ThisThatBeauty Asks an Expert: Renee Rouleau

To say that I am obsessed with achieving and maintaining great skin is an understatement! My quest for holy grail skincare products and non invasive procedures (i.e.peels, microdermabrasion, etc) know no limit. I regularly check in with my dermatologist and see my esthetician once a month for more intensive maintenance.

As you can see, I am rather serious about my skin care regime! Having said that, I am as pleased as punch to share my skin care chit-chat with trusted skin care expert and celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau. Renée has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing skin for more than 20 years. Her skin care product line addresses nine distinct skin types, with more than 70 award-winning products that blend the best of science and nature.

I have used Renée Rouleau‘s products for over a year and love the results! I am delighted to share my interview with Renée Rouleau!

ThisThatBeauty: Renée, I have been a fan of your products for a little over a year. Your line is extremely effective and made from high quality ingredients. In order to maintain great skin, is it enough to use “good products”? What additional steps do you recommend for maintaining great skin?

Renée Rouleau: It’s a fact that a good skin care routine is essential in keeping your skin healthy and beautiful-looking, but when skin care products at home don’t seem to be giving you the result you desire, seek the help of a professional to boost the results.

I’m a huge believer in not only using good-quality products recommended for your skin type, but you must make sure you are using them correctly.

-Always leave your alcohol-free toner damp on the skin before applying a serum or moisturizer. It seals in the hydrating properties of your toner and gives your skin a drink of hydration.

-When applying sunscreen, you must apply it generously both to the face and neck every day. To get the best protection, it’s not about the SPF number at all. It’s about how generously you apply it and how often you re-apply when you’re in direct contact with the sun. A moisturizer with a sunscreen built right in is the #1 best anti-aging product in the world!

-When using a facial scrub, don’t apply a lot of pressure as you don’t want to cause irritation. Lightly massage in circular motions for 60 seconds and avoid using scrubs with natural grains (apricots, walnut husks or shells) as it can scratch the skin and spread bacteria.

-After cleansing, immediately apply your toner or moisturizer. If you wait more than sixty seconds, the water will start to evaporate out of the skin leaving it dehydrated. So do your routine quickly!

ThisThatBeauty: Wow, those are great tips! My next question is about adult acne. So many women face adult acne around age 30. What causes this and what kind of skin care regime best suits the 30 year old who’s dealing with persistent adult acne?

Renée Rouleau: In your 30’s, it’s a time of babies, stress and hormonal swings that can wreak havoc on the skin. Growth hormones start to slow down, so the skin won’t repair itself as it did in your 20’s. Breakouts can still occur, especially in the form of cystic acne; those hard, sore underground blemishes that linger for weeks. The signs of aging (lines around the eyes and skin discoloration) are more prominent, so it’s definitely a time to get serious about caring for your skin!

For treating adult acne, it’s so important to not treat your skin like a teenager by using harsh, acne products. They will not work and they certainly will compromise any anti-aging benefits that your skin desperately needs.  In your 30’s, the skin needs balance!

To control clogged pores and acne breakouts in your 30’s, the following is needed:

-Exfoliation using gentle facial scrubs, skin peels and acid or enzyme-based exfoliators will keep off dry skin cells to reduce clogged pores resulting in less breakout activity. Exfoliators are extremely effective in reducing acne blemishes and fading post-breakout scars. (Like Renée Rouleau Glycolic Serum 17% or Mint Buffing Beads)

-Destroy acne-causing bacteria by using anti-bacterial products to reduce the chance of blemishes and clogged pores. (Like Renée Rouleau AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel or Tea Tree Anti-Blemish Lotion)

-Hydration with water-based (not oil-based) lotions and alcohol-free toner to keep your skin cells healthy and to prevent them from turning into dry skin cell build up. (Like Renée Rouleau Skin Correcting Serum and Balancing Skin Tonic)

Cosmetic companies feel this need to dry the skin leaving it tight and irritated—and this will usually make the skin worse.

It’s also important to spot treat areas prone to blemishes, instead of treating the entire face for acne that might only show on the chin and only appear monthly. (See the collection of Renée Rouleau spot treatments.)

ThisThatBeauty: This next question is for the super busy girl on the go who can’t remember what she had for breakfast so commiting to a 4+step routine is out of the question.  Please give advice on the one thing that can make a huge difference in your skin.

