautiful moisturizer, or as a primer under any foundation for a smoother look. And it includes proven ingredients like sodium hyaluronate working to retain your skin’s natural moisture to reduce the signs of aging. If you’re in the market for a new primer, this one is definitely worth a try.

The post COMMUNITY REVIEW: JUNO & Co. Moonshine Miracle Cream appeared first on FutureDerm.

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Layering Your Serums May be Trendy, but It Won’t Give You the Best Results—Here’s What Will

Layering and mixing products, especially serums, has become a popular skincare trend lately. It’s sometimes referred to as a “cocktailing” because you combine serums or products to create a bespoke mix for your skin. At first glance, it may seem like a great idea. After all, there are so many high-performance skincare ingredients out there these days, why not add many of them together to give your skin as many benefits as possible?

While I understand the appeal of this approach, unfortunately, the reality is that you may not be maximizing the benefits of your skincare routine as much as you think. Keep reading to learn why you might want to reserve your cocktailing for a happy hour and not your skin!

What Is A Skin Serum?

A serum is a skincare product usually with a water, gel, or light lotion consistency that contains a high concentration of performance ingredients. It definitely boosts the results of your skin routine when used under a moisturizer or treatment mask. While using a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer is still the foundation of a solid routine, serums are an amazing addition.

Layering Skincare Serums

So let’s say that you have a serum with 10% Niacinimide, (a vitamin B3 ingredient), and you layer it on to the skin after cleansing and toning. Then after that, you layer on a serum that contains 15% vitamin C. Since the first serum did most of the penetration with some leftover residue still sitting on the skin’s surface, the vitamin C serum may be less effective through dilution from the previous serum since you have minimized the amount of penetration that can be delivered. This could mean that the vitamin C is now half less effective or possibly even much less.

What’s important to understand is that tempting as it may be to load up on multiple skin-improving ingredients with different products, remember that your skin can only absorb so much at once. Think of your skin as a sponge; at some point, a sponge has absorbed all it can and water starts just pouring over it. This eventually happens with your skin as well. Trust me, by using everything but the kitchen sink on your skin at once, you’ll just end up throwing your money down the drain and this is one of the main problems I see with layering serums.

What’s more, many serums include very active ingredients. When you apply too many strong ingredients to the skin at once, you run the risk of irritation which will only cause damage and undo all the good you were trying to do with your serums. 

If you do insist on layering, apply one product at a time, but make sure it’s from thinnest to thickest. It’s best to apply light, water-based products first (due to their fast penetration and smaller molecular structure), then work your way up to a heavier, lotion-based product. 

Mixing Skincare Serums

Of course, every good skincare routine consists of multiple steps and therefore multiple products. You can find countless skincare “cocktail” recipes online these days, most of which suggest actually mixing two or three different types of products together in the palm of your hand then applying that mixture to your face.  

Mixing ingredients together in your hands just isn’t going to give you the best results either because, in the case of serums, you’ll get half the results from each serum because of dilution. Again, wasting your money by not getting the fully intended results from the product. 

Let me also make this point. Not all serums are created equally. Chemically speaking, one formula may be designed to provide delivery in a certain mechanism and another product may not have the same penetration enhancers. So if you are mixing them together (and diluting them, too) you might be losing efficacy. This is not just through dilution but because you have minimized the amount of penetration that can happen on the skin which may be required, where other ingredients may be fine sitting on the skin and having more time to do their job. Ultimately, the mixed serum is confused and just doesn’t know what’s it’s supposed to do.

Lastly, if you’re mixing water-based products with oil or emollient-based products this strategy isn’t efficient either since ultimately oil and water don’t mix together easily—certainly not in the palm of your hands. 

What’s the Best Strategy for Getting a Full Spectrum of Benefits from Your Skincare Serums?

While it’s true that the best benefits come from a variety of active ingredients, here’s the best way to incorporate them successfully into your routine.

Use Your Serums in Rotation

Instead of using multiple serums at once, I’ve always promoted using serums in rotation and focusing on one specific need each night. 

