One of our biggest beauty pet peeves is when a celebrity tells us that the secret to her perfect skin is that she "drinks lots of water." Yeah, right. We know you've got a literal army of skin care gurus on speed dial for whenever the first hint of a clogged pore appears on your pristine face. But why should celebrities get to hog all the professional help? We asked celebrity facialist Joanna Czech, the woman behind the flawless complexions of Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet, to share her best winter skin care tricks. Better take notes, kids — a session with Joanna usually costs upwards of $250, but we scored you her best celeb-tested tips for free.
1). Keep It Simple Czech is a big fan of sticking to the skin care basics of cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Her ideal routine consists of a pared-down morning plan and doing the majority of your treatments at night. "Nighttime is the most important time to hydrate because it's your healing period — skin is able to absorb more moisture at night," she says. Splash your face with water in the a.m., and apply a moisturizer. At night, use your cleanser and toner, then follow-up with a healthy dose of moisturizer on your face, neck, and decolleté. If you're worried about fine lines or dullness, Czech suggests incorporating creams that contain vitamins A and C, which will help soothe skin and promote cell turnover. Her faves: Environ Evenescence C-Boost and Ionzyme C-Quence.
2). Party Prep
Going out and need to refresh your skin? Try this trick: Grab a piece of cotton gauze and dampen it with toner or mineral water, press it to the skin, lightly pulling it taut, then quickly release. This should happen in a vigorous motion, focusing on the forehead, eyes and nasal folds. Czech calls it the sponge technique because you are expanding the skin when you press, so that when you release, your pores absorb the moisture and create a temporarily plumped effect.
Photo: Maria Valentino/MCV Photo
Photos (clockwise from left): Courtesy of Fresh, Via Ikea, Via iFood
3). Skip The Makeup Remover
Keep your skin care simple by ditching the makeup remover in favor of a cleanser that does double-duty. Czech loves Fresh Soy Cleanser because it gets off even the toughest makeup, without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
4). A Banana A Day...
Keeps your skin glowing! Since they're full of potassium and magnesium, bananas help regulate your digestive system, which in turn makes your skin glow. In addition to eating them as a daily snack, Czech loves to make this at-home treatment: Mash up a banana and stir in some flax seed oil and ground oatmeal to make a paste. Slather it on your skin and let dry, then tissue it off to reveal hydrated, calm, nourished skin.
5). Easy On The Exfoliation
"I'm not crazy about scrubs because clients abuse them," says Czech. "They go crazy with them and it results in tons of broken capillaries. If you just use a cleanser and washcloth to wash your face every night, that's enough exfoliation."
6). Banish Blemishes
When rogue pimples pop up, Czech turns to Protective Nourishment's Pumpkin Peel to treat them. The pumpkin in the mask reacts to your skin's natural enzymes to help dissolve blemishes, instead of drying them out. Czech dabs it on pimples as an overnight spot treatment and says it "works the fastest in my experience on breakouts and blemishes."
7). Make Your Own Makeup
Skip the pricy tinted moisturizers and make your own instead. Czech combines a few drops of an oil-based foundation with a moisturizer to create a custom-blended tinted moisturizer. She likes Babor Age Conceal Foundation and Nude Moisture Balance. Since the foundation has an oil base, Czech says it will keep skin dewy and not show any imperfections. "Skin looks unhealthy with a powder finish. Dewy always looks younger and healthier," she says.
8). Eye-Opening Treatments
If puffy eyes are a problem, Czech recommends putting a cold (damp) tea bag on closed eyes for 10 minutes. Tea is a diruetic, so it draws the water out and reduces puff. You can also put cucumber slices on your eyes — they have de-puffing properties and will create a temporary lightening effect. According to Czech, there's unfortunately no real cure for dark circles. "Your eye area is the thinnest part of your facial skin, and the darkness is caused by veins. It's something you are born with and can't really alter. You can make sure it doesn't get any worse by getting enough sleep and finding time each day, to relax."
9). Reduce Redness
If dry, irritated skin has given you a flaky, flared-up look, Czech says she swears by Bag Balm to help get rid of redness. "It's perfect for your nose, feet, eyelids — any dry spots or even eczema. It has lanolin in it, so it protects your skin from oxygenation and helps it heal."
10).Show Your Lips Some Love
Czech says it's important not to forget about your lips. As they flake and get drier, it creates a kind of callus on your lip and nothing will be able to penetrate the skin to heal it. Keep your pout in tip-top shape with a DIY lip exfoliator — combine coconut oil or Vaseline with a scoop of sugar and rub it on your lips. Sugar is a natural humectant and will help keep moisture within the skin long after you wipe it off. If your lips have already started cracking, Czech says to add a drop of honey to the cracks to help heal and soothe.
Got some of your own winter skin care secrets? Spill 'em!