6 Skincare Tips from a Celebrity Esthetician

May 20
It’s been eight weeks since COVID-19 has caused us to shelter in place with the goal of putting an end to the novel coronavirus. While social distancing is playing an essential role in our health, the same can’t be said for our beauty routines. For beauty buffs, the lockdown has meant an abrupt halt to our routine visits to our facialists, dermatologists, and everything in between. What’s more, staying indoors has limited our exposure to vitamin D (which our skin needs to thrive), heeded unhealthy eating habits (which can wrack havoc on our skin), and turned us all into our very own (albeit mildly inexperienced) esthetician. To ensure our skin and well-being is taken care of during such a confusing time, we tapped into celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. Below, she’s sharing six self-care tips to practice as you social distance.
1. Go Makeup-Free
While wearing makeup does have pose its own skin benefits (it can offer additional protection from the sun), there’s no denying it can contribute to clogged pores. “If you regularly wear a primer or liquid foundation—which are both notorious for causing clogged pores and bumpy texture—you may start seeing a reduction in these side effects when going makeup-free,” says Rouleau. “If you stop regularly using your makeup products for a few weeks and see a significant reduction in your clogged pores, you may want to re-think what you use going forward.” Her pick? The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64), a widely loved formula that produces a silk-like finish without making the skin feel heavy.
2. Do A (Safe) At-Home Facial
Lately, it seems as though our makeup routines have been replaced with intricate skincare routines, and that includes indulging in an at-home DIY facial. “A quick way to keep your skincare game strong without overhauling your whole routine is to try an at-home facial,” says Rouleau. She recommends the following step-by-step routine: 
  • Cleanse your skin with a mild facial cleanser to get rid of excess dirt and oil
  • Use an at-home device like an LED light or even a jade roller to promote circulation
  • Apply a gentle face scrub to lift dead cells off the surface
  • Apply an exfoliating peel to lower the pH of the skin
  • Apply a hydrating serum to lock in moisture
  • Apply a non-drying face mask geared toward your skin type
  • Swipe an alcohol-free toner across the skin to remove impurities from tap water
“This routine will not only remove dry, dulling dead skin cells for a fresher-looking complexion, but it can deliver hydrating, radiance-boosting benefits too.” And to avoid any post-quarantine skin issues as a result of harsh handling, Rouleau recommends introducing one new product into your routine at a time. “Introducing too much too fast can disrupt the skin, but if you incorporate new products slowly, you’ll be able to identify the cause of a skin reaction if there is one.”
3. Avoid Skin Picking
During times of stress, skin picking can be a natural release for many. Rouleau advises, though, that this behavior can cause both short- and long-term skin damage. “Skin picking can spread bacteria and cause inflammation, leading to more breakouts,” she notes. “The long-term effects is that skin picking can cause serious pigmentation and even pitted scarring (also known as “ice pick” scars).” To nip this unhealthy habit in the bud, try keeping your hands busy with this No Picking Twisty Toy ($6).
4. Keep Hands Hydrated
As we’re being extra diligent about washing our hands, many of us are experiencing dryness as a result. Combat this by doing a nightly hand treatment—a thick hand cream can be applied to compensate for moisture loss. Rouleau recommends taking it one step further by slipping on a pair of cotton gloves to lock in moisture. “Cotton is breathable so it won’t feel hot, and adding that physical barrier over your hands will force moisture deeper into the skin,” she says. “The added bonus here is that the gloves will ensure the cream or ointment doesn’t get on your face, so there’s no need to worry about clogged pores.” Lano’s Rose Hand Cream Intense ($15) is a luxe formula that’s made with lanolin to transform dehydrated hands. 
5. Limit Dairy
Perhaps your skin is faring oily, or you’re experiencing more red patches beyond what’s typical for you. If you’ve noticed a change in your skin since quarantining, what you’re consuming may be playing a role. Rouleau says to be mindful of your diet and limit dairy for at least three weeks to see if it’s the underlying cause. She notes that because dairy is mucous-forming, the body may find it difficult to digest. For some, this may show in the form of cystic acne, which she describes as “hard, painful bumps under the skin located on the chin and jaw line area.” Replace dairy with antioxidant-rich foods like avocados, berries, almonds, and spinach.
