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Renee Rouleau Review for Skin Type #5 (Sensitive Skins Only) February 1, 2011

Filed under: skincare — icfaces @ 10:58 pm
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Renee and Aisha

me and Renee Rouleau

On December 28, 2010, Renee Rouleau graced the DMV with her presence and I must admit – I was anxious to meet with her after following her tweets for months.  Not only did she intrigue me with her unique and enticing skin tips, but she also showed that she was well-rounded in all skin types, which is not common in the industry.  Also, anxious to try her products, I was glad that she brought a few to sell.  I explained to Renee that I had very sensitive skin and that almost anything I put on my face stings.  She was evaluating my skin even before I could express my concerns and nailed my skin type just like that!  If you know anything about RR, you know that she works from a system of 9 skin types.  She pegged me for a Skin Type #5, which include the following symptoms: frequently irritated from harsh products, produces oil in the summer, mostly in t-zone, skin can feel tight or dry during the winter, etc.

Renee further explained to me that sensitive skin can be due to many factors: environment, hormones, emotional stress, and harsh skin care products. With her products, the focus is on ingredients to help soothe, strengthen (build the skin barriers), and comfort your sensitive skin.

So my routine skin care plan was prescribed as follows:


  • Cleanse with the Purifying Face Wash
  • Tone with the Elderberry Toner (leave damp for next step)
  • Apply Vitamin C & E Complex (apply 1-2 pumps)
  • Daily Protection SPF30 (apply to face and neck)


  • Cleanse with the Calming Chamomile Cleanser (apply to dry skin)
  • Tone with the Elderberry Toner (leave damp for next step)
  • Apply Glycolic Serum 10% (ONLY once or twice a week) OR White Tea Soothing Complex (using on the nights in between the Glycolic Serum). Alternate the serums every 2 to 3 days.
  • Moisturize with Hawaiian Nourishing Cream

My Experience:

I was headed out-of-town for New Years Eve celebrations and the Prince Concert in NYC the next day, so I was uber excited to bring my new products with me.  I had purchased the Vitamin C & E Complex, the daily protection, glycolic serum and white tea soothing complex.  She was out of toner and the Hawaiian Nourishing Cream, however I really wanted to try the nourishing cream and was quite surprised that after placing the order, it came in the mail in about two days.  Her assistant is SO awesome (Thanks Lydia!)  With that said, I must give my disclaimer: I did not follow the routine to a ‘T’.  I used my Rose Toner that I can’t seem to go without (that’s homemade by a colleague of mine – Habeebah’s Herbals.  Everyone LOVES it who I introduce to the line).

My favorite of my purchase has been the Vitamin C & E Complex.  The first thing I noted was the nice soft scent.  I was a little thrown off because the consistency of the Complex was a little looser than I was used to, but then again I was used to Vitamin C’s stinging my skin as well.  Per Renee’s instruction, I was to use the complex after my cleanser and toner, in my morning routine.  Immediately, I  saw why this is Renee’s #2 best-selling product and I think that it must be due to the ‘no-sting’ formula and wonderful scent.  In addition, being composed of antioxidant vitamins, it is an anti-aging MUST!  I was quite surprised that after experiencing some stinging from my toner (after an exfoliation that I should NOT have done), I put this Vitamin C serum on and it actually soothed the stinging.

Benefits of the Vitamin C & E Complex:

  • good for sensitive skin (no sting formula)
  • improves uneven skin

I followed up the application of the complex with the daily protection (SPF30).  It is a must and is great because it’s a moisturizer and daily protection in one!  Needless to say, this is their #1 best-selling product.  It protects from UVA AND UVB rays, which is important because typically a product protects from one or the other.  I also love the fact that it is formulated for sensitive skin, that’s also prone to breakouts (it won’t clog pores) and dries to a matte finish.  A lot of times SPF is itchy or may even sting my skin.  I did not get any adverse reactions from this SPF product.

Renee was very careful in recommending the glycolic due to how sensitive I explained that my skin was.  She informed me to use at night, after washing and toning.  She warned me that due to my previous sensitivity, I would not use the general recommended frequency.  Instead of altering 7 days a week, every other week, I was to use 1 to 2 nights a week (not back-to-back) and intermittently incorporate the White Tea Soothing Complex which is great for anti-redness and in turn, would help to rebuild by skin barrier.  While the glycolic was gentle (containing Aloe Vera extract, and Allantoin), I still felt some sting when applying this AHA formula to my face.  Even better, I have since noticed less breakouts and minimization of blackheads (on my forehead).  As directed, I use the soothing complex on off nights, however as stated, I have not experienced the “essential moisture and nourishment” to my dehydrated skin as stated on the bottle.  Oddly enough, the White Tea soothed my skin, but not as well as the Vitamin C & E Complex.

