Joanna Czech is the cult facial mastermind behind many a famous complexion, including Kim Kardashian West, Charlize Theron, and Cate Blanchett, just to name a few. She’s been in the game for more than three decades, and she’s here to help guide us through the harsh winter – a time of year that is not a friend to most skin. Czech is now working alongside Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis, Dior’s environmental and scientific communications director, on special editorial projects. Here are her tips for keeping skin healthy and glowing during these cold, dry months.
Cleanse Gently, Cleanse Less
Czech says that with few exceptions, we should all be expecting super-dehydrated skin during the winter. For this, a balm or oil cleansers offer the most comfort for the skin.
And while your face needs a pick-me-up when you roll out of bed after hours of shut-eye, it’s best to rinse it with cold or lukewarm (never hot!) water instead of face wash. “Too much cleansing, even with a gentle oil cleanser, can strip the lipids and [compromise] the skin barrier,” she explains. But after a long day out in the world, the stuff you come home with on your face is not the stuff you want to rely on water to get off – so let the nighttime be your substance rinse of the day.
Use an Exfoliating Toner
If word hasn’t reached you by now that exfoliants cause micro tears on the epidermis of your face, you’re late. But Czech recommends a pH-balancing exfoliating toner without the tearing beads to avoid aggravating the skin. “I want to respect the skin’s outer layer because if it is out of balance, it won’t be absorbing product the way you want it to,” explains Czech. “It’s like a hole in the roof of a house—when it rains, some areas will be dry, others will be wet.” So, balance is the key more than exfoliation.
Do an At-Home Facial Massage
A deep-tissue facial massage is one of the best things you can do for your face. It sculpts the face by reducing fluid buildup. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps your face absorb the active ingredients you’re trying to get into it with all those products! Using your fingertips, First, apply a gentle oil; then use your fingertips to glide pressure along the jawline and upward toward the top of your cheekbones, under your eyes, and across the forehead. Gliding gauze-wrapped anti-inflammatory green or chamomile tea ice cubes over the skin can provide an extra boost.
Stick to Oil-Based Moisturizers
Once the cold hits, Czech says oil-based moisturizers offer the best protection for most skin. “Water-based moisturizers can freeze on the skin and cause broken capillaries,” she warns. A hydrating mist can also help it stay relaxed and nutrient-filled throughout the day.
Do Targeted Mask Treatments
From overnight hydrating masks to fast-acting sheet mask, these are a great way to give your skin the extra care it needs to go out into the day ready for and protected from the bitter cold. Key moisturizing and brightening ingredients to look out for include red algae and green tea.