6. Use SPF
While it may be tempting to ditch the SPF (after all, you’re home all day anyway, right?) Rouleau advises against this. She maintains that “SPF is still an important daily product to use even if you’re not exposed to direct sunlight, as any visible light has the ability to cause damage.” Unless you live in a house with absolutely no windows, she strongly urges the use of SPF. We love Naturopathica Daily UV Defense Cream SPF 50 ($64)—it’s a SPF-moisturizer hybrid that drenches skin with moisture as it protects.
Best Reviews
Ingredient Breakdown: Peptides
Ingredient Breakdown: Peptides
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids, imparting bounce and firmness. But collagen can be broken down by free radicals (hello, oxidizing fragrance/volatile essential oil compounds), smoking, UV rays, and age. Age contributes to collagen loss also because your body makes less collagen peptides after some time in your 20s. Topical collagen-containing products don’t work, as collagen molecules are too big to pass through the epidermis. Instead, use peptides to help it act younger and make more collagen! Peptides (also made up of amino acids) are small enough to get to the dermis where collagen is made. In response, skin should start making more peptides to form more collagen. Copper peptides are considered particularly beneficial, though the main benefit over normal peptides is their wound healing capability, making them wonderful for those with acne, on top of their anti-aging benefit. DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer contains 9 varieties of peptides, including copper peptides, as well as a variety of amino acids, fatty acids, and humectants. I love this gel-cream, it’s wonderful as a multifaceted moisturizer that is light enough for oily skin and helps fight signs of aging. PAULA'S CHOICE - Peptide Booster contains 8 peptides, amino acids, fatty acids, and a variety of humectants. No copper peptides, instead incorporating a variety of antioxidants, helping to contribute to the calmness of skin and prevent free radical-induced breakdown of collagen. An amazing anti-aging serum with a texture that sits between creamy and silky, sinking in quickly and giving my skin quite a bit of plumpness. This would be the best of the bunch for a multifaceted anti-aging peptide product. The Ordinary - "Buffet" + Copper Peptides 1% contains seven peptides -one of which is a copper peptide- plus a variety of amino acids and hyaluronic acid. It’s a simple yet effective serum that is a bit tacky and smells of metal, but the results are worth it. Applying it to a scab/large acne lesion nightly speeds along its healing noticeably- plus I see less hyperpigmentation develop afterwards. I can’t recommend this enough as a budget-friendly entry into peptide serums!
Toner, Peel, Serum, Mask? Four Ways to AHA
Toner, Peel, Serum, Mask? Four Ways to AHA
What is AHA? Alpha hydroxy acids gently removes dead skin cells, encouraging the regeneration of new skin. It is know for its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, minimize pores and brighten skin. So how is that different from Glycolic Acid? Glycolic acid is actually a type of AHA! Known to be the “smallest”, most researched and gentlest AHA, glycolic acid does all of the aforementioned things and also acts as a humectant, leaving us with smoother, plumper skin. AHA vs BHA? So some of the products I’ll mention contain both AHA and BHA. BHA, particularly salicylic acid, is great for reducing acne but can be drying. BHA has better penetration into pores due it its affinity to oily sebum. That’s why they say BHAs are better for oily skin! How should I incorporate AHA/Glycolic Acid into my skincare routine? Whichever way you choose! Some prefer it in their daily routine whereas others prefer it 2-3x a week- the products mentioned below allow you different options. 1. AHA as a toner. The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution When: Everyday if you want, AM or PM toning step. Price: $8.70 for 8oz Comments: I personally wouldn’t use this everyday especially if you have a broken skin barrier (it stings!) but it leaves me so hydrated and clean the next morning. Paired with a hydrating night serum, I’ve noticed a huge decrease in pore size and bumpy irregularities on my face. 2. AHA as a night cream/peel. VERSED - THE SHORTCUT Overnight Facial Peel When: 2-3 nights per week in my moisturizing step. Price: $9.99 for 0.5 oz Comments: If you have super sensitive skin, this one is for you. This acts as a lotion and has been the mildest form of glycolic acid I’ve seen. I don’t notice as drastic of a glow as TO’s toner or Good Molecules’s Overnight, but it works. Another con is the price...$10 for only 0.5oz allows for only 6-7 uses before repurchasing, whereas I’ve had that 8oz toner for almost a year with plenty left! 3. AHA as a night serum/sleeping mask. GOOD MOLECULES - Overnight Exfoliating Treatment When: 2-3 nights per week in my serum step. Price: $6 for 1 Oz Comments: this is my absolute favorite way of getting my AHA for only $6. I use only 4-5 drops as a “serum” in my regular night routine (see my old post). I would minimize using too many other acids with it! Creates a delicious glow in the AM, this mask also minimizes pores. It is not drying even though it contains BHAs! Would recommend for those who are dry, blackhead, and acne-prone. 4. AHA as a wash-off mask. The Ordinary - AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution When: 1-2 nights a week for 10 min before rinsing off. Price: $7.20 for 1 Oz Comments: This product is hyped and I’m not too sure why. It works as a wash-off mask but it’s drying (bc of BHAs). I would only recommend if you want to add a mask without changing your existing routine.
