Q+A with Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Specialist Renée Rouleau
Renée Rouleau on what inspired her to create her own skincare line, debunking skincare myths, and more.
Renée Rouleau is a skincare expert and esthetician based out of Austin, TX who is trusted by celebrities like Demi Lovato, Lili Reinhart, and Madelaine Petsch, just to name a few. With over thirty years of experience under her belt, Renée has established herself as an authority in the space, especially when it comes to creating the perfect skincare regimen for various specific skin types, and expanding the categories beyond just dry, normal, and oily. In our conversation with Renée, you'll hear more about how her own skincare line caters to nine different skin types, how your skincare routine should evolve over time, as well as some other amazing tips.
Q: How did you first get started in your industry?
My first exposure to the beauty industry was growing up in my grandmother’s hair salon. She was a hairdresser, and I loved playing with all of her beauty supplies. When I was 18 and trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, my mother recognized that I had always taken an interest in helping others and all things beauty. She encouraged me to pursue the industry. I started out doing hair, but quickly switched over to the world of esthetics. I immediately fell in love with all aspects of the industry, including being of service to others, helping people feel more confident in their skin, and loving the ingredients of cosmetic chemistry. This ultimately led me to start my own skincare line. I have been an esthetician now for over 30 years, and still continue to learn and grow.
Q: What inspired you to create your line, Renée Rouleau Skin Care?
When I was in school to become an esthetician, we were really only taught about dry, normal, and oily skin types. I always thought that was so basic, and knew people had more to their skin than just those three symptoms. As I became an esthetician, I realized the skin types needed to be expanded. Eight years into my career, working hands-on with clients, I determined there were nine different types of skin, and I created a product line around those skin types. I felt as though the industry was really missing products that catered to the unique concerns that people have. We have a Skin Type Quiz where people can really identify with a type and get on the right routine for themselves. Today, my line has 50 products that span the nine types of skin.
Q: What do you love the most about what you do?
Doing what I love (developing products and educating through my blog to help others love the skin they are in), with people I love (my Renée Rouleau team of 18 amazing humans), and making an impact that will be part of my legacy.
Q: What is a myth about skincare that you want to debunk?
If an ingredient falls below the first five ingredients on a list, it’s not going to give much of a benefit to the skin.
When it comes to products, you may or may not have heard of the First Five Rule. This rule claims that because the first five ingredients listed on a label have the highest percentages, they are ultimately what determines the true performance of a product. Those who follow this rule claim that any ingredients listed below the first five won’t have a meaningful effect on the skin because they are included at too low a percentage. While it’s true that ingredients are generally listed in order of highest to lowest concentration, skincare formulations are incredibly nuanced. It’s almost impossible to tell how well an ingredient will perform based on where it falls on the ingredient label. And the truth is, some ingredients (like antioxidants, niacinamide, and some peptides) simply don’t require a high percentage to work. I go into more info in this post
Q: What is one product everyone should be using, no matter what their skin type?
A well-formulated vitamin C serum. Everyone can benefit from the benefits it gives, like free radical protection, brightening the look of the skin, and fading the appearance of brown spots and post-breakout marks.
Q: If you only have 5 minutes to get ready in the morning, what products are you reaching for?
Deodorant, body lotion, cleanser, toner, vitamin c serum, toothbrush/toothpaste, sunscreen, liquid foundation makeup, mascara, and lip balm.
Q: What is one thing you think people should stop doing to their skin?
Stop treating your skin like you’re in your teens or early 20s if you’re not near that age.
It’s time to move on from using all the harsh acne products that you used in your younger years, even though they may have done a good job keeping your breakouts under control. When you start to get into your 30s, your skin is changing due to hormones. For most people, they have simply outgrown the type of acne that once was, without even realizing it. They still think their breakouts are gone due to their products, but this is usually no longer the case. However, breakouts can now occur on the chin and jawline in the form of cysts well into your 30s and beyond. Read how to prevent chin and jawline breakouts Your skin now needs antioxidants, hydration, and skin-comforting ingredients to keep it in a healthy state—NOT over-drying acne cleansers and treatments.
Just like how you’re growing up in all aspects of your life, your skincare routine needs to as well.
The best kind of products for lessening adult acne (for those who still need it) are ones that are formulated to reduce bacteria in a very gentle way. Rapid Response Detox Masque is one such product. It actually hydrates while reducing breakout activity.
Q: What is your best advice for someone who is unhappy with their skin and is struggling to find a solution?
One example is when people have breakouts, it’s a loss of control. I like to remind them that they have more control than they think, such as not drying it to death with a harsh acne treatment the minute it appears, because this actually makes it worse. The other is to encourage them not to pick. People often make a blemish last longer by doing too much instead of trying to be in sync with Mother Nature. I always tell my clients, “We can’t stop you from ever getting a breakout again, but we can control what happens once you get a blemish so it goes away as quickly as possible.” Knowledge is power, and this helps flip the narrative and empower them.
In general, when someone is struggling with their skin, the solution is to find someone who can help them find a solution. This is usually done by consulting with a trusted and experienced skin professional.
Rapid Fire Round
Q: Splurge-worthy item:
Q: Favorite drugstore find (or budget find):
Batiste Dry Shampoo.
Q: Latest beauty empty:
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder.
Q: Recent discovery:
Giorgio Armani Neo Nude Foundation.
Q: Product you can’t leave home without:
Bite Beauty Agave Daytime Lip Balm.
You can shop more of Renée's favorite products at her shop below: