If you've seen a celebrity walk the red carpet for a big event, you've likely seen the work of esthetician Joanna Czech. The superstar skin care specialist touches the faces of the biggest stars, from Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian to Cate Blanchett. Her world-famous facials are highly individualized to the client's needs, so "no two facials are ever the same."
But what they all have in common is the fact that she uses the latest innovations in skin care technology—while infusing simple, back-to-basics modalities. "My hands are my favorite tools," she tells me on this episode of Clean Beauty School.
She's also famous for educating her clients on how to take care of their skin once they're out of her hardworking hands.
"It takes so much more than just skin care. Skin care is about 30%, but the other 70% is our lifestyle. That's where it all begins," she says. "The skin is the largest organ in the body. When you flatten it, it's 2 square meters. When you weigh it, it's about three kilos. It's 25% of our immune system. So we really need to take care of that organ."
And in this episode, she shares all her secrets—so you, too, can have red-carpet-worthy skin.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
One of the most important things you can do for your skin is to reduce the amount of inflammation there is in the body. And you do that through your diet.
"If you don't take care of your body, your face will show it," she says, noting she follows the work of physician Steven Gundry, M.D. "It's important to reduce the amount of sugar and dairy products. This can help your digestive system and how it operates, as well as the skin."
Having a high-sugar diet in particular affects the look of the skin long term—as sugar can actually break down collagen1, research shows. "[Cutting sugar] reduces the glycation process. When we eat a lot of sugar and can't properly digest it, it attaches to collagen fibers and makes them fragile. This can cause premature aging," she says.
Focus on the basics
So what does Czech tell her celebrity clientele roster to use? It's the same ingredients we've known to be good for the skin for ages.
"I don't believe in trends in skin care. I know that might sound weird, but I believe that skin needs what it needs," she says, noting that those necessary actives include vitamins A, C, and E, ceramides, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and peptides.
Nighttime skin care is key
Just as important as what you apply is when you apply it. Your skin, like the rest of the body, has a circadian rhythm. This means that it acts differently when at rest than it does during the day—and these changes in its functions mean your products work differently in the skin at different points of the day.
And according to Czech, honoring your skin at night is the most critical. "The main moment of taking care of yourself is at night. The efficacy of the products applied on the skin is increased by 50 to 60%," she says. "However, we also experience more water loss, so we need to use more hydrators so we don't wake up dry."
She's not wrong. Research shows that the skin is more permeable while we rest, meaning more water is able to escape (something we call transepidermal water loss). But it also means that products are able to penetrate deeper and be more effective.
Nighttime is also when your skin enters recovery mode3doing the hard work of scavenging free radicals, restoring collagen, and fixing up damage done during the day. This is why it's so important to focus on repair in the evening, to help your skin do its job.