Skincare consultant to the stars Joanna Czech reveals skin-ageing mistakes you could be making…

A skincare consultant to the stars, whose clientele includes Kim Kardashian and Anna Wintour, reveals the skin-ageing mistakes you could be making…

Esthetician Joanna Czech has revealed the top ten mistakes that people make with their skincare routine, some of which you’re likely to be guilty of, and could be ageing your face. 

Joanna, who is based in the US, has a long list of A-list clients that include; Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, the Hadids, and Uma Thurman.    

And while she says the pandemic and international lockdown has seen an incredible improvement in 80 per cent of her client’s skin, Joanna warns that new factors have come to play. 

Esthetician Joanna Czech with her client Kim Kardashian who visited Joanna for a ‘self care day’ earlier this year

Joanna says: ‘Wearing the face protection mask does create a micro-climate, which can lead to bacterial infections and break outs due to dehydration.’  

Another skin effecting factor for many during the pandemic is stress, says Joanna, who says stress can prevent adequate blood flow leading to a ‘greyish and dull’ look. 

She believes that many have seen an improvement in their skin during the pandemic as they ‘have a little more time to pay attention to their skin’. 

Speaking to Femail to coincide with the launch of The Facial Edit, her skincare collection with Dr Yannis Alexandrides of 111Skin, which launches today, Joanna reveals how to avoid the most common mistakes made by skincare amateurs, often with the best intentions…

1. Don’t ever skip your nighttime routine  

The skin specialist believes that a full nighttime skincare routine allows the skin to be ‘much stronger to deal with any environmental exposure’ without having to be ‘too fancy’ with your morning routine.   

Joanna says: ‘If you prepare your skin at the night time your skin will be about 60 per cent more potent to absorb everything throughout relaxation and rejuvenation time.’ 

What is a basic nighttime face care routine? 

Joanna says: ‘When it comes to skincare, what is important is that at minimum you’re using cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream and moisturiser.’ 

What does a thorough nighttime face care routine look like? 

She adds that for those looking to spend extra time on their routine three to four nights a week they can incorporate extra steps.

First using face wash, then a clay mask for deeper cleansing, then toner, then a balancing mask, before finishing the routine with toner again to re-balance the PH of the skin – preferably a less acidic toner such as rose water for the second round, says Joanna.

After using these products you can enjoy some luxurious eye patches and use LED therapy or massage your face with a roller such as Joanna’s own facial massager, which you can buy as part of ‘The Facial Edit’, a kit including black diamond face masks from 111SKIN (£200, 111skin.co.uk)

2. Don’t forget about the neck, decolletage and hands

Joanna tells all her clients to remember that ‘the face starts at the nipples and ends at the hairline’, and urges them to use the same products all over.

She says: ‘Your neck and décolleté have fewer sebaceous glands and therefore show signs of ageing more quickly than your face.

‘Use your face products on these areas as well as your body products so they will get twice the treatment.  

‘The lipid layer on the neck and decolletage is about 30 to 40 per cent reduced due to fewer sebaceous glands in this area. Usually we develop acne on our faces because they have more sebaceous glands.

‘We have barely any of these glands on our hands so that’s why it shows the ageing process faster on the neck and decolletage (as these glands are naturally moisturising).’

Joanna’s tip for keeping your hands in good shape: Use any residue products on your hands after moisturising your face or body. 

Joanna says a gentle patting potion - a 'press release motion' should be used applying toner as When you press the skin it slightly opens and when it's released it grabs products on surface

Joanna says a gentle patting potion – a ‘press release motion’ should be used applying toner as When you press the skin it slightly opens and when it’s released it grabs products on surface

3. Toner is a key step in your routine that is misunderstood

Joanna says: ‘Toner follows cleansing and is the first step in treatment as it balances the PH of skin and allows for better efficacy of the products that follow it.

‘Toner is not your second step of cleansing it is your first step of treatment. Your routine starts with a cleanser that’s the most important thing.

Is it ok to use facewipes when you’re in a rush? 

