Tell us about you and your company—what do you do and how did you start down this path?
I have been an esthetician for over 35 years. I became one because I did not pass physics and needed it to apply to medical school, which was my plan (and my parents’ dream for me). While I was studying to take the physics exam, I enrolled in the beauty institute in my town in Poland and fell in love with it. In Poland, we had to do over 2.5 years of training, and it was quite rigorous and holistic. I always loved taking care of people—when I was very young, I would bandage my dolls and help “fix” them.
After graduation, my parents gave me the money to open a small studio and when I was 25, I came to the US. My real break came when I went to work at The Reebok Sports Club in Manhattan, which at the time was the hottest new fitness club, and I began to see celebrities regularly. I then opened my own spa uptown and in 2011, my husband’s job took us to Dallas, where I opened a flagship studio. In 2018, I opened a studio in New York. Now I’m building a larger flagship studio in NY and I launched Joanna Czech Skincare 6 months ago.
Where in the world do you feel most grounded/at home?
I would say my New York apartment. It is small and simple with large windows throughout that look out onto my favorite city. I also love being in Petaluma, CA where my brother lives. I love the smell of nature and taking walks in the neighborhood with his 3 dogs, whom I love. I also like being close enough to San Francisco, but far enough to be surrounded by nature.
Where in the world do you go to feel revitalized?
I love a beach. The combination of ocean, sun, sand and air makes me feel relaxed and happy. I also get a similar feeling after a workout. Sports and exercise have been part of my life since I was a small child, and the endorphins are real. Some of my favorites: the local Hamptons Beaches (Flying Point, Coopers Beach, Ditch Plains), Xpu-ha on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico (Esencia’s beach), the Riccione and Rimini beaches in Italy on the Adriatic Sea.
What are a few other favorite wellness destinations?
Cheval Blanc in Paris, a beautifully designed hotel with a great gym and beautiful spa, which has an incredible snow room and swimming pool.
La Reserve in Ramatuelle, France. The sea looks beautiful from every room.
Hotel Nun Assisi in Umbria, Italy. It’s quiet and intimate—you feel the history of the city.
Hotel Esencia in Tulum, Mexico. Great beach, great food and every detail is so thoughtful.
How do you approach staying healthy and relaxed when you travel by plane?
I always wear my sexy compression socks. I also try to stick to healthy food choices. I drink a lot of water. And my skincare routines are abbreviated on a plane: I use The Cleansing Wipes, The Toner, and a thick layer of The Balm, as planes are incredibly dehydrating. I do puzzles, I read books, listen to music, watch movies, and try to sleep if it is a long flight.
Any strategies for dealing with jet lag?
I find that as soon as I get to my hotel or place I am staying, I take a short 1-2 hour nap and then I join the world at whatever time it is. If I arrive in the evening, I have dinner and go to sleep. Espressos help keep me going.
What are a few things you always pack for your routine on the road?
How to care for summer skin while traveling?
This depends on many factors, like the climate where you are based or traveling to, your skin conditions, your lifestyle etc. Some general tips if you are in hot, sunny climates:
Use lighter moisturizers; the heavier ones mixed with high humidity and sunblock can cause breakouts.
If your skin is on the oilier side, switch to lighter water-based products.
Don’t forget SPF on the face and body if you are spending more than 20-30 minutes in the sun. Look for a formula with an SPF 30 minimum. A broad-spectrum sunscreen offers protection from UVA, UVB and infrared rays.
Use Vitamin C during the day. It not only boosts your immune system, but it also acts as an antioxidant, helping to stimulate collagen and elastin production, minimize the appearance of sunspots and protect the skin from damaging free radicals.
Do you pack any specific tools for exercise?
Resistance bands—they don’t take up any space and are light.
Do you have a favorite city with a wellness scene?
New York, which seems like a weird choice, but there is so much of everything in this great city. You can have healthy food and juices delivered at any hour of the day. It is also a walking city, and I love to take long walks.
Where do you dream of going next and why?
Australia. I have not been and have heard great things about the people, the food, the healthy lifestyle.