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Skin Care Tips From A Celebrity Facialist

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Renée Rouleau has been a skin care expert and celebrity esthetician for 25 years, teaching people how to properly take care of their skin and attain a healthy, beautiful glow. Renée is extremely knowledgeable about skin care and shares a vast amount of information on her website, covering dozens of skin-related topics from A-Z. Years ago she began formulating her own exclusive brand of products based on nine skin types that combine the best of nature and science to bring about amazing results. Renée makes a point not to push her products and genuinely wants to educate others about the importance of taking care of their skin.

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Always wear sunscreen, every day, rain or shine!

The #1 reason why the skin shows signs of premature aging is due to sun/UV exposure, since the UV rays destroys collagen, create inflammation and negatively alters the DNA of your skin cells. Using a good moisturizer containing UVA/UVB sun protection every day, as well as limiting your time outdoors, will pay off years down the road. Studies indicate that 78 percent of the sun exposure you get in a lifetime is incidental exposure.

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Never, ever, use a bar of soap on your face or high-foaming cleansers

The binders that hold a bar of soap together are in an alkaline base (high pH balance), which will strip all the water and natural oils out of the skin, causing the surface of the skin to dehydrate. Your skin cells need to stay moist in order to be healthy. Without water, acne conditions will be aggravated and made worse. Even if the soap claims it's moisturizing, it will still strip the skin, no matter what. The less lather, the better because it is less drying to the skin.

(credit: Renee Rouleau)

Exfoliate, using a glycolic acid product

Hands down, studies show the effectiveness of exfoliation given by glycolic acid in reducing the appearance of past sun damage, smoothing and softening the skin, and increasing cell turnover rate. Glycolic acid is the most effective AHA on the market. It also helps to fade brown spots and keep pores clean by keeping bacteria out. (Renee's BHA Clarifying Serum is her most popular and effective serum.)

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Don't be lazy -- always wash your skin, tone and moisturize at bedtime

The latest research indicates that skin repairs itself most effectively at night, between 10 and 11 p.m., indicating the need for night cream application before midnight. For those who are too tired to wash off their makeup at night, try washing your face when you get home from work, or even after dinner. A good skin care routine doesn't need to be complicated or take a long time to perform. Use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer both morning and evening to get your skin healthy and beautiful.

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Don't skip the toner

Recent research confirms that moist skin is actually 10 times more permeable than dry skin. This 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, giving you better results. Avoid using toner that contains SD Alcohol 40. Many people like the "clean" and "tight" feeling associated with using alcohol on the skin, but this ingredient will strip the skin of water, which results in dead cell build up and dull-looking skin. Make sure to use a toner both morning and night after cleansing.

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(credit: Renee Rouleau)

Start using a product with retinol on your skin NOW

Aside from sunscreen, the best, scientifically proven ingredient for smoothing the texture of the skin and making lines and wrinkles less noticeable is retinol, or a prescription retinoid. It is still the only FDA-approved anti-wrinkle treatment on the market. Renee's Advanced Resurfacing Serum is a great product to begin using at age 35, as a preventative aging strategy to help keep lines and wrinkles softened (or any high quality product with retinol).

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Get regular monthly facials

Think of facials as maintenance for the health of your skin. As the skin ages, circulation and metabolism slow down, resulting in tired and dull looking skin. One of the benefits of a facial is increased circulation and oxygen resulting in healthy, glowing skin. Plus, deep pore cleansing facials are a must for clogged pores and breakouts.

Related: Best Facials In The Inland Empire

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Give yourself a "mini facial" once a week at home

Take some time to de-stress and condition your skin at the same time. Cleanse skin to remove all traces of makeup, exfoliate with a mild facial scrub, then apply a hydrating serum and seal it in with a nourishing facial mask (drier skins should avoid clay masks). Run warm water in the tub, sprinkle in some mineral bath salts, light a candle, play soft music and create your own spa at home.

Related: Where To Shop For Your Home Spa In LA

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Forget about wrinkles

Pay attention to the texture of your skin. Wrinkles are a fact of life and once they are formed, are very hard to get rid of without the help of Botox and injectable fillers. Many people focus so much on wrinkles, they often overlook the texture of their skin, which is something they have far more control over with the help of at-home products and professional treatments such as chemical peels.

(credit: Renee Rouleau)

Don't try to scrub away acne

Using a washcloth and aggressively scrubbing tends to aggravate the problem by allowing bacteria deeper into the skin, causing further irritation. Don't use a facial scrub that has sharp edges (apricot and almond based), which can lacerate the skin, causing bacteria to spread. Instead use a gentle one with perfectly round grains that roll across the skin (like jojoba beads). They control clogged pores and break outs, exfoliate, disinfect and hydrate your skin.

(credit: Renee Rouleau)

What do celebrities do for their skin?

Makeup-free, radiant skin is definitely in. Demi Lovato (who sees Renee regularly for facials) uses the entire Renee Rouleau regimen for her skin type (Skin Type #2 from Renee's line). The Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel, instantly makes dull, tired skin look healthier, refreshed and more radiant; BHA Clarifying Serum clears clogged pores, lifts discoloration and lessens blemishes to reveal smoother, more even-toned skin; and the Triple Berry Smoothing Peel, peels away dullness, revealing younger-looking smoother skin.

Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.

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