Joanna Czech says: ‘I like facewipes in the morning to remove the residue of the creams, I have no problem with it. 

‘And I like to have them for travelling – I was non-stop on the planes before coronavirus hit so facewipes are the easiest way to replenish your face.

‘But still use toner afterwards.

‘Facewipes are not to remove make up they are more of a wash.’

‘But after you remove your cleanser with water this throws the PH of the skin off, the ideal PH of human skin is 5.5 so it’s slightly acidic.

‘Environmental exposure, what we eat, what we drink, all of these factors throw the PH of the skin off so when we wash our cleanser off we need to replenish PH and bring it back to slightly acidic so that’s why it’s super important to use the toner.

‘Toner should also be applied with a press release motion. When you press the skin it slightly opens and when you release it grabs everything that is on the surface.

‘So using a toner is the first hydrating step. It also creates a beautiful canvas for the rest of the products, which will have better efficacy as the skin is balanced and prepared.

‘Today’s toners are so fancy they are being called essences and infusions and so on – but all of it is a toner that needs to balance the skin and be the first step of treatment. 

‘Cleansing is the first step of your routine, but toner is the first step of treatment and it’s very important.

‘If you have to skip steps, do not skip cleansers, toner and your moisturiser. Those three things are the most important. You can skip everything else. Toner is always underrated.’   

4. Don’t assume that all natural ingredients are good

Joanna says she always allows her clients freedom to try what they want with their skin ‘but then they come back crying’. 

She warns that improvising with natural ingredients, such as mashing avocado into a mask, may not be as harmless as you think.

Joanna says: ‘Natural things are very active, if they are essences or so on. We have so many food reactions, people are allergic even to avocados. Or they do strawberry masks and have rashes like crazy.’ 

5. Don’t fall for the fads 

Joanna also warns against following beauty fads, one of which she believes to be anti-pollution drops. 

Joanna says: ‘I don’t like trends in beauty. I like trends in fashion but with 60,000 skincare brands born between Korea, Japan, Germany and so on – you don’t know which way to look.

‘For instance, anti-pollution drops, they are using Vitamin A, C or E or glutathione, a tripeptide, and they are your own natural anti-pollution ingredients which we all have in our skin. If you apply them it’s extra than you need. That’s my opinion.’  

6. Do not use lasers or peelers, especially under the eyes 

In serious tones Joanna tells how she has repeatedly begged her clients not to get lasers or fillers, especially around the sensitive eye area. 

Joanna says: ‘Two things I say to people not to do at all are lasers and fillers under the eyes because these are irreversible if things go wrong. 

Joanna recommends LED therapy with red light for improving elasticity of the skin

Joanna recommends LED therapy with red light for improving elasticity of the skin

‘Lasers completely destroy the lipid layer and cause so much hyper pigmentation.’ 

Joanna says that women think they will be getting a blank canvas and want to ‘rip their skin off’ but adds that the best way to hide imperfections is to improve elasticity. 

She says one of the best things to do at home to achieve elasticity is LED therapy with red light.   

7. Don’t over exfoliate 

Stop scrubbing, Joanna warns: ‘We only have one skin and we need to respect, support and protect it.

‘If you over-exfoliate with peels and lasers, you risk weakening and eventually destroying it.’

However the skincare guru does allow some exfoliation, just not too harshly or frequently. 

Joanna says: ‘You can use natural scrubs but don’t over exfoliate as this will not achieve the balance your skin needs.

Physical exfoliation: ‘Use very rounded and mild granules to avoid micro-cuts if using physical exfoliation. 

Chemical exfoliation: ‘If you’re using acidic exfoliation, chemical exfoliates – make sure you use the best one for you which is not necessarily the strongest one.’ 

8. Don’t wear SPF at home and avoid air conditioning  

You might think nothing of slathering your face in SPF on a daily basis only to sit in an air conditioned office… however this could be the root of your skincare problems.

Joanna says: ‘Wearing SPF at home is absolutely overkill. People say blue light is killing your skin, it’s not the blue light that’s killing your skin its the air conditioning. 

