Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Skincare Tips from Renée Rouleau: New Year Skin Resolutions

Savvy, smart, and always knowledgeable, Renée Rouleau is my go-to for all that is skincare. She’s a celebrity esthetician with her own line (I love her AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel!), and she also regularly updates her blog with skin care tips and tricks.

Make this the year for healthy, beautiful and glowing skin with these 10 New Years’ Skin Resolutions from skin care expert, Renée Rouleau.


Research indicates that the skin repairs itself most effectively at night, so you want to put your skin in the best possible condition for its repair. For those who are too tired to wash off their makeup at night, try this! Your nighttime routine doesn’t have to be done minutes before you hit the bed. Wash your face when you get home from work, or even after dinner. Do it earlier rather than later! Washing off the day’s dirt and grime and nourishing your skin with good moisture and nutrients will give your skin a chance to renew while you sleep. And remember, quality moisturizers (without clogging ingredients) will not suffocate your skin.


Studies indicate that 78% of the sun exposure we get in a lifetime is incidental exposure. You may say, “I’m not out at all during the day.” Just working in your home or office near windows, walking to your car, and even driving in your car will subject you to unnecessary UV damage. Windshields do nothing to protect you from UV rays. Daylight exposure is the #1 cause of premature skin aging so a minimum of SPF #15 should be used 365 days a year, rain or shine, inside or out.

Check out eight more resolutions worth making!


The life of a blemish is just 3-5 days, but when you pick at one, the red mark can linger there for 1-2 months. We know it’s tempting, but you can make problem skin much worse by forcing bacteria deeper into the skin, resulting in scarring and further breakouts. A better solution for problem skin is to get regular facials, so the pores can be cleaned professionally and use skin care products exclusively formulated for your skin type.


Sleep is important not only to keep dark circles at bay, but it is also the time when your body is most metabolically active, ridding itself of toxins that would otherwise wreak havoc with your skin. Sleep also reduces stress, the #1 aggravator of acne!


Bacteria and oil can build up on your cosmetic brushes, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Using a mild liquid dish soap and cold water, carefully wash out your brushes and rinse thoroughly. Comb the bristles to prevent tangling, and stand the brushes upright in a glass in the sunlight to let dry and destroy bacteria. Cosmetic sponges should be washed with mild soap and rinsed thoroughly after each use.


Cleansing your skin with a bar of soap–no matter how expensive it is or how moisturizing it claims to be–is an absolute no-no. The binders that hold a bar of soap together are in an alkaline base (high pH balance) and strip the water and natural oils from the skin, causing the surface of the skin to dehydrate. Then, you have to quickly run and put moisturizer back on to put back in what was just taken out–makes no sense. Skin cells are like fish, they need water to live. Your skin cells need to stay moist in order to be healthy; acne conditions and sensitive or dry skin suffer from lack of water.


Melanoma is increasing faster than any other cancer in the United States. Once a year, you should visit a dermatologist to have a full body check, especially if you have a family history of skin cancer, are fair-haired, or have gotten excessive sun exposure. Early detection can save your life.


Blackheads. We all have them (or at least most of us) and we all hate them. Blackheads are large, open pores containing oil that has oxidized from the air causing it to turn black. Contrary to what most people believe, it’s not “dirt”, it’s simply oxidized oil. You can remove the blackhead but once the oil fills back up in the pore (which it will), the air will cause the oil to oxidize again and now the blackhead is back. To get blackheads under control, you must first remove the blackheads, then use an acid exfoliator to keep the pores clean and use an antioxidant to prevent the oil from oxidizing.


Your friend will tell you about some fabulous product that she loves; you’ll read in a magazine about a product that celebrities use, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you. The #1 reason why you will not show improved results with your skin care products is that they aren’t suited for your skin’s unique needs.


A new year is a fresh start. If you’re ready to get serious and kick off the new year right, here’s my 10-step plan for beautiful skin.

