Renée Rouleau is a gorgeous Harley-riding blonde who also happens to be one of the leading skin care experts on the planet. Her two spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas, have been frequented by all manner of celebs (and normal people) who swear by her amazing facials and line of products. Ever wonder how the adorable Demi Lovato maintains her perfect skin? Check this out.
After some 20 years in the beauty biz, Renée knows what works. Though I’m a big fan of all her products—and we’ll be showing you more in future stories—I’m crazy about her alcohol-free toners ($31-50 – $34.50).
“About her what?,” you ask. That’s right, chica. Toners. If you’ve been skipping this important step in your skin care routine, I may have to come spank you. I recently caught up with Miz Rouleau to talk about all things toner. If you won’t listen to me, listen to her:
Anders: Renée, so many people skip toner. Is it because they don’t get it or because they think it’s unnecessary?
Rouleau: Toners are an often overlooked yet crucial step in a skin care regime and are almost always misunderstood. Many people don’t use toners because they don’t understand why they are necessary, or if they have used them before, they most likely contained alcohol, leaving the skin feeling tight and dry. When a toner dries out the skin, adding a moisturizer only puts back the very thing that was taken out—moisture! Renée Rouleau toners are a vital part of a proper skin care routine and should be used every morning and evening after cleansing to remove impure tap water and cleanser residue and to provide essential hydration to the skin.
Anders: If a client asked, “How can toner help my skin?”—what would you say?
Rouleau: Toner is an important step in any skincare routine, and there are many benefits to using it. When left damp on the skin before applying moisturizer, toners give skin an instant boost of hydration. They also remove drying chlorines, minerals, and chemicals that may be in tap water and can dehydrate the skin. By supplying the skin with essential hydration and nutrients, you repair the skin’s protective barrier, making it less sensitive and resistant to environmental damage. Toners can also enhance the results of your skincare program. Depending on the ingredients, toners can help calm skin, control oil, stimulate blood circulation, destroy acne-causing bacteria, and provide anti-oxidant benefits. Lastly, toners balance the pH in the skin if you are using a cleanser that can dry out the skin.
Anders: Talk about your toners and why there are six different ones.
Rouleau: I believe that different skin types have different needs. If you’re truly looking for results, it’s imperative that you use products exclusively formulated for the unique needs of your own skin. When you use the recommended products for your skin type, you get the synergistic effects, and therefore, the best results for your skin to achieve healthy, glowing, beautiful skin. This is why I have a variety of toners. For example, the Balancing Skin Tonic is great for controlling oily and problem skin, while the Hydrating Mineral Toner works to moisturizer dry, dehydrated skin. You have to find the toner that’s right for your skin.
See Renée’s vid on how to determine your skin type:
Anders: You’re the only person—besides me—I’ve ever heard of who likes having a very damp face before applying moisturizer. I actually keep a spray bottle of Evian in the bathroom for that express purpose! Please explain.
Rouleau: Research has confirmed that moist skin is actually ten times more permeable than dry skin, so it means that leaving your skin damp with toner and applying your serum or moisturizer immediately after will allow the active ingredients in those products to penetrate deeper with in the skin, giving you even better results.
Anders: As we go into warmer weather and oiler complexions, what should we be thinking about, toner-wise?
Rouleau: Many people like the “clean” and “tight” feeling associated with using alcohol-based toners on the skin, but this ingredient will strip the skin of water, which results in dead cell buildup and dull-looking skin! Trying to dry up oily skin can backfire, as stripped cell buildup traps oil and leads to breakouts and more oil production.
Toning Cloths, Not Cotton Balls
Okay. Now I have to tell you about Renée’s Toning Cloths ($12.50 for 160 cloths). These thin, Triscuit-sized cloths have changed my life. I was initially skeptical because I’ve been a Swisspers mujer for forever. But these soft, lint- and fuzz-free cloths feel so great, and you end up using much less product because unlike regular cotton balls or pads, they don’t absorb too much. Renée’s a mad genius!
Anders: How did you come up with the Toning Cloths and why?
Rouleau: After years of using cotton balls I finally had enough with how bulky and difficult they were to maneuver on the face when applying toner. Also, they were so absorbent that it wastes so much product. I developed these amazing little cloths made from a blend of polyester and rayon to make applying toner (or anything else you would normally use cotton balls for) much more efficient. You’ll use about 75% less product than a cotton ball and about 40% less from a cotton pad. They are also extremely gentle on the skin. Cotton fibers can feel scratchy and irritating on thin, sensitive skins, but not our Toning Cloths. They feel very soft and gentle gliding across the skin.
- Toning Cloths aren’t limited to toner. I recently used them to try Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($6.49), and it was like poetry. This is my fave new makeup remover too, by the way. Once again, I was skeptical. I use waterproof, long-wearing, and water-resistant eye makeup, so when I see “Oil-Free,” I’m, like, no thanks. But I had nothing to worry about. Everything came right off, though it was kind of sad to see it go. No tugging, no pulling, no weird feel. Just clean, soft skin. Got to have this.
- What I was removing, incidentally, were my current twin obsessions, Lancôme Design Calligraphy Long Wear Gel Eyeliner ($24.50 each) in Indigo Darling and Violet Stylista; and L’Oréal Paris Infallible Eye Shadow ($7.99 each) in Endless Pearl, Midnight Blue, and Perpetual Purple. They all go on like silky, velvety heaven, look gorgeous, and stay put until you take them off. Use Bobbi Brown’s Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush ($25) and her Cream Shadow Brush ($28) for a flawless application and finish.
- Next I used the Toning Cloths to remove all these fab, new, ultra-femme L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Nail Collection Polishes ($5.99 each) I’m in love with for spring (the names alone will make you want them): Boozy Brunch, Tangerine Crush, Versailles Romance, Wishful Pinking, Satin Sheets, and Because You’re Worth It—all disappeared in just a couple of sweeps! It was awful. It was fabulous. Gracias, Renée.