Benefits of the Glycolic:

  • dissolves dead skin cells
  • encourages cell turnover

Benefits of White Tea Soothing Complex:

  • Neutralize free radicals
  • Improve hydration levels
  • Calms redness and sensitivity

My final nightly step, I was instructed to use the Hawaiian Nourishing Cream, which features a bio-fermentation technology from a Red Marine Algae (that is found along the shores of the Hawaiian islands).  Although this cream feels wonderful going on, I can’t say that I’ve seen any difference in “healing” my skin.  It smells good and feels hydrating, and I even feel an immediate “lift” after applying the cream.  My speculation is that my skin doesn’t need improvement (wink) in the area of anti-aging and what I’m feeling is helping to prevent future aging appearance (wink wink).

Hawaiian Nourishing Cream Benefits:

  • Intensive Repair
  • Improving appearance of skin aging

My Before and After (forehead full of blackheads):


All in all, I love t

he non-irr

itating formula (using Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Vitamin C & E Complex and will likely continue to order it, as well as the Daily Protection SPF.  The Glycolic, even though it doesn’t “soothe sensitive skin” like the bottle reads (IMO), I think this is a good formula for sensitive skins, due to the added aloe vera extract and allantoin.  The White Tea Complex, while it’s described as offering incredible anti-irritant qualities, I was not excited about this helping to build my skin barriers or soothe my skin.  I also felt no moisturizing help or added nourishment from it.  Lastly, the Nourishing Cream I think I will keep by my bedside because it seems if I give this product a little more patience, I’ll see a difference in my skin.


  • Vitamin C & E Complex
  • Daily Protection SPF 30
  • Hawaiian Nourishing Cream

IC Faces full disclosure January 25, 2011

Since the new year, there has been so much going on. I have neglected my blog once again. Well, I have promised myself (almost like a new years resolution) to blog once a week – on Mondays (to have the post up on Tuesdays).  To re-introduce you to my skin obsessions, I must share that I’ve been totally obsessed with finding a skin care line that will bring my skin back to life. I thought when I cut my hair, I would have fewer worries of the products seeping onto my forehead and breaking me out.  But I still struggle with small patches of breakout on my forehead from not washing the product out of my hair quickly enough.

Let me back up a bit and give full disclosure. I have sensitive skin that is (seasonal) combination to dry, pigmented, and tight.  This breakdown is from The Baumann Skin Type System in which I’m a faithful believer. I’ll explain each factor:
Factor 1: Hydration (oily vs. dry)
Factor 2: Sensitivity (sensitive vs. resistant)
Factor 3: Pigmentation (pigment vs. non-pigmented)
Factor 4: wrinkled vs. tight

(Now you can try to discover your skin type)

THE PROBLEM: With that disclosure, I must share my biggest challenge: my sensitive skin. This is a blessing and a curse. With sensitive skin (in my case) almost everything stings my skin (the curse);  while on the other hand, most products work quickly because my skin barrier is low and my skin is less resistant (the blessing).

THE GUILTY PLEASURES: For this reason, I have to avoid many products like scrubs (ie: Clarisonic), fragranced products (ie: Bath & Body), and drying soaps (esp. those with alcohol).

THE FIX: to begin rebuilding my skin barrier, I must begin by replenishing the fatty acids  (barriers are comprised of cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides). I’ve currently re-introduced omega’s back into my diet along with flax-seed oil and lots of greens. I’m still looking for the right Vitamin E to incorporate. 

In addition to my supplements and skin diet, I’ve been using some new products in my search of the ultimate.  I’ll have to share some of the products at another time.  Tune in next week for my first product review…


More Vitamin E = Less Eczema? August 11, 2010

This blog post is dedicated to a good friend of mine who has been struggling with her eczema.  I promised her I would help her come up with a regimen.  Due to my schedule, I have neglected to focus on her needs, therefore I am blogging on eczema this week. 

Vit E

Vitamin E

Studies are now determining that kids who eat lots of foods containing vitamin E may have a lower risk of the itchy skin condition otherwise known as eczema (a study done in Japan).  I suffered many years with eczema, and still have flare ups to this day.  I remember as a child, my mother used to give me Vitamin E pills to take orally.  Maybe she knew something – i’ll have to ask her.  