Battle of the Face Masks
Battle of the Face Masks
My skin type is combo oily that can lean more dry during the weather changes or just randomly. My skin concerns are acne, oiliness throughout the day and also dehydration. I’ve ranked the face washes I currently have open right now based on how they worked for me personally (starting from favorite). My favorite out of this bunch is the philosophy - Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask because can see a difference when I use the mask, but it’s nothing major especially for the price tag. . philosophy - Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (for acne and blackhead removal) and White Clay (removes dead and dry skin cells). Texture/Consistency: Cream with granules Scent: None Price: $18 for 1 oz / 30 mL (mini size) OR $35 for 2.5 oz / 75 mL Experience: I haven’t noticed much, if any, difference in my pores honestly. I do notice that my skin looks more radiant and glows after removing this mask because the abundant amount of granules give a nice exfoliation. Repurchase/Recommend: It’s nice, but nothing special and don’t think it’s worth the high price tag because it’s not on the face long. I’d rather put that money towards an actual exfoliator than a mask. . e.l.f. - Hydrating Bubble Mask Key Ingredients: Glycerin (for hydration and protection) Texture/Consistency: Gel that turns into bubbles Scent: Soapy Price: $14 for 1.69 oz / 50 g Experience: The sensation of the gel turning into bubbles tickles and can easily get out of control and get into your eyelashes. I don’t notice any difference in the hydration of my skin. It is easy to wash off, but the packaging is finicky and randomly decides to stop dispensing product and you have to keep pressing down until more comes out. It also requires quite a bit of product to fully coat the face so not sure how long it will last for. Repurchase/Recommend: No I didn’t notice any difference and the packaging is difficult. . FREEMAN - Matcha Ice Cream Melting Sugar Face Mask Key Ingredients: Matcha extract (helps clear pores) Texture/Consistency: Thick gel with gummy flakes Scent: Sweet Price: $3.99 for 1.18 fl oz / 3-4 uses Experience: This mask is so thick and difficult to remove off the face! It made me ever want to use it. I also didn’t notice any sort of difference after using this mask. The style packaging is really nice and convenient and you can definitely get more uses than the recommended. It also claims that the flakes dissolve, but they never did for me. Repurchase/Recommend: No, too difficult to remove and didn’t see any results.