  • Skin Makeover Tip #1 Assess Your Skin Care Products
  • Skin Makeover Tip #2 Find a Reputable Skin Care Professional
  • Skin Makeover Tip #3 Schedule a Consultation
  • Skin Makeover Tip #4 Do a Patch Test with New Products
  • Skin Makeover Tip #5 Get Started with Caring for Your Skin
  • Skin Makeover Tip #6 Practice Good Skin Care Habits Daily
  • Skin Makeover Tip #7 Go Through a Series of Light Chemical Peels
  • Skin Makeover Tip #8 Get Regular Professional Facials
  • Skin Makeover Tip #9 Eat a Healthy Diet
  • Skin Makeover Tip #10 Practice Self-Acceptance

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32 thoughts on “Skincare Tips from Renée Rouleau: New Year Skin Resolutions

  1. Andrea

    Please ignore number 5 – you should never dry your brushes upright!!

    • Karen

      agreed! I was just going to say the same thing. The water will get into the base of the brush and wreck the glue or whatever to hold it in place.

  2. Tiffany C.

    Great tips, but there’s a problem with #5. You can’t just wash your brushes with dish soap because it’ll dry them out and leave them prone to breakage so you need to condition them after. I actually use the EVOO and antibacterial dish soap method and it works wonders!!! Also, as we all know, if you stand your brushes upright then water will seep into the ferule (sp?) causing the bristles to loosen over time and not to mention the possibility of mold growing in the ferule. I actually use Dusty’s method of drying as i don’t want to buy brush guards. Just thought i’d mention the issues with #5 in case any newbies are reading for the first time. :)

    • Lindsey

      Tiffany, can you elaborate on the EVOO and dish soap method? Like, do you mix the two together or do you use one first and follow with the other? I’m looking for a new and inexpensive brush cleaner. Thanks! :)

      • Ginnia

        Michelle Phan had a video on it. Take a regular dish plate and put half olive oil on one side, half anti bacterial on the other. Dip the brushes and swirl it around both and wash. I did it twice and it works great.

        • Eileen

          I used to use baby shampoo until I saw Michelle’s great video. Now I wash my brushes with Dawn (love the apple scented) and olive oil at least once a week and sometimes more often. I don’t bother with brush guards, but I do let the brush ends hang beyond the edge of the counter so air can circulate around them. I have expensive brushes so I’m highly motivated to take good care of them. So far, Michelle’s method is keeping them in excellent condition.

  3. Heather

    Clean your eye brushes after every use!!! Once a week??!! omg. And don’t leave them upright to dry leave them on their side so water doesn’t seep into the ferrule and loosen the glue. Don’t rely on the sunlight to destroy bacteria!!! (wtf?) use an antibacterial soap to clean your brushes or a special brush cleaner that has alcohol as a disinfectant.

  4. Roxanne

    Eak I’m the worst for not wearing sunscreen on my face. The moisturizer I love doesn’t have it, and neither does my foundation. I want to find a sunscreen, but my skin always breaks out with them :/

    • Ugh, me too. I’m pale, dark-haired, and have lots of freckles and moles so I OUGHT to wear sunscreen but every moisturizer I’ve tried with sunscreen in it has made my skin red and blotchy or broken me out.

  5. Julia

    When it comes to skincare, it is better to store your brushes upright– that way you are not introducing anything bad into the clean brushes (anything on the towel/countertop that you rest the brushes on). The water in the drying brushes can help things grow faster. When it comes to brush-care, you should not store your brushes upright. So it depends what your personal preference is and what you care about more.

    • Eileen

      There’s no reason why you can’t have both. Use a fresh, clean towel and wipe the counter down with Lysol before cleaning the brushes. After brushes are dry, they can be stored upright.

  6. Quinctia

    Um…what? On number 6. Soap is made with lye. Soap made right no longer has lye by the time it’s cured. It’s salt and fat. Liquid soap is also made this way. If there was no lye, it’s not soap.

    So is the point that soap is bad for your skin? I’ve heard people say they get good results with all-oil facial cleansing. Is the point that commercial bar soap is bad for your skin? It contains more detergent than soap at times, and may not have much extra fat in it…which makes it skimpy on the moisturizing agent. Is the point that it’s better to have acidic cleansers? Because I’ve seen that, but it’s a lot different than claiming soap is intrinsically alkaline.

