Ask the Expert | Joanna Czech

The ins and outs of a firming and lifting at-home facial ft. Costa Brazil Kaya Face Oil and Joanna Czech Facial Massager.

Esthetician Joanna Czech talks Costa Brazil.

In the beauty world, Joanna Czech needs little introduction. She is considered the facialist, to New York fashion editors and the Hollywood elite, with hands that deeply penetrate the skin muscles and, “work you like dough,” she says over the phone from her home in the Hamptons. While the Polish aesthetician is not one for trends, she does have an expansive toolkit that’s filled with her favorite products—luckily for us it includes Costa Brazil’s Kaya Face and Body Oils, among others—and tools such as a negative ionization machine, for hydration and immune support; a cryotherapy machine, which uses cold therapy to help with inflammation and collagen production; and her Joanna Czech Facial Massager, an easy-to-use aluminum and zinc hand-held tool meant for massage benefits at home.

If you’ve never sat in Czech’s chair and gotten “Czeched,” a term her A-list clientele uses when discussing her one-of-a-kind treatment, which leaves them looking firmer, brighter and red-carpet ready, an at-home facial using her massager and our oils is the next best thing. Read on for tips on how to properly perform a face massage (hint: don’t ever start with the face), get the most out of your oils and instantly soothe sunburn—with help from Costa Brazil.

You’ve said our Kaya Face Oil acts more like a serum than an oil. Why?

Because of its consistency, it’s not a very heavy oil, and what it contains: key ingredients like vitamins, minerals and omegas that are essential for healthy, balanced skin. Since it doesn’t contain any humectants, I apply it before or with my moisturizer. I think of it like an added layer of basic supplements.

In your opinion, are oils basic or luxurious?

I think beautiful oils can create a certain luxury within us. When I arrived in the United States over 30 years ago, I said the word “oil,” and everyone broke out in hives [LAUGHS]. It wasn’t until one celebrity essentially poured it all over her head and face for an editorial shoot that people started to use it.

When and how do you personally use our Kaya Face Oil?

Always at night, since our skin is better at absorbing everything during relaxation and rejuvenation time (also, I have no time in the morning; I pray every night that I wake up for my workout). I cleanse, tone, and either apply Kaya Face Oil mixed with my moisturizer before or after my massage. What we are doing with massage is we are lifting and stimulating blood flow. Lifting helps release waste, and blood flow spreads nutrients to the tissue. That’s why you may want to stimulate everything before application of the product, though a face tool helps with penetration; either way works.

Esthetician Joanna Czech using Costa Brazil's Kaya Anti-Aging Face Oil.

Where do you start your face massage?

At the back of the neck. It’s important to start here because all the nerves responsible for opening the front of the body are situated along the spinal cord. You can use a roller, like the Joanna Czech Facial Massager, or your hands, thumbs or knuckles—whatever gets the movement going. Then, get into the skull. I recommend using a comb technique. Grasp your hair with your hand like a comb and make a fist and pull up just one centimeter away from your skull. Do this all around the head. Right away the blood flow starts going right under the skull. Next, go to the largest face muscle, the frontalis [on the forehead]. If this muscle is stronger, then it’s automatically going to lift your cheeks. That micro swelling in the cheeks affects the jawline. It’s all one big chain reaction. After massaging your jawline, get into the neck and the center of the décolleté.

You’ve said before that the face starts with the nipple and ends with the hairline.

That has more to do with application of a product along your neck and décolleté than massage. Whatever you use for your face or body should be used here, too, since the skin [along the décolleté] has a lower number of sebaceous glands. That’s why the aging process shows in this area before it shows on the face.

Got it. So, you can use our face or body oil along your neck and chest.

Right, so after your massage, you can apply and spread a small amount of Kaya Face Oil or Body Oil onto your skin. Then, press and release firmly. When you press, your skin microscopically opens and when you release, it grasps whatever is on the surface, just like a sponge. After all, skin is built like a sponge. No matter if you use our massager over the treatment or on a clean face, always end with the sponge technique. If you do it morning and night for 15 seconds each, every day, you will get cumulative results.

And would you use the sponge technique on your body?

Yes. Paying attention to the neckline up is for vanity. But taking care of the body? That is health. After all, the skin on our body is approximately two square meters in size when flattened. Twenty-five percent of our immune system is in our skin. You really need to take care of it. In fact, moments ago, I prescribed a client and her twin sister, both of whom just climbed and reached the top of Mount Everest, where there is freezing weather, Costa Brazil Body Cream mixed with Kaya Jungle Firming Body Oil. It’s a super comforting and healing combination, with its fresh scent and all the elements and vitamins. Similarly, it’s also great for sunburn.

We’re seeing facial massage and techniques like gua sha everywhere. Are we overdoing it?

For something to be “on-trend” when it comes to the body probably means it’s B.S. Skin needs the same continuous ingredients: Vitamin D, B, A and C, all of which are great supporters of our body and health. We need to do this with our diet, and we need to do this with the skin. Apply your vitamins topically with products like Costa Brazil and internally—chicken or bone broth is great—and you’ll see your collagen fibers will be stronger.

When it comes to gua sha being used in massage? No. Gua sha breaks up fascia. If you do it along your cheek muscle, you will flatten it. If you’re unsure how to do it, start at the jawline or along the ear or the brow but be very careful not to shape incorrectly.

When it comes to massage with a tool or your hand, if you’re using proper technique to grasp the muscle and skin, you should be okay to do it for three to 15 minutes every night, depending on how good the show you are watching on Netflix is. Unless you have acne or rosacea or very fragile skin, that is. If not, and you’re in my chair, I will work you like I knead dough.

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