After a summer filled with sun, heat, chlorine, saltwater, and sunscreen, our skin often takes a beating, resulting in dullness, increased breakouts, and a lack of radiance. Seasonal skincare adjustments are something that many of us have become quite accustomed to, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem to be enough. If you neglected your skincare routine during those lazy summer days, developed brown spots from sun exposure, faced clogged pores and breakouts from sunscreen, or experienced dryness due to chlorine and saltwater, then your skin may need some extra TLC this fall– and I have just the challenge for you.
This past October I launched the 7-Day #OBEYRENEE Challenge, my first ever guided 7-day challenge for post-summer skin repair, with daily videos from me personally. What I like to call a Skin HIIT (high-intensity interval workout) this week-long routine is something I do every fall to get my skin back on track, and now I want to share it with you! All you need to get started are a few basic skincare products (most of which are likely already in your possession) and seven days dedicated to achieving your best glow yet. Let’s get glowing!
Which Skincare Products Do I Need For This 7-Day Challenge?
Before diving into the challenge, here’s a rundown of the essential and optional skincare products that I recommend for this 7-day challenge:
Nice to Have:
Don’t have all of the Renée Rouleau products that I’m using? No worries! Every morning and night, I exclusively use skincare products from my line (other than a prescription retinoid and some tools like NuFace, a gua sha, etc.), but I realize not everyone will have the exact products I have. Use whichever products you have on hand that are the closest to what I am recommending– and check out the FAQs at the bottom of this page for alternative product suggestions!
This is the introduction video for my 7-day challenge. For my daily AM and PM routines, follow along here.
Which Strength Retinol Should I Use?
The strength of retinol, retinoid, tretinoin, or other types of vitamin A you should use during the 7-day challenge depends on your individual skin type, as well as prior experience with this ingredient. If you’re new to retinol and unsure of how your skin will respond, seek more beginner-friendly products to minimize the uncertainty of possible dryness and irritation. However, if you’re familiar with retinol and looking for more of a transformative experience, then I encourage you to use the strongest retinol that you feel comfortable with. Remember, the more potent the retinol, the more noticeable the results!
Will I Experience Side Effects?
It’s essential to be aware that using retinol or vitamin A products can lead to side effects such as sensitivity, dryness, and flaking. This is all considered normal because your skin’s barrier is being compromised for a short period during this challenge (particularly days 4-6, when the retinol is kicking in). If at any point these side effects become too much, modify the routine to your specific needs.
Why Is Moisturizer Optional on Some Nights?
As you follow along with the challenge, you may notice that I call out using a moisturizer as an optional step. This is because of a term called “product sandwiching.” For those new (or sensitive) to active ingredients like vitamin A, you may choose to layer a moisturizer above and below your application of vitamin A to create a buffer between it and the skin. This dilutes the strength of vitamin A, hence decreasing the strength of its side effects. However, if you want to receive the full effects of vitamin A and all of its potential peeling effects (which gives the full collagen boost), you may choose to opt out of using a moisturizer before or after using a retinol/ vitamin A product. This allows vitamin A to work deeper within the skin, potentially yielding more visible results.
Can I Repeat This 7-Day Challenge?
Good news for those who enjoy the challenge – you can repeat it! I encourage you to repeat this 7-day challenge whenever you find your skin is in need of another boost of results.
Here’s a tip: To maximize the benefits and give your skin the time it needs to rest, I recommend waiting 2-3 weeks between each challenge. This will allow your skin to fully recover and ensure you get the most out of each experience.
Is This 7-Day Challenge Suitable For All Skin Types?
Yes! This is appropriate for all of the nine skin types. If you want to give your skin a glow-up, this challenge is for you. Just make sure you’re using products appropriate for your skin type.
Will Skipping a Step Lessen My Results?
While it’s ideal to follow each step for the best results, don’t worry too much if you occasionally skip one. Try to stick with the routine as closely as you can, but remember that skipping a step here or there won’t ruin your chances of achieving great results. Just do your best and enjoy the journey!
I have a hard time using retinol, what should I use?
Whether you don’t have retinol or just don’t want to use it, that’s perfectly okay! However, it’s worth noting that without retinol, you may not experience the same transformative results. Retinol, especially in prescription strength, can provide significant collagen-boosting and peeling effects. But if retinol isn’t your thing or you can’t use it for any reason, don’t worry! You can still achieve skin-smoothing results that your skin will love.
The 7-Day #OBEYRENEE Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to reset your skin and rejuvenate your complexion post-summer. If you missed this challenge, keep an eye out for the next one, and in the meantime, follow along on YouTube and give your skin the care it deserves. Your radiant, post-summer glow is just 7 days away!
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Her hands-on experience as an esthetician and trusted skin care expert has created a real-world solution — products that are formulated for nine different types of skin so your face will get exactly what it needs to look and feel its best. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”