I like to think of it as working out; you want a variety of different exercises on different days that all work together to give you the best end result, which in the case of physical fitness, is a fit, toned body. The same goes for your skin. It requires a variety of ingredients in order to create positive change to look and feels its best.

Here is what I suggest doing. First, use a retinol serum for two nights. It takes about 48 hours for that retinol to increase cell turnover from within and push the old skin cells to the surface. At this point, two nights later, you’ll want to use an exfoliating acid serum with lactic and glycolic acids, and maybe salicylic acid if you’re prone to clogged pores. This serum will dissolve the old, expired skin cells, even if you don’t visibly see any surface dryness. On the next night after you’ve exfoliated with the serum, I like to recommend a nourishing serum with ingredients like peptides, antioxidants, and hydrators to fortify the skin. When you use this type of product, it will work really effectively for the new, fresh cells to ensure they are getting what they need to thrive.

Of course, the serums you use will depend on your skin type and its specific needs, and you can always tailor your serums to what your skin requires at the moment. Generally, I find that focusing on one serum a night and letting it do its job is the best strategy. By rotating serums that provide specific benefits to the skin, you can truly get the best, most well-rounded results. 

Look For a Well-Formulated Serum With Many Beneficial Ingredients

I notice a lot of brands lately focusing on a single “hero” ingredient, then including that ingredient in a serum at a high percentage. We’re wired to think that the more of something we’re getting, the better it will be. But when it comes to ingredient percentages, higher isn’t always better. I see this trend of high percentages more as a marketing push. After all, the skincare industry is so saturated that brands have to do something to set themselves apart from the crowd from a marketing perspective.

What I suggest looking for instead is a well-rounded serum that will ultimately benefit your skin in more ways than one. For example, these exfoliating acid serums include ingredients like glycerin, allantoin, and aloe to soothe and hydrate, offsetting any potentially irritating effects from the acids. This retinol serum includes anti-aging peptides to enhance the overall firming effect of the formula as well as hydrators to make it easily tolerated by sensitive skin.

A well-formulated serum will not need to be blended with other serums because it should be doing multiple things at once anyway. Note: Always use a moisturizer over a serum to lock it into the skin.

Learn more about the best order to apply your products in for the perfect morning routine and the perfect evening routine. 

Sunscreen Mixed with Other Ingredients—NOT a Match Made in Heaven

I do want to make a separate note about this because it’s so important. I’ve seen videos on Youtube of people mixing serums, moisturizers, and oils into their sunscreen before applying it. Generally speaking, you never want to mix your sunscreen with any other product because you run the risk of not getting the full SPF number listed on the bottle. Sunscreen is an FDA-approved drug and mixing other products into it is just not a good practice. Again, layering is the best approach, and a generous coat of sunscreen should be your final application in the morning.

I recommend looking for a facial sunscreen with a hydrating base, this way you can avoid layering too many heavy products underneath your SPF.

Other Ingredient Combinations

Vitamin C (unstable forms like ascorbic acid and l-ascorbic acid) + retinol = not recommended to use together. Different pH’s that can conflict with one another.

Vitamin C (unstable forms like ascorbic acid and l-ascorbic acid) + AHAs = can be used together but may cause irritation for sensitive skin types. Proceed with caution. 

Vitamin C (stable forms like magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl methylsilanol pectinate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate + AHAs = can safely be used together without the risk of irritation. (But I do recommend using vitamin C in the morning and AHAs at night. Learn more about exfoliating AHAs.)

Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide = not recommended to use together. Benzoyl peroxide oxidizes easily and since retinol does as well, it could make them both less effective.

Retinol + Retinol = not recommended to double dose. If you’re using a well-formulated retinol serum, it should engage your retinol receptors to do its job. When you layer on another retinol serum, in an effort to increase the results, you’ll wind up with unnecessary and unwanted irritation.