Renée Rouleau: People have a perception that using a 3 or 4-step routine in the morning and evening will take a lot of time. After cleansing your face (which everyone should always do,) applying a toner, serum and moisturizer should take no more than one minute.

Applying a toner-20 seconds

Applying a serum-15 seconds

Applying a moisturizer to the face and neck-25 seconds

The one thing that will make a huge difference in the skin is using a sulfate-free (non-drying) cleanser. If you wash with a cleanser that leaves your skin tight and dry afterward, it means that you pulled the water out of the skin and you just created dry skin cell build up. The whole reason why exfoliation is so important for the health of the skin is because having dry skin cells on the skin causes a lot of skin problems (clogged pores), so it’s important not to be adding cell build-up by using a harsh cleanser.

ThisThatBeauty: How effective/ important are masks?

Renée Rouleau: I love masks, as long as they don’t dry the skin. Traditional clay masks are a no-no (the kind that cracks into a million pieces when you try to smile after it has dried) because they pull out the water out of the skin leaving it tight and dry. I prefer hydrating clay masks that give your skin the absorption it needs but have hydrators added so they leave your skin balanced. I also love gel-based masks because they give cooling, water-based hydration which can really calm over-active skin.

It’s more important to make sure you have your basic routine down (cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer), but masks are a great boost to enhance the results of your skin.

ThisThatBeauty: Tell us about the kinds of at home treatments we should incorporate in between regular facials?

Renée Rouleau: I recommend doing an at-home mini facial at least twice a month in the evening before bedtime.

Step 1: Cleanse your skin with a mild sulfate-free cleanser

Step 2: Either use a facial scrub or acid/enzyme peel to dissolve and lift off surface dry skin cells

Step 3: Apply a few drops of a hydrating serum recommended for your skin type

Step 4: Apply a thin coat of a mask recommended for your skin type. Let dry for 15 minutes and rinse well.

Step 5: Apply a moisturizer

ThisThatBeauty: Thank you Renée! I’ve just learned so much. I will be following your at home treatment regime in between my regular facials!

Dear readers: I would like to share a bonus read with you. I recently came across a piece on African American skin, written by Renée Rouleau. As an African American woman who has struggled with skin care issues for years, I found the piece by Renée to be one of the most insightful and informative articles I’ve ever read on the topic of caring for African American skin. I am linking to this piece and hope that you will learn as much as I have.


Renée Rouleau’s skin care product line is sold on her website and in her two Dallas skin care spas. Renée’s products have been cited in publications including Allure, Essence, Marie Claire, and In Style. Her proven results have earned her the confidence of celebrities, like Lisa Rinna, Melissa Rycroft, Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson, as well as cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists.

Want more Renée?

Follow Renée on Twitter @ReneeRouleau

I strongly encourage you to follow Renée on Twitter. Her use of Twitter as a brand and skincare expert is brilliant. Others should take copious notes. Renée uses Twitter in a way that is engaging and legitimately informative…not surface fluff like other brands. Renée shares information first and foremost from the perspective of “a skin care expert”…her “RENEE ROULEAU” brand comes second. I live for Renée’s articles and tips and always click through to read more…and that’s saying a lot because I stay ridiculously busy but her articles are always worth the read. Kudos to Renée on effectively using social media to attract, engage, and educate.

Read Renée’s blog at

Become a fan of Renée Rouleau on facebook at

Felicia About Felicia

Felicia Walker Benson is Editor in Chief for ThisThatBeauty and Social Media Beauty Editor at Bergdorf Goodman (her glorious day job!). For Felicia's complete bio, click on the "About Felicia" tab. Follow Felicia on Twitter @ThisThatBeauty

From time to time the good folks from various brands, PR companies, and marketing firms graciously provide product to ThisThatBeauty for editorial consideration. Much appreciated! However, ThisThatBeauty readers can take comfort in knowing that gratis product has never nor will it ever guarantee a mention on my little old blog. Simply put, I write about whatever I darn well please. Thank you very much!

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  1. Deborah says:

    Great interview, great blog! I was looking for reviews on Renee products that´s how i came across ur blog! Just add it to my favorites! xo

  2. Felicia says:

    @Deborah. I love feedback like that. Thank you!

  3. LOLBeauty says:

    Thank you so much for this! She definitely demystified adult acne for me. My skin is more acneic now than it was when I was a teenager and I was making it worst with all types of products that just dried me out…I think I am finding a nice balance now.

  4. Felicia Felicia says:

    LOL Beauty. Thank You. RR is really amaze!


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