Joanna Czech may not stand taller than 5-foot-1, but she has a commanding presence. Polish-born but a New Yorker at heart, the celebrity esthetician isn’t afraid to tell you the truth about your skin — even if you’re one of her famous clients, like Jennifer Aniston or Kim Kardashian — and she’s a natural skeptic.
That latter trait is why Czech was wary when Dior approached her to be an ambassador for its new skin care line, Dior's Capture Totale. Czech says luxury beauty brand products often carry a strong, synthetic fragrance to them, which can be irritating to those with sensitive skin. (It’s also believed that phthalates in artificial fragrances could disrupt hormones.). But then the word “energy” came up in the conversation.
"I've been an esthetician for 34 years, but I've been working on re-energizing cells during my treatments for 19 years," says Czech, referring to cell regeneration, which, according to board-certified dermatologist and founder of Facile Skin, Dr. Nancy Samolitis, MD, FAAD, is when the cells comprising our skin’s top layer naturally reproduce. Over time, they stop reproducing as frequently thanks to factors like aging and sun damage, which can result in the appearance of dull skin, loss of elasticity, brown spots, and worse, skin cancer. "They begin to slow down around age 25, but this can vary greatly depending on skin type, genetics, and lifestyle choices," says Samolitis.
According to Vogue, Dior scientists have been working with a Nobel Prize-winning doctor of physiology and medicine to expand their research on stem cells and aging skin. Capture Totale's products use a Bio-Cellular technology developed by Dior’s scientists combined with natural-origin cosmetic ingredients and an innovative hyaluronic acid that aims to reactivate the skin's essential functions, encouraging them to regenerate and reactivate your cells to make them appear how they looked when you were younger.
These are big claims, but Czech liked that she could barely notice the fragrance and says her skin felt and looked brighter, firmer, and healthier looking after using the products. She quickly restocked when she finished the samples after a few months. "Never have I ever gotten into panic mode not having the product around me. I texted [Dior] and asked, ‘Is it possible that you would overnight the serum because I finished mine?’" Czech says. She also began to recommend the items to her celebrity clientele, including Aniston, who Czech says texted her asking how to incorporate the line into her routine.
The Capture Totale line includes five different products: a cleanser, a treatment-serum lotion, a serum, a cream, and an eye cream (ranging from $45-$155). While you may use as many products from the line as you'd like, Czech says it’s unnecessary as long as you consistently apply the ones you do use, and that you apply them in the right order. (FWIW, Czech’s partial to the serum, because she says she saw the most dramatic results using it.)
Czech abides by a "press and release" application method in which you use both hands to apply pressure to your skin. "Press and the skin opens. When you release, skin grasps whatever is on the surface and in one second, you can tell the difference," Czech says, gliding her hands from her chest to her neck and then to her face and toward her forehead.
Czech believes your complexion could appear more radiant, even-toned, and taut if you spend even just give minutes a day massaging your face. "Respect the skin and support the skin,” she says. “You can create a change if you're consistent.” Especially if that consistency is coupled with a little bit of skincare science.