‘It’s completely unnecessary at home. Nobody ever got tanned sitting at home and that shows you that the strength of this light is not the same.  

‘Eighty per cent of the population is vitamin D deficient as we wear SPF 100 et cetera.’ 

Joanna stresses that vitamin D, stimulated with sunlight, is important for bone density, strength of our skin, our mood, and also to ‘stimulate nitric oxide which is our natural blood thinner’. 

She adds: ‘If we don’t have enough vitamin D we are more prone to heart disease, blockages and strokes.’  

Joanna says: ‘My doctor says that SPF 4 protects you 70 per cent. But if psychologically you can not leave the house without SPF you do not need anything higher than 30.

‘The very best thing for protection from the sun is avoiding over exposure, 20 minutes for a walk, not laying down.

‘But if you love lying down in the sun choose a proper time in the day when the UVA is lower – you can check this on your phone. If UVA is 3 or below they don’t even advise wearing sunscreen.

‘Second best is wearing long sleeves and a hat to cover yourself, and the third is SPF.’

9. Don’t be afraid to use oils

When arriving in the U.S. 31 years ago Joanna recalls how her suggestions that people use oil on their skin were met with horror as people believed oils were comedogenic (blocking the pores to cause blackheads).

Joanna says: ‘When one celebrity touched oil, all of a sudden the whole world was using oil.

‘But I said it’s amazing to use oil based products especially in the winter time as it will prevent water from freezing in your pores and causing broken capillaries.

‘It’s like if you put water in a glass into the freezer – it will break the glass. We don’t want broken capillaries.’

‘Every American client came out in hives just thinking about the word oil’.

10. Don’t forget about your body

The skin is two square meters when flattened out and weighs around three kilos in weight, it is also responsible for 25 per cent of our immune system, which is why we must protect it says Joanna.

The skincare expert states: ‘When we take care of our face (the nipples to our hairline) – that’s our vanity. 

‘But when we take care of the skin that is taking care of our health.’

Joanna adds that: ‘Skincare and all of it is great but that is about 30 per cent. It’s very important to have mindful and intuitive eating and an adequate amount of sleep. 

‘Also proper exercise for your age and ability and an adequate amount of water. If you don’t eat balanced food then also take supplements.

‘Thirty per cent of it is how we treat our skin from the outside in.’  

Joanna emphasises the importance of preparing the whole body’s skin with products before bed for a night of relaxation and replenishment.

She says: ‘While sleeping we release cytokines they regulate your immune system, so it’s very important to be ready for this – why do we bathe babies at night and not in the morning. We want them to be all relaxed and to be all prepared for restful sleep.’

The Facial Edit is available from 111Skin.co.uk 

Cate Blanchett’s English manor has a chilling past of drugs, witchcraft and looters

The chilling past of Cate Blanchett’s English manor revealed: Actress’ home was once a squalid pagan drug den painted with witchcraft symbols

Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton splashed a cool $6.25million on a lavish English manor named Highwell House in 2016. 

But beneath the glamour of Cate’s sprawling estate is a chilling history she’d likely rather forget.   

Previously known as Potters Manor or Steep Park, the Victorian manor was once a squalid drug den frequented by criminal, pagans and drifters. 

The chilling past of Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton’s English manor is revealed: The A-list couple live in a mansion that was once a squalid pagan drug den painted with witchcraft symbols

English charm: Cate and Andrew (pictured) splashed a cool $6.25million on their lavish English manor named Highwell House in 2016

English charm: Cate and Andrew (pictured) splashed a cool $6.25million on their lavish English manor named Highwell House in 2016  

It was originally built in 1890, but began to fall into disrepair in the early 2000s before finally being extensively refurbished in 2015.  

Instagram images prior to the renovations show the property as a dilapidated squat covered in building debris, broken furniture, smashed glass and drug paraphernalia.

Pentagram symbols, often used as part of Wiccan and pagan ceremonies, were drawn on the ground, while the word ‘Liar’ was spray-painted onto a wall in large black letters. 