    Because people need to stop claiming that there’s still lye in soap after it saponifies.

    • ShockingBlue

      I’ve been told not to use bar soap before, but not because of what’s in the bar itself. An esthetician told me that most people don’t store the bar properly, usually in some sort of dish or container, and bacteria forms after reusing it over and over again and placing it back in a dirty dish.

      • Quinctia

        That makes sense. I buy my soap from Villainess, and the soap dish she’s sold is basically a little draining rack for the soap. So no moisture gets trapped.

        Also, I suppose I should’ve gone a little bzuh at the other part of #6. Sorry, guys, but any of your skin cells that you can see and touch are already dead. And filled with keratin. Keeping them moisturized will keep them soft, supple, and attached to the rest, but they’re still dead.

  7. Dianne

    Can anyone please tell me what is an acid exfoliator and what companies make them? Any names of them? Thanks!

    • happybadfish

      I use a 2% BHA from Paula’s Choice and love it. My blackheads went away. I never thought that would happen.
      My sister uses a 8% AHA from the same line.

    • Renee

      A lot of companies have acid cleansers. They might label their cleanser as AHA, BHA, AHA/BHA cleansers. Look at the ingredients. If you see glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, salicylic acid, then you’ve got an acid cleanser pretty much. For pores, prioritize salicylic acid because it is oil-soluble (meaning: it will dissolve the oils in your pores). Google Alpha hydroxy acids and Beta hydroxy acids to learn more.

  8. jessie

    DO NOT leave your brushes upright in a glass to dry! The water will get into the ferrel of the brush and rot. Your brushes will start to loose hair and fall apart. Set them down flat and let the brush part hang over end of a counter to dry.

  9. RE: Sunscreen

    There is a problem with wearing sunscreen all of the time. Sunscreen inhibits Vitamin D production, so if you already have Vitamin D deficiency it is actually important to get 20=30 mins of sun without sunscreen a few times a week.

    *Severe vitamin D deficient patient*

  10. Cindy

    In regards to #1… my skin always starts to feel grimy and kind of waxy by 2 PM but I fight the urge to wash it. I figure if I wash it when I get home around 5 PM, then in the 6 or so hours between then and when I go to bed, it will just get dirty again. And I’ll have to wash again thus drying everything out. Does anyone have any input/advice?

    • Heather

      I know what you mean about the grimy feeling on your face. I get the urge to wash my face by mid afternoon too.

      When I’m wearing makeup, I mist my face with water I have in a spray bottle and that makes my face feel fresher.

      When I’m not wearing makeup, I’ll wipe my face off with toner on a cotton pad. I use Paulas Choice skin recovery toner.

  11. Jazmine

    Number 6 makes me wonder…my HG facial cleanser right now is the Aveda body bath bar and it keeps my pimples at bay. I have been using it for months. My skin is so sensitive and every other cleanser other than this one has broken me out. Is it really that necessary for me to change it? I mean, my skin on my forehead isn’t dry at all, it’s quite oily. I understand the bacterial aspects but the whole drying thing, doesn’t seem to make sense to me since it doesn’t seem to dry out my skin. But idk now. :(

    • Heather

      “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

      If it’s working for you then keep using it. Cause what ultimately matters is finding something that works for YOUR individual skin

    • Alli

      I’d say if you have sensitive skin (I do too!) you should just stick with what works for your skin. If there are no signs of irritation, you should be good. You know, better than anyone, what feels best for your skin.

  12. Hilary

    I must disagree with the tip about regular spa facials. Although I think it can be helpful or therapeutic, it’s arguable that it really helps your skin enough to justify the cost. Unless you have problematic skin, I think regular facials are more of a nice treat not a neccessity. Then again, whenever we read these tips, we should keep in mind the source. Obviously for an esthetician, it is in his or her interest to claim spa treatments as an integral part of skincare.