Packing for a trip can be a tough process, especially if you’re a hoarder—or worse, a sentimentalist. And packing your beauty products in an efficient matter is a whole other ballgame. I often find myself rationalizing the need to bring products I hardly ever use: that extra-large, extra-rich glass jarred night cream I haven’t touched since spring of last year—“It’s so pretty, I had the best trip last time I used it, I am convinced it will bring me good luck again.” I start thinking about all the unnecessary outfits I need to bring, just in case, somehow, on this beach trip, I meet a team of diplomats and they invite me to their United Nations gala taking place in the resort next door. A ballgown goes into the suitcase. See the rationale?
Fortunately, Joanna Czech, the sought-after aesthetician casting her skin magic on the faces of Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, and Christy Turlington, has created a practical and intelligent solution to help with your beauty travel packing woes—so you have everything and forget nothing. Launched late last year, “The Kit” consists of five TSA-approved, carefully thought-out skincare products, including makeup wipes and a hydrating sheet mask that will accompany you on all of your expeditions, whether they last a weekend or a month.
With spring on the horizon, it’s once again time to shake up your skin routine, especially if you’re traveling. Fortunately, the spunky skin veteran—take a look at her feisty and informative Instagram captions; you won’t be disappointed—took time to discuss with us this new skin venture, along with the wisdom she’s accumulated on beauty, travel, and a seasonal approach to skincare.
What inspired you to create your own skincare regimen?
Practicality. Like many people—including my clients and myself—we lead busy lives. We are always on the go, whether that means living in a climate with four seasons and constantly moving from dry heat into freezing temperatures outside, or traveling to different climates in a short span of time. I wanted to specifically create products that anyone could use with their existing routine that would support and protect skin. These products contain ingredients that are the most important, effective, and necessary to maintain and promote heathy skin, no matter where you are and what condition your skin is in.
What was the first product you set out to create from the line and why?
The Toner was the first product to be created. Toner is such a misunderstood product, yet so important because it balances the skin and allows for the rest of the products that follow to be more effective. Ours is a water-based toner with sea chamomile, which is gentle and soothing, but the PH of 5.8 is what makes it respectful and overall balancing for the skin. You can use our toner day or night, just remember to always use it after washing your face.
What is the most important skincare item that you use when traveling?
The Kit’s Face Wipes, Hydrating Sheet Mask, and the Balm to seal in moisture. Planes are one of the most dehydrating environments for skin, so it’s all about hydration when you are on a flight. I also always bring my own pillowcase.
Spring is coming, but the air is still chilly on both coasts. Please give us a simple, concise skin routine that will work for anyone suffering from dry, sensitive skin. What is important in the skincare steps that the need to incorporate?
First, a gentle cleanser, (like my Exquisite Cleansing Gel) then a PH-controlling toner (The Kit JC Skincare, the option I mentioned earlier, is perfect). Don’t forget a soothing serum (I love mine from The Kit JC Skincare), and a moisturizer (cream or balm will work, check out the product sold in The Kit.) Two times a week, use a mild exfoliant with a double cleanse of oil and clay. The oil softens and works as a désincrustant and the clay pulls the impurities off of the skin.
Also, make sure you try and get unscented products, which are the best, since scent and fragrance can cause sensitivity. You can use this routine for both day and night, switching out the moisturizer for the consistency that suits you and the climate you are in.
Exfoliation is key for healthy skin. Which is the best exfoliant for normal skin during these colder months?
Twice a week, I would recommend one of the following: an acidic exfoliating toner, I like Biologiqe P50 Toner, a gentle physical scrub like Reflekt, linen wash pads (with your chosen cleanser) and an Enzymatic exfoliator, such as MBR Enzymatic Cleansing Booster. Remember hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate to create optimum comfort for the skin. This is a great moment to use serums and creams.
For people dealing with Melasma this winter, what is the best way you feel they should handle skincare? Should they go in for a peel at the dermatologist’s office and take advantage of the fact that there is not a lot of sun out?
As we know, there isn’t anything you can do to cure Melasma. Of course, you can get a deep laser, but these can damage the skin and change its color—and the discoloration often comes back regardless. It is important to remember that Melasma also increases with heat. You can manage and reduce its appearance by staying away from heat (spicy foods, hot exercise, sun exposure), partake in some good-quality vitamin C peels and use a high-end vitamin C serum.
We love your honest approach to beauty. Can you verify or debunk some beauty trends? There’s been incessant talk of the power of collagen supplements. In your personal opinion, do they work or is it just marketing hogwash?
I personally don’t believe in collagen supplements. I don’t think they are necessarily harmful, but I don’t think they’ve been proven to work. I would rather drink chicken broth and eat a balanced, intuitive diet to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients that create collagen.
Are you a fan of prescription Retin-A or do you prefer retinol?
Prescription Retin-A can have negative side effects and adverse reactions. There are some conditions that require it, but if you are on them, they need to be carefully managed by your doctor. My very favorite form of vitamin A, which I consider one of the most important vitamins because it speeds up cellular turnover and slows down the signs of aging, is Retinyl Palmitate, which is a natural form and not synthetic. It doesn’t cause sun sensitivity or reactivity, so it is great for all skin, including the most sensitive. You can buy Retinyl Palmate from aestheticians and derms. It doesn’t require a prescription and it can be used day and night, followed with any moisturizer.
Even with superb-quality products and a diligent skin regimen, there are moments when Botox can really help. Who does the best Botox, in your opinion, on the West Coast? What about the East Coast?
For the East Coast, I would say Dr. Shereene Idriss and for the West Coast, Dr. Kami Parsa. Both are very talented. Shereene is more general and Parsa specializes in the eye area. I think their work is tastefully done.