Glamorous: Following extensive renovations, the palatial home has been restored to its original grandeur (pictured in 2016)

Glamorous: Following extensive renovations, the palatial home has been restored to its original grandeur (pictured in 2016) 

Derelict: It was originally built in 1890, but began to fall into disrepair in the early 2000s. (Pictured in 2012)

Derelict: It was originally built in 1890, but began to fall into disrepair in the early 2000s. (Pictured in 2012) 

Eerie: Pentagram symbols, often used as part of Wiccan ceremonies, were drawn on the ground

Eerie: Pentagram symbols, often used as part of Wiccan ceremonies, were drawn on the ground

Terrifying: The word 'Liar' was spray-painted onto a wall in large black letters

Terrifying: The word ‘Liar’ was spray-painted onto a wall in large black letters

Crumbling walls with ripped wallpaper served as haunting backdrops for rooms that had long been ransacked by looters, while crumpled documents were eerie reminders of previous residents. 

Many locals even believed the home to be haunted, with some claiming to have photographed ghosts inside its walls.  

In 2015, The Sun named the manor Britain’s 13th most creepiest abandoned house.  

Haunting: Many locals even believed the home to be haunted, with some claiming to have photographed ghosts inside its walls

Haunting: Many locals even believed the home to be haunted, with some claiming to have photographed ghosts inside its walls

Creepy: Crumbling walls with ripped wallpaper served as haunting backdrops for rooms that had long been ransacked by looters

Creepy: Crumbling walls with ripped wallpaper served as haunting backdrops for rooms that had long been ransacked by looters

Remnants: Crumpled documents were eerie reminders of previous residents

Remnants: Crumpled documents were eerie reminders of previous residents

Before Cate and her family moved in, the mansion was most owned by a wealthy couple named Mr and Mrs Walford. 

Mr Walford died in 2001, while his wife moved into an aged care two years later – leaving the property abandoned for a decade before it was refurbished and placed on the market. 

‘We’re just pleased the place is occupied now for years it was derelict and we were getting all sorts of people up there, druggies,’ a local told The Daily Telegraph when asked how they feel about Cate and her family moving into Highwell House.  

‘They were burglars that were taking their loot there and splitting it up at one stage in the old barn,’ they said.    

Refurbished: Highwell House was extensively renovated in 2015, a year before Cate purchased the property (Pictured in 2016)

Refurbished: Highwell House was extensively renovated in 2015, a year before Cate purchased the property (Pictured in 2016) 

Emmy Awards 2020: Hugh Jackman and Cate Blanchett lead Australian nominations

Emmy Awards 2020: Hugh Jackman and Cate Blanchett lead Australian nominations for prestigious TV honour

 The Emmy Award nominations for 2020 have been released.

And several Australian stars have received acting nods for TV’s highest honour. 

Hugh Jackman and Cate Blanchett, both 51, lead the nominations on Tuesday in the lead actor/lead actress categories. 

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Emmy Awards 2020: Hugh Jackman (pictured) and Cate Blanchett lead Australian nominations for prestigious TV honour

While it’s Cate’s first Emmy Award nomination, It’s Hugh’s fifth nod.  

However, while Hugh previously won the Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety Program in 2005, it’s his first nod as an actor.

Hugh received his nod in the Lead Actor in a Limited TV series or Movie category for his role as Frank Tassone in Bad Education. 

'I'm humbled by the nominations for both me and the film': Hugh (middle) received his nod in the Lead Actor in a Limited TV series or Movie category for his role in Bad Education

‘I’m humbled by the nominations for both me and the film’: Hugh (middle) received his nod in the Lead Actor in a Limited TV series or Movie category for his role in Bad Education

Congratulations: Cate was nominated in the Lead Actress in a Limited TV Series or Movie category for her performance as Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs America

Congratulations: Cate was nominated in the Lead Actress in a Limited TV Series or Movie category for her performance as Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs America

‘I’m humbled by the nominations for both me and the film and excited to be named with such a talented group of actors. My immense appreciation goes out to all those who believed in “Bad Education” – especially the hardworking team at HBO,’ Hugh said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Cate was nominated in the Lead Actress in a Limited TV Series or Movie category for her performance as Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs America. 