Bottom Line

It’s becoming a big trend to mix and layer products into a bespoke cocktail for your skin, but this isn’t the best way to maximize skin health—or your wallet. First, be mindful that your skin can only absorb so much at one time. Second, remember that mixing ingredients in your bathroom isn’t the same as mixing ingredients in a lab. (You might want to read why I’m NOT a fan of DIY at-home recipes!)  It’s important to differentiate between truth and trend and realize that layering on more products isn’t guaranteed to give your skin better results. This is why I always suggest following the manufacturer’s directions for usage. 

I hope you found this post helpful and enjoyed my take on the skincare cocktailing trend! #ObeyRenee 🙂 

The post Layering Your Serums May be Trendy, but It Won’t Give You the Best Results—Here’s What Will appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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Renée Shares How She Stays Happy

Happiness: the state of being happy. Easier said than done, I know, but it’s something I’m always striving for. This hasn’t always been easy the past few years due to the loss of Florian, my husband and business partner, but I’m doing a pretty good job of finding my way again. Here’s how I find joy and happiness in my life every day.

Personal happiness to me is…

maintaining an attitude of gratitude to ensure that I can find joy in all of the small, everyday things. It’s easy to get a surge of happiness when something big and exciting happens, but those moments are few and far between. I make a purposeful point to never take life’s little daily pleasures for granted.

Professional happiness to me is…

loving what I do, loving the people I work with, doing good work, and creating a positive impact through our company’s philanthropic arm. Additionally, my team really supports me in making sure I’m always playing to my strengths in my company. I’m free to be me!

A happy morning begins with…

no alarm and waking up when my body tells me I’m ready to start my day. Sleep is such a luxury, so I arrange my schedule to ensure I always get a full eight hours. After all, I don’t drink coffee or other caffeine, so I can’t use that as a crutch when I’m sleep deprived.

I celebrated my 51st birthday by…

making it really memorable. As so many of you know, non-milestone birthdays after the age of forty are usually uneventful, but I insist on making all of my birthdays fun and special. I’m just so grateful to be alive and well, and I believe this is always something that should be celebrated. This year, I went to Montana and Wyoming and had all sorts of fun adventures like horseback riding, flying in a helicopter for the first time, paragliding, hiking, boating, and more. It was a magical four-day trip.

The happiest part of my job is…

the gratitude I feel to be able to provide a healthy, supportive, and thriving company that my team of nineteen people is proud to work at. I’ve always said, “I work for my employees, they don’t work for me,” and I truly feel that way.
My happiest moment came earlier this year when we received a “Best Places to Work” award from the Austin Business Journal. I am so very proud! Plus, we just celebrated twenty-four years of Renée Rouleau Skin Care. Unbelievable that at age twenty-six I set out with a vision, made it happen, and am thriving more than ever all these years later. A dream come true, for sure. And I have all of you, my loyal blog readers and customers, to thank!

A fun part of my job is…

product development! It’s such a creative process, it’s like creating a piece of art. I’m knee-deep in it these days as we have five new products in the works. First up is something minty and fun, which is launching early October. It is soooooo good, I’m obsessed with it! Sign up for our emails to be notified when it launches.

How I keep my life fun is…

by using my Joy List. What’s a Joy List? After Florian passed away and I had to start a brand new life, part of my plan to find happiness again was to ensure I was keeping myself busy with new, fun, exciting adventures. I created what I call my Joy List. It’s filled with ideas of small things to do to give me daily and weekly doses of happiness. I try to do something from the list every day, and I’m constantly adding new ideas as I discover them.

Here are just a few examples of things on my Joy List:

  • Go for a hike
  • Get a snow cone on a hot summer day
  • Go for a swim at Barton Springs (downtown Austin)
  • Run around the lake
  • Work out of a coffee shop for a change of scenery
  • Go for a motorcycle ride with friends
  • Bridge/cliff diving
  • Dance in the rain
  • Get a foot massage
  • Put pennies on the railroad tracks
  • Watch the sunrise and sunset

How I stay happy in a pandemic is…

My patio at home in Austin, TX
by being at home on my patio. Just before COVID began, I had gotten all new outdoor furniture so it was perfect timing to use it during quarantine. Even on most summer days in the hot Texas heat, you can still find me working away on my laptop on my patio. Lately, it’s been a great space to have some friends over. I do enjoy entertaining and look forward to doing more of it.

