Celebrity Esthetician and skin care expert Renee Rouleau is making a guest appearance on Beauty411 today to discuss skincare…one of my favorite subjects! I’ve asked Renee to share with us the proper way to use our professional-grade skin care products.  Read on for Renee’s advice:

Never before have there been more potent and powerful skin care products for skin care enthusiasts to keep their skin looking younger, clearer and smoother. That’s the good and bad news.  While advancements in home care products have been amazing, too much of a good thing can cause major damage–and I see it often.

One of the main areas where client’s are doing the most damage is with exfoliation. While exfoliating products such as acids (Lactic, Glycolic, Tartaric, Salicylic and Malic as found in Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel) can offer dramatic skin smoothing and clearing results, too much exfoliation will injure the skin, and this is never beneficial in the quest to look younger. “If it’s not burning or stinging, it’s not working.” Sound familiar?

Too much exfoliation can cause:

  • a stripped barrier function causing dehydration, flaking, redness and inflammation
  • dryness (moisture seeps out of cells)
  • aging due to chronic and prolonged inflammation
  • a destruction of healthy cells
  • a stimulation of melanin activity resulting in an increase of hyperpigmentation (brown spots/patches)
  • products to sting and irritate the skin (due to stripped barrier function)

Although exfoliation can result in tremendous improvement of the skin, it is important to use exfoliants in a safe and most effective way. Here are helpful tips to ensure you’re getting the best results from exfoliating products.

-For acids, perform a patch test if your skin is extremely sensitive. It is always recommended to perform a patch test for compatibility prior to using any new products—especially exfoliating acids. The best place to patch test acids is on the side of the face near the ear.

-Use acids only at night. Acids that are left on the skin for extended periods of time (i.e. moisturizers, serums) should only be used during the evening. Cleansers that are rinsed right off are not considered in this category. Acids get better results at night because your skin is in repair mode and acidic ingredients encourage and aid in skin repair.

-Use acids only formulated for your skin type and needs. In my skin care line, we sell three different strengths of a glycolic acid serum– 10%, 17% and 20%. While people will gravitate to the stronger percentage thinking it will give them better and faster results, it’s definitely possible to overdo it and cause oversensitivity. Make sure you follow the recommendation from your skin care professional to choose which formula is right for your skin.

-Do not use acids or exfoliate daily. Acids that are left on the skin, such as acid-based serums or moisturizers, should not be used on a daily basis. Research continues to show that when the skin is exfoliated daily, the inflammation created (even if not visible) will accelerate the aging process. I suggest that an acid serum be used only three nights on, three nights off, alternating with a hydrating skin serum. The idea behind this routine is that for the first three nights, the exfoliating acid continues to work deeper within the skin every night that it is applied to give a thorough exfoliation. Then, after three nights, when the skin is well exfoliated, you will use a hydrating serum to feed the “new” cells with nourishment by use of performance ingredients.

-Wear sun protection daily–applied generously. It has been shown that using exfoliants on a regular basis increases sun sensitivity by 45 percent so daily sun protection is crucial. It’s a fact that all the best anti-aging products will be ineffective if sunblock is not used. The #1 cause of premature skin aging is UV exposure so truly, the best anti-aging product you can ever use is a sunblock with a minimum of SPF 30.

-Go easy with the Clarisonic brush.  I’ve reviewed this brush before on my blog and I highly recommend that you do not use it as often as the company suggests—especially if you’re going to be using acids and other exfoliating products. Read: Is the Clarisonic Brush Harmful or Helpful to the Skin?

The bottom line is to go easy on your skin. Your intention to help your skin may in fact be harming your skin. Be sure to listen to your skin, as it will tell you when something is too much. If your skin is irritated, it will let you know and you have to respect that. Always work with Mother Nature, never against her.

Renée Rouleau is a skin care expert & celebrity esthetician who believes there’s more to skin than the one-size-fits-all approach. Her exclusive skin care line is based on nine unique skin types, rather than the standard–dry, normal and oily. Her skin care products, Dallas skin care spas and NY and LA pop-up spas attract a celebrity clientele which includes Demi Lovato, Jessica Simpson and Lisa Rinna. Visit www.ReneeRouleau.com for more information.

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