The TV series also stars Australian actress Rose Byrne, 41, as feminist icon Gloria Steinem, but she did not receive a nod.

Copping a nod: Toni Collette, 47, (right) scored a nomination in the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for Netflix movie, Unbelievable

Copping a nod: Toni Collette, 47, (right) scored a nomination in the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for Netflix movie, Unbelievable

Toni Collette, 47, scored a nomination in the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for Netflix movie, Unbelievable. 

Scoring her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination, Sarah Snook, 33, is up for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work in Succession. 

The 72nd Emmy Awards are due to take place on September 20 in Los Angeles

First nomination: Scoring her first Primetime Emmy Award nod, Sarah Snook, 33, is up for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work in Succession

First nomination: Scoring her first Primetime Emmy Award nod, Sarah Snook, 33, is up for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work in Succession

Kylie and Cate Blanchett throw Amber Heard a party after her torrid week in Johnny Depp libel battle

As she prepares for more dramatic courtroom revelations about the acrimonious breakdown of her marriage, Amber Heard last night surrounded herself with a stellar cast of powerful, high-profile women.

Kylie Minogue and Cate Blanchett were among guests at a party thrown in Miss Heard’s honour, offering their moral support amid a bitter High Court showdown with her former husband Johnny Depp.

The American actress is being supported by a group of women nicknamed ‘Amber’s Angels’, which also include prominent feminists such as the author Kathy Lette, who hosted last night’s party at her North London home, and lawyer Baroness Kennedy.

Miss Heard last week came face-to-face with Mr Depp at the High Court where his libel battle against The Sun newspaper is being played out in graphic detail. 

Amber Heard last night surrounded herself with a stellar cast of powerful, high-profile women, including Kylie Minogue and Cate Blanchett, at the home of author Kathy Lette in North London

Actress Amber Heard, 34, pictured above leaving the High Court in London on Friday

Actress Amber Heard, 34, pictured above leaving the High Court in London on Friday

Johnny Depp pictured arriving at the Royal Courts of Justice in Strand, London, on Friday

It was impossible to see Amber’s expression, or if she even glanced in her former husband’s direction, or if those glances were filled with regret or antipathy or something else. (Above, the 34-year-old actress and her 'Team Heard' arriving at the High Court; far right, her lawyer Jennifer Robinson)

It was impossible to see Amber’s expression, or if she even glanced in her former husband’s direction, or if those glances were filled with regret or antipathy or something else. (Above, the 34-year-old actress and her ‘Team Heard’ arriving at the High Court; far right, her lawyer Jennifer Robinson)

The scene could barely have been any different last night as the group dined in a low-key party.

Miss Heard arrived dressed in a tight-fitting black dress with a grey floral jacket. She was joined by TV presenter Sandi Toksvig and her wife, Debbie, Baroness Helena Kennedy, and her lawyer, Jennifer Robinson. 

The eclectic mix of women had, separately, got in touch with Miss Heard over recent months and, according to a source, became her secret support network.

Guests arrive at British-Australian author Kathy Lette's house

Guests arrive at British-Australian author Kathy Lette’s house

‘These women wanted to support Amber and they wanted to throw her a nice dinner to give her a boost,’ said the source.

‘They are a group of like-minded women who have all been through their own challenges and they have become her solid gang.

‘She has her sister Whitney and her lawyers, but these are her girls.’

The dinner comes after four days of sensational High Court claims which peaked on Friday with Mr Depp being questioned about allegations that he hurled a phone at Miss Heard and branded her ‘Amber T***’ for allegedly soiling their bed after a furious row during her 30th birthday party, though he said he did not know who or what had left the deposit.

Mr Depp is suing over an article which branded him a ‘wife beater’, which he vehemently denies.

The court was shown a photograph of Miss Heard’s face, which the Hollywood star agreed showed a red mark but he denied throwing the phone at her.

During evidence last week, it was also claimed that Mr Depp used his severed finger as a paintbrush to write ‘I love you’ on a mirror after rowing with his new wife in 2015.