Battle of the Hyped Sunscreens
Battle of the Hyped Sunscreens
My skin type is combo oily that can lean more dry during the weather changes or just randomly. My skin concerns are acne, oiliness throughout the day and also dehydration. I’ve ranked these popular hyped sunscreens based on how they worked for me personally (going from favorite to least favorite). My favorite is Unseen because it’s a primer and sunscreen in one, is lightweight and I haven’t had an issue with pilling. I prefer SPF 40 or higher. . Supergoop! - Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Key Ingredients: Complex Derived from Meadowfoam Seed (increases hydration levels), and Red Algae (helps protect against blue light emitted by electronic devices). Texture/Consistency: Gel Scent: None Price: $34 for 1.7 oz / 50 mL Experience: Is designed to be used as a primer, makes it quicker to get ready. It feels so lightweight, I can’t even tell that I’m wearing it throughout the day, doesn’t pill or make me oily. Repurchase/Recommend?: Yes, I definitely am going to purchase the full size of this! It simplifies my routine and lightweight. . Supergoop! - Play Everyday Lotion 50 Default Title Key Ingredients: Sunflower Extract (protects your skin from external environmental elements) and Rosemary Leaf Extract (has a calming effect on the skin and is rich in antioxidants). Texture/Consistency: Lotion Scent: None Price: $32 for 5.5 oz / 162 mL OR $58 for 18 oz / 532 mL Experience: It was too heavy on top of a moisturizer and made me look greasy, but applied by itself it was lovely (have a glow, but wasn’t too heavy). It also doesn’t pill when I put my makeup on. Repurchase/Recommend?: Yes, it would be more for people with dry skin, but it’s moisturizing enough to act as my moisturizer too so I apply it by itself (or on top of serum). . FIRST AID BEAUTY - Weightless Liquid Mineral SPF 30 Key Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (physical sunscreen that helps filter harmful UV rays) and Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate and Vitamin E (both help protect against environmental aggressors). Scent: None Texture/Consistency: Liquidy Price: $34 for 1.5 oz / 44 mL Experience: I love that this is tinted, it doesn’t leave a white cast at all! It is lightweight, easily sinks in, and doesn’t make me oily throughout the day. It also doesn’t pill at all, so easy to put makeup on after. Repurchase/Recommend?: Maybe, I just wish it was a higher SPF. . DRUNK ELEPHANT - Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 Key Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (physical sunscreen that protects from harmful rays) and Algae Extract and Sunflower Sprout Extract (both protect against free radical damage). Scent: None Texture/Consistency: Lightweight Cream Price: $36 for 2 oz / 60 mL Experience: It feels heavy and doesn’t sink in all the way, plus pilled and made my CC Cream look cakey and terrible. Repurchase/Recommend?: No, it pilled badly and doesn’t work well with makeup on me.
MY FACE MAKEUP ROUTINE for when I’m breaking out
MY FACE MAKEUP ROUTINE for when I’m breaking out
For numerous reasons, I have been stressed lately which really shows on my skin. I already get the occasional breakout, around the time of the month, and sometimes from diet and eating food that probably isn’t GREAT for me. So with additional stress I eat more, crave more crappy food, maybe pick at my skin, etc. I also wear a face mask whenever I go out and with the heat and humidity of where I live, it just becomes a skin nightmare. I just made another post about how I’ve changed up my skincare routine. Here is my makeup routine for covering it up. Add warmth and color back into the face. COLOURPOP - Super Shock Blush in Count Me In NUDESTIX - Nudies All Over Face Color Bronze + Glow in Terracotta Tan I find that when I’m breaking out, my face can tend to look flat and pale. By adding some warmth and color back into the face, you look healthier and more radiant which will help a lot at disguising breakouts. The colourpop blush is a beautiful mousse-y texture that gives sheer color with a satin-finish. The cream bronzer is my holy grail! It’s super creamy, long-lasting and looks just. like. skin. Spot-conceal. MAKE UP FOR EVER - Full Cover Concealer Wearing a full-coverage long-wear foundation just isn’t the way to go for me. It ends up looking cakey and accentuating texture instead of disguising it. As the individual breakouts are the only areas I really want to cover, I don’t want to cover the areas of my skin that are actually smooth and break-out free! This concealer is super high coverage, a little goes a long way and very long lasting. I will sometimes use a pinpoint eyeliner brush or even just my ring finger to pat the product exactly where I need it! This TRULY gives the illusion of smoother, clearer skin. Lock it in. rms beauty - Un" Powder I love this powder because of its super fine and silky texture. It makes my skin look 100% poreless which is perfect for smoothing out texture on my skin! It also keeps my T-zone area shine-free all day without drying out my skin (as many mattifying powders do to me).