When I’m feeling down I…

force myself to smile. Studies show that it boosts the mood instantly. I can attest to its magic!

My favorite mood-boosting music is…

the Rap Caviar playlist on Spotify, or the one I created for when I workout!

Something I read that was life-changing for my happiness was…

a post online called Staying Is Settling: Why You Need To Move At Least 5 Times In Your Life. It was THIS article that was the catalyst for me and Florian moving our personal life and company to Austin five years ago. Please, please read it. It’s so inspiring and might bring you a newfound happiness if you’re feeling in a rut.

With business decisions, I always focus on happiness by…

making careful decisions to ensure my company remains a great company, not a big company. I say “no” to a lot of growth opportunities because I know that bigger doesn’t always mean better. At the end of the day, my main priority is making sure my company is a happy and healthy one. I was just interviewed all about this by Inc., which you can read about here.

A book I’m reading to encourage happiness is…

How To Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird & Wonderful Ways to Build a Strong Mindset by Ben Aldridge. It is so good for exactly where I’m at in my life. You see, Florian and I were together for twenty-two years. He was my security blanket, and I was totally in my comfort zone in life. When he was no longer by my side, it created a lot of fear and uncertainty for me. Navigating a world of unknowns alone was really, really hard. I made a point to challenge myself and this book has brought a lot of new ideas for making sure I’m challenging myself to live a life without fear. If you follow me on my personal Instagram, you’ll see I’ve been into bridge jumping and cliff jumping lately, which is super scary but oh so fun.

The four qualities that got me where I am today…

  • Enthusiasm
  • Intuition
  • Persuasiveness (some might call me “pushy” lol)
  • Resiliency

My core values are my guiding light to…

help with decision making. Especially when I first became a widow, I didn’t have a path to navigate me through the dark. I was vulnerable and didn’t have a clear head. As I do every few years, I took myself through a core value exercise to get clarity on how I would make decisions moving forward. I review these at least once a week to ensure I’m staying true to who I am.
  • Bold — I can clearly identify a personal or professional goal that I’m striving to reach.I am saying yes more and in forward momentum with new challenges that allow me to learn and grow, be fearless, make new memories and get me out of my comfort zone.
  • Individualism I am fully operating in the Visionary seat in my company and playing to my strengths in all areas of my life.  I am utilizing my own unique talents that I bring to the world and not having to be someone who I’m not. I am expressing myself creatively and not caring about what anyone else thinks. I have acceptance for who I am, quirks and all.
  • Inspirational  – I am using my skills, talents, knowledge and life experiences to inspire, empower and be kind to others. I am helping change lives for the better to leave an impact on the world around me.
  • Joyful – I am living in a state of being comfortable, happy and healthy.I am treating my body with love through healthy habits such as regular exercise, stretching and eating well. I am surrounding myself with people who bring positivity and add value to my life. My positive energy is contagious and others get joy when they are around me.
  • Freedom – I am the architect of my world and am living life through my own wishes. I am acting as an independent spirit and I value the power I get from being able to make choices, even if others don’t understand. I am free to be me.

My perfect day ends with…

a slight buzz from cocktails after a night connecting with important people in my life. Washing my face, doing my nighttime skincare routine followed by hanging my head upside down for three minutes. Then, off for a good night’s sleep.

What I know for sure is…I accept that life is full of change and I trust that despite the unknowns that will always lie ahead, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other and figure it out as I go. But in the meantime, I’m going to make damn sure that I’m in the present and enjoying today, for today is the only certainty.

The post Renée Shares How She Stays Happy appeared first on Expert Skin Advice from Renee Rouleau.

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