The star left blood and paint on walls, sofas and floors as he reportedly ‘completely destroyed’ a house he was renting in Australia, the trial heard. 

Actress Cate Blanchett (pictured) and singer Miss Minogue also joined the party last night

Actress Cate Blanchett (pictured) and singer Miss Minogue also joined the party last night

Mr Depp is alleged to have guzzled a ‘handful’ of ecstasy pills before subjecting the actress to a terrifying ordeal. He denied this or or being violent to Heard, saying he was just unhappy with his life and missing his kids. 

Earlier, the court heard how Mr Depp joked that Miss Heard was a witch and should be burned. 

He texted his British actor friend Paul Bettany about drowning and burning her, then desecrating her corpse. In messages read out in court, Depp said: ‘Let’s burn Amber.’

American actress Winona Ryder and Depp’s ex-wife Vanessa Paradis will give evidence this week.

Cate Blanchett’s production company Dirty Films scores a first-look TV deal with FX Networks

Cate Blanchett’s production company Dirty Films scores a first-look TV deal with FX Networks following the runaway success of her series Mrs. America

Cate Blanchett‘s production company Dirty Films has scored a first-look TV deal with FX Productions.

The exciting new deal is set to cover all scripted and unscripted programming for FX with further possibility to branch out to its umbrella company’s Walt Disney Television divisions.

The deal is a significant step for the Oscar-winner who founded the independent film and television company with Australian playwright Andrew Upton and American film producer, Coco Francini, earlier this year. 

Major news! Cate Blanchett’s production company Dirty Films has scored a first-look TV deal with FX Productions [The actress pictured at the Golden Globe Awards in January] 

Cate recently starred in, and executive produced the historical drama miniseries Mrs. America, which aired on FX networks.

The success of which had Gina Balian, the president of programming for FX Entertainment, singing the star’s praises.

‘Cate Blanchett is a legendary talent, and it was little surprise that her first role as an Executive Producer and star in an American television program – ‘Mrs. America’ – was such an overwhelming success,’ she gushed.

Speaking further about the exciting new deal, Gina said: ‘Cate, Andrew and Coco are equally talented at crafting and producing incredible stories, and we welcome this opportunity to support their future television projects under this overall agreement.’

Soon to come: The new deal will cover all scripted and unscripted programming for FX with further possibility to branch out to its umbrella company's Walt Disney Television divisions

Soon to come: The new deal will cover all scripted and unscripted programming for FX with further possibility to branch out to its umbrella company’s Walt Disney Television divisions

Talented: Cate recently starred in, and executive produced the historical drama miniseries Mrs. America, which aired on FX networks [Pictured on the show]

Talented: Cate recently starred in, and executive produced the historical drama miniseries Mrs. America, which aired on FX networks [Pictured on the show]

Dirty Film productions have also been home to a further slew of recent success stories such as the Australian miniseries Stateless, starring Jai Courtney and Yvonne Strahovski.

They also produced the horror flick, The Turning, starring Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, last year.

In a statement issued by the company, they detailed their pure delight in furthering their relationship with FX networks.

'She is a legendary talent': The success of which had Gina Balian, the president of programming for FX Entertainment, singing the star's praises

‘She is a legendary talent’: The success of which had Gina Balian, the president of programming for FX Entertainment, singing the star’s praises

‘We are excited to continue working with John (Landgraf), Eric (Schrier), Gina and the entire brilliant team at FX.

‘Through our collaboration on Mrs. America, we’ve experienced firsthand their enthusiasm for robust conversations, and their unwavering support for bold and ambitious entertainment.’

Hollywood megastar Cate has been the recipient of two Oscars – first for her role in 2004’s Blue Jasmine and then The Aviator in 2005.

No stopping her! The deal is a significant step for the Oscar-winner who founded the independent film and television company with Australian playwright Andrew Upton and American film producer, Coco Francini, earlier this year

No stopping her! The deal is a significant step for the Oscar-winner who founded the independent film and television company with Australian playwright Andrew Upton and American film producer, Coco Francini, earlier this year