Steven Meisel
Skin Deep
Features
Beauty

Celebrity Facialist Joanna Czech On How to Spot the Signs Of Overworked Skin, and the Remedies to Fix It

It goes without saying that a luxurious facial can serve as the ultimate, and sometimes necessary, act of self care. However, in an over-indulgent and skincare obsessed society cluttered with countless forms of botox, fillers, and endless facial treatments, it begs to ask the question—when does it become too much? Thankfully, with over 32 years of experience in the field, celebrity facialist, Joanna Czech, who counts stars like Uma Thurman and Christy Turlington as longtime clients, is here to share her trusted remedies on how to avoid and reverse over-processed skin. From LED therapy to ultra-sound sessions to simply choosing the proper moisturizer, Czech breaks down the signs of overworked skin and the right treatments to achieve healthy, younger looking skin, here.

What are the most common skincare issues you are seeing with your clients today?

What I'm seeing now is over damaged skin, over-burned, and over-lasered, especially. I think people are seeing that quick fixes bring tons of side effects, as opposed to the long term, healthy effect of being consistent. I believe in consistency as opposed to one quick practice that creates a scar tissue.

What are the biggest signs of overworked skin?

Hyper-pigmentation. There is a shine on the skin, but it's not a healthy glow. There is also a ton of pink patchiness and dehydration, which is due to a lot of things. Makeup on that skin does not look good because it's not the right canvas for it.

Does an increase in botox, fillers, and other treatments have a dramatic impact on the skin?

Fillers and botox and all those things, they are already stuff that could be even carcinogenic. What I don't believe in is someone who is 23-years-old getting preventive botox, because preventively paralyzing your muscles doesn't make any sense. What you can do is start coming in for deep tissue facial massages—that's what would stimulate blood flow; automatically hemoglobin would bring more oxygen into the tissue, and you would remain younger looking longer. I also believe strongly in LED therapy, which I've been using for 17 years. I probably wouldn't invite a 20-year-old to come in every three weeks, but even if they come once a season, it would be better than nothing. I would also try microneedling to stimulate the production of collagen. Botox and fillers, I'm not mad at; I'm sort of just disappointed.

What treatments do you recommend to help reverse overworked skin?

Laser burn is irreversible; if your melanocytes are gone, if you see patchiness on the chest of a client, you cannot do anything. I can help, however, with the healing process. That would include tons of hydration, tons of hyaluronic acid, and even cryotherapy as an anti-inflammation. Then, of course, tons of LED with red or green lights, which are very soothing, and ultra-sound, which is the warmed electra that tightens and brightens the skin. The combination of ultra sound and light therapy stimulates ATP energy within each alive cell, so for three weeks, you have beautiful, lifted, healthy-looking skin.

Can you overuse at home facial gadgets?

I would worry sometimes with microneedling, because people can sometimes follow the process with the wrong products. You need to first prepare the skin professionally with some Vitamin A and C treatments to strengthen the skin a little bit. You can treat the skin just by being quite gentle and respecting the skin. I love the respecting of skin.

What products do you recommend to rebalance overworked skin?

My four favorite lines which are Biologique Recherche, Vintner's Daughter, Dr. Barbara Sturm's products—especially her hyaluronic serum ($300,neimanmarcus.com)—and the Environ skincare line.

What does a great skincare routine look like?

Washing your face at night, though not necessarily with scrubs. I don't love using scrubs. If anything, I recommend mixing it with your cleanser so that it is slightly milder. Main skincare should happen at nighttime because your skin is about 60 percent more potent to absorb everything. So obviously, start with cleanser at night—my go-to is usually milky, oily, or maybe even a balm. Then Biologique Recherche P50 lotion, which I would follow with whatever serums you need based on what problems you want to address, and then you follow with your proper moisturizer. For the winter time, it's very important that you have exactly the same routine during the day, but for the daytime try putting on richer, more oil-based creams. Just using oil alone could be super dehydrating, because that's what it is—oil dissolves oil. It is fantastic for all skin conditions, but after your oil, you need to follow with some form of moisture to seal that water.

What are the overall biggest skincare mistakes people can make?

The biggest mistakes these days is doing what your girlfriend does, because there are as many skin conditions as there are humans. My skin condition today is very different than what it's going to be tomorrow.

Related: Why November Is Prime Time to Get a Chemical Peel (and Other Beauty Treatments)