A Minimalistic Skin Regimen
By Alexa Bouhelier-Ruelle
The Oumere regimen is a system. Wendy Ouriel, the founder of the brand, often compares it to a car, “you can’t just use the wheels and windshield, or the breaks and the gas pedal because all of those parts work with the other parts to make a car”. With the Oumere regimen, Ouriel addressed all the aspects that are necessary for skin health, with key points such as skin cell renewal, anti-inflammation, brightening, moisture-locking and cleansing, all of these addressed with the five products she precisely created. The Oumere regimen is very simple, minimalist and effective. It’s going to address every area needed to uphold skin health. “I created them all together to work in concert with each other, so no product is more important than the other just like no organ in the body is more important than another.”
What is your story, how did you get the spark to study cellular biology?
Believe it or not, at first, biology was my least favourite subject to study. When I was in high school I was enrolled in a program at Stanford University to take college classes during the summer, and I always took math and physics classes. I wanted to design bridges, so when I enrolled in college I majored in civil engineering. Engineering was a boring subject with boring people and I couldn’t develop any sort of devotion to something that stale and dry. I had to take a biology class as part of a core requirement and the subject matter was fascinating. Soon thereafter I switched majors from engineering to cellular biology.
How would you explain the change your skin underwent while starting a new anti-ageing product in your mid-20s?
While I was earning my master’s in biology I got acne for the first time in my life. I was 25 and up until that point I don’t think I had even had a pimple before, but seemingly overnight my skin went from clear to a mess. It was at this exact time I started using skincare for the first time in my life too. Prior to this point, the only skincare I had used was sunscreen, I don’t even think I washed my face.
Since I got acne I did the logical next step: try and treat it. I went to the various cosmetics counters and got the anti-acne products, and while some helped a little, most did nothing, and others made it worse. By the end of the day, my acne showed no improvement. So I did the other logical next step: get “professional help”. I went to dermatologists, who prescribed drugs instead of trying to solve the root of the problem. And those drugs worked while I was on them, but once I finished the treatment, the acne came back and it was worse than before. I then went to aestheticians who all did some variation of a peel, scrub, harsh serums and extraction. And my face always looked worse after the treatment. After a few months of this constant ritual of searching for the solution, I realized there was none, and I threw out all of the products I had accumulated over the months. After a few days, I observed that my skin looked a little better and I reached that epiphany that it was the product. The products and doctors and aestheticians that were all representing themselves as healers were making me ill.
"From the natural brands to the luxury brands, to the doctor brands and every single thing in between there was no safe product."
In between experiments in my biology or electron microscopy lab, I started researching skin care and skin care ingredients and determined there was a problem with every single product and treatment I was using. From the natural brands to the luxury brands, to the doctor brands and every single thing in between there was no safe product. They all contained something bad, or were packaged improperly, or stored for years. The only solution was to make my own products and so I did just that when I was done, I had the OUMERE line, and the acne that I had for months was gone in two weeks.
What is your process of creation when it comes to a new product?
I created the Cartesian Method for a formulation which is how I started the OUMERE range. When trying to prove his existence, Rene Descartes first postulated that he does not exist at all, because believing he exists is an assumption. And assumptions can be wrong. He then went from ‘he doesn’t exist at all’ to “I am thinking, therefore I must exist”.
With skincare, I found that I couldn’t believe anything that was assumed to be true. I was told vitamin C serums promote collagen synthesis, and I disproved that in my lab. I was told hyaluronic acid serums to moisturize the skin and I determined that it actually dries the skin out. I found all of the ways fragrances and alcohol damage the skin, yet it is all in skin care products. Therefore, I had to start with the notion that no ingredients in skin care are safe, start at 0, and work my way up from there. So, I then added water, and then through research, trial, error and repeat, I added one ingredient at a time to create the OUMERE range.
What are the must-have molecules to use for an effective skincare routine?
Each ingredient necessary depends on what you are trying to accomplish in your routine. For exfoliation, you need alpha and poly hydroxy acids. For serums, you need anti-inflammatory oils, hydrating extracts, and proper preservation. For cleansing, you need light oils and a proper surfactant ratio.
How would you define your line? What did you have in mind when creating each product?
OUMERE is skincare research. Each product was designed to allow the skin to be its best and allow the body to do what it does naturally.
What’s next for Oumere?
At the moment I am focusing on research experiments using human skin samples to survey the changes in the skin as a result of using skin care. I am using traditional histological and electron microscopy techniques for my research.
By Alexa Bouhelier-Ruelle
Photos provided by designer