There’s a reason everyone from beauty editors to stars like Demi Lovato and Sofia Vergara rave about Renée Rouleau—her products work. With exclusive products tailored to nine different skin types, Rouleau’s line and treatments cover everything from anti-aging to acne. Between traveling between New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and her base in Austin, we asked Rouleau (skin type #2, FYI) to share a few of her best beauty secrets.
What is your first beauty memory?
My grandmother (who was a hair stylist) cutting my hair in our summer cabin in Wisconsin—she had what I called her ‘beauty treasure chest’ filled with wigs, rollers, pins, hairnets and all sorts of hair pomades. I’d play with her stuff for hours and loved every minute of it.
What was your worst beauty blunder?
It was 1992 and I had just opened up my first skincare practice. I got a sample from a lab of pure glycolic acid, which was just beginning to hit the market for use by professionals. I applied it to my face and it burned like crazy. I noticed that my skin was peeling off so I got all excited and said, “Wow, this stuff really exfoliates the skin!” I continued to use a washcloth to wipe my skin aggressively, but what I was wiping off was new cells. When my skin dried, it was oozing badly and for a week, I had scabs all over my face. Luckily, glycolic acid formulas are much more stable and safe now—plus I learned what not to do.
What’s your secret to maintaining great skin as the seasons change?
I change up my skincare routine slightly to accommodate for the drier air. I switch from a gel cleanser to a lotion-based cleanser and I add a few drops of my favorite skin oil over my night moisturizer for a boost of hydration and protection.
What’s your advice for combatting seasonal seasonal breakouts?
Unlike many of my clients who see an increase in breakouts during the hot summer months, my skin can break out year round since it’s mostly painful cystic blemishes that are hormonal related and from too much dairy consumption. (I love cheese, yogurt and ice cream!) Since I get cysts, I never, ever pick at them because that’s just a battle I won’t ever win. Instead, a little dab of my Anti Cyst Treatment cuts down the healing time in half. I developed this product 25 years ago as a solution for my own cysts and now it’s a lifesaver for me and thousands of others.
If you had an extra 10 minutes in the morning, how would you spend it?
I would do a deep conditioning treatment to my hair to give extra nourishment and also perform two masks on my skin instead of my usual one. First, clay to absorb impurities and then a soothing gel mask to put back in much needed water.
What’s your biggest beauty pet peeve?
I have a hard time using hair styling products because I hate the way they make my hair feel—all crunchy and stiff. While a good texturizing spray definitely gives me the “I woke up like this” look that I love, I much prefer soft-to-the-touch hair.
What are you currently obsessed with?
These days, I’m loving a pure eucalyptus essential. Every morning when I shower, I add a few drops into the palm of my hand and do deep breathing through my nose while the shower is hot and steamy. It clears my sinuses and my head and gives me a sense of clarity to start my day off right. It also reminds me of the various hamams I’ve been to around the globe.