Take Me Away: Stress-Relieving Beauty Products

By Erin Donnelly

pic12Sure, you know allllll about April Fool’s Day, especially after Bob in accounting’s “hilarious” prank about losing your paycheck. But did you know about the other holiday April honors?
Unfortunately, the folks at Hallmark don’t make a card to commemorate National Stress Awareness Month, though they probably don’t need to, given the million little reminders the universe—and your high-maintenance boss—keeps sending your way.
So now that we’re aware of our stress, what can we do about it? SingleMindedWomen turned to spa professionals across North America to round up their tried-and-true beauty secrets for showing stress the door. (And if all else fails, a couple of margaritas should do the trick.)
Jamie Ahn, Spa Director of the elite Townhouse Spa in New York City, unwinds by booking some naptime with a twist. “I like taking Zents Concreta shea butter (shown), adding water, and putting a little on my forehead and temples before I take a 15-minute nap,” Ahn says.
Kinara Spa in Los Angeles may be renown for its A-list crowd and luxurious treatments, but co-owner and skincare expert Olga Lorencin-Northrup relies on a simpler pleasure to get her through a hectic day. “The only anti-stress essential that I believe in is a good bath oil or foaming bath,” she says.“I like Pure Fiji’s coconut milk soak (shown) because it is hydrating and relaxing at the same time and has a great scent that most people really like.”
Baths also go a long way for Shana Ominsky, Director of Spa and Wellness at the luxurious Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas. “I take a warm bath and exfoliate my lower legs with BodyCoffee scrub followed by Epicuren’s Vanilla Bean lotion,” Ominsky reveals. “Then, if I’m really stressed, I steam my face in the sink and apply Astara’s Golden Flame Mask. I feel like I have been to the spa.”
The Great White North has its own secrets for dealing with the Great Big Stress. Pam Ouellet, Spa Director of Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada, cites Kerstin Florian’s Aroma Akta Calm Mind as her favorite go-to remedy. “I add a few drops onto my fingertips and massage it into my clients for a scalp massage,” Ouellet says. “The combination of basil, lavender and peppermint oils is great for stress, tension headaches, and clearing your mind.”
pic31Cleo Londono, co-owner of Metamorphosis Day Spa in New York City, also relies on botanical oils for peace of mind. “Most of our products contain pure, essential oils—chamomile, lavender and peppermint—that have calming and soothing properties to give you a de-stressing feeling,” Londono says. “I use Emerge Skin Care’s Optimum Lift Cream because it always keeps my skin looking firm. After I cleanse my skin, I use Emerge’s Intensive Hydrating Serum to lock in moisture, and then I apply Moisture Defense SPF 30 for optimal sun protection.”
And what of those nagging aches and pains that take a stressful day from bad to worse? “After a long day on my feet, I love and need Creme Defatigante from Biologique Recherche,” Sandra Hobbs, Spa Director of White Tea Spa in New York City, confides. “When you’re on your feet all day your lower legs and feet tend to swell with excess fluid. This cream is filled with essential oils that increase your circulation with a coolness on your skin afterward. Bonus: By regularly stimulating your circulation you decrease your likelihood of developing broken capillaries.”
Joanie Bowden, Director of Spa at the St. Regis Resort in Fort Lauderdale, has her own special remedy. “For stiff, tight and fatigued muscles and joints I highly recommend De-Stress Muscle Gel from Aromatherapy Associates,” she says. “With key ingredients like lavender, ginger, black pepper and rosemary, this product will alleviate muscle aches and pains due to physical stresses.It also helps to maintain effective circulation and when used on pulse points will revitalize the senses. It starts to work within 10 minutes and can be used up to twice daily.”
How do they tackle stress south of the border? Emmanuelle Arroyo of the Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Mayakoba near Cancun says her staff swears by the Tara Aromatherapy Herbal Ease Neck Pillow for stress relief. “It’s two products in one, helping to relieve neck tension andtaking away stress thanks to its natural herbs,” she says. “When it’s put in the microwave it spreads away the benefits of the aromatherapy. It’s great if you travel a lot because you can wear it and relax everywhere while you are watching TV or reading your favorite book.”

Finally, sometimes you just have to open your mouth and say “ahhhh.” “Like most New Yorkers, I’m always on the go, which can be very hectic,” says Alexandra Argyros, Spa Director of the Gansevoort Spa & Lounge at Manhattan’s Hotel Gansevoort. “My favorite quick fix for those stressful situations is Sprayology’s StressLess.


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