It's awful. You look in the mirror and see your parent. Or, on a bad day, a grandparent. It's official: Stress, travel, and lack of sleep wreak havoc on the face and body. Guzzling Emergen-C may give you some energy, but pampering is what rejuvenates the mind, body, and'¦ countenance.
In the latest episode of The Inc. Life, I take you to Spa Space, a groovy spa in Chicago's Loop, to demo the best facials and massages to combat back pain, neck tension, and dull, stressed skin.
An important note? Not every massage is the same. I personally detest Swedish massages. I am not taking time out of my busy schedule to have someone lightly rub my back. I want deep (almost bruising) pressure that opens up the knots and increases circulation in my rock-hard lower back and neck.
Tense execs and the people who work with them are obsessed with Thai Yoga massage, a combination of acupressure, twisting, stretching and energy work. This type of massage has been done for 2,500 years, but is just gaining steam in the United States. Joints are loosened, range of motion can be improved, and the stretching enhances the flow of energy throughout the body. When knots are opened, lactic acid and other toxins are released, which in turn releases physical and psychological tension.
Then there's your face. Business travel is an insta-ager. If you need a shot of radiance, look for a facial with active products to slough off dead skin cells, stimulate collagen turnover, and improve circulation.
I know, I know -- making time to get to a spa is rough. There are so many excellent products for a DIY treatment. Epicuren, Sonya Dakar, Bliss, Eminece, and Kate Somerville are some of my favorites.
Want more advice from the pros? I enlisted Lucky Magazine's beauty empress Jean Godfrey June for her tips on distressing:
"The most amazingly de-stressing product I know of is the Relaxing bath/shower oil from This Works. Take a bath in it, and it's genuinely as if you've been hypnotized and you must, must climb into bed and go to sleep. The first time I tried it, I mistakenly used the Awake version, and I was up all night!
"Travel-wise, my favorite thing is the Aromatic Balm from Darphin, an adorable little pot you can take on the plane with you and use as: lip balm, cuticle cream, last-minute frizz-fix, moisturizer, or you can just smell the citrusy scent, which makes you feel calm but invigorated.
"I also always take take Stella McCartney's 5 Benefits Moisturizer, since it also passes all TSA regulations, is super-hydrating, and leaves you with glowing, dewy skin after a flight. And it smells like a spa."