The exact causes are not completely known, but it is apparent that there is a hereditary component.  (It’s also been cited that those who suffer from asthma or hay fever are likely to develop this as well).  If you have a child suffering from eczema or know that your child has a genetic pre-disposition, take note that vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, and whole grains.  These should be in our regular diet anyway.  The recommended daily allowance of vitamin E in the same age group is about 16 IUs. 

It’s not clear why vitamin E would lower the risk of eczema, but could be the antioxidant and immune-boosting effects that have been found. 

So what is eczema?  It’s a VERY common skin condition that’s characterized by scaly, red, itchy and sometimes oozing lesions.  If scratched, the skin can become more inflamed and thicken and possibly crust over.  As I mentioned before, it is passed in the DNA although some children will grow out of it.  Mostly, eczema appears on and in joints or bendable areas, such as the neck, inner elbows, inside the knees, wrists, ankles and most commonly on the face. 



Facts to know:  

Eczema is NOT contagious!  

Eczema is treatable, but NOT curable.  

Symptom severities and appearances vary from person to person 

Similar to allergies, eczema will flare up when the body’s immune system overact to certain things (see triggers below).  Hence, a good diet and low stress will help regulate your flare-ups.  

Some triggers that may flare up eczema: 

  1. detergents and drying soaps
  2. stress
  3. fragrance
  4. scratchy clothing (ie: wool)
  5. dairy products (sometimes nuts)
  6. dust mites

When it comes to caring for your skin, you should be extra gentle – most people with eczema have sensitive skin.  You should not expose your face or body to water too many times a day, so as not to dry your skin out even more.  You should use a cleanser/soap for sensitive skins and that do not contain fragrance or other harsh detergents.  Do not use loofahs or rough cloths that may irritate your skin even more.  You should focus on moisturizing and keeping your skin moist, even if that means moisturizing more than once a day.  

Most people go straight to a dermatologist out of frustration when dealing with eczema – I know I have had too many visits to count (as a child).  I went to some of the top physicians in the DC area due to them knowing my father and was given different advice from every one.  This told me that this is still a misunderstood condition that people are fighting to understand.  I was given all types of topical steroids, but never any oral antibiotics or antihistamines because I have never been one to quickly turn to the “quick-fix”.  I guess you can say I am somewhat of a holistic being.  So, I’ve always looked to find the healthy and natural way to treat my eczema.  I came up with a sulfur concoction about two years ago, but realized a number of the population is allergic to sulfur.  So I just want to list a few things that I’ve found to help.  My first list is some things that have helped me subside the itching (followed by suggested products): 

  • Vitamin E (topical or orally – do not use synthetic)
  • Dandelion (can mix red clover and myrrh to make a tea)
  • Red Clover
  • Myrrh (I look for this ingredient a lot when purchasing products)
  • Goldenseal and honey and vitamin E (make a paste – mix the powdered goldenseal with the Vit E, add honey)
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Chamomile
  • Primrose oil
  • Zinc Oxide (topically, you can also take zinc orally)
  • Vitamin B

Recommended Products: 

Soaps: (wash once a day preferably) 

  • Dove (no fragrance) or Dove Daily Hydrating Cloths
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
  • Aveno Body Wash
  • Skin Relief
  • Vitamin E (I started using and selling a Vitamin E bar soap because it made my skin more even-toned and more soft than before)
  • Aveeno Dry Skin (Oilated) Formula Bath Treatment
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Olay Sensitive Skin

For winter months, find a soap with gentle emollients such as Aveno Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin, Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Olay Complete Moisturizing Body Wash for dry skin. 

(make sure to apply the moisturizer directly after showering/bathing, while your skin is still damp) 


  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
  • Curel
  • Eucerin
  • Lubriderm
  • SBR Lipocream
  • Aquaphor Healing Ointment
  • Vanicream
  • Jergens Ash Relief
  • Corn Huskers Lotion
  • Vaseline
  • Lac Hydrin cream or lotion
  • Amlactin lotion

(Pay attention to labels, and make sure the moisturizer does not contain irritants such as alcohol or Vitamin A (retinol), which can dry the skin and make it worse. 

These are some remedies that I found at a site for home remedies that I thought were very interesting: 

Home remedies for Dermatitis #1: 

Skin wash. 

Mix the following ingredients: 
1 tsp. comfrey root. 
1 tsp. white oak bark. 
1 tsp. slippery elm bark. 
2 cups of water. 
Boil for 35 minutes use it to wash the affected area. 

Home remedies for Dermatitis #6:Shark cartilage reduces inflammation.  

Home remedies for Dermatitis #7: Use a lotion made out of blueberry leaves this is proven to be fantastic relieving inflammation of dermatitis.