Ever since reading about the ways gua sha massage can depuff, tone, and smooth skin, making it a botox alternative (!), I, of course, had to try it for myself. As I detail here, one of my biggest skincare woes of late concerns the stubborn facial tension I experience in my forehead muscles, particularly between my eyes. After a long day, or after a period of time reading or focusing on the screen, my “11” lines appear etched into my face, making me look worried/tired/stressed–plus, the tension just doesn’t feel good. When I would use regular massage to help “unknot” my facial muscles, something psychosomatic would occur: I felt less emotionally stressed and more at peace. Bye, muscle tension; bye, inner tension.
And then came the gua sha. No massage method melted my facial tension so effectively or helped my forehead look as smooth and unburdened.
To be a little more specific, the gua sha makes a big difference when my forehead muscles feel (and look) bunched up. My target isn’t so much fine lines, which don’t bother me too much, but rather what’s going on beneath the surface to cause that worried/tired/stressed look to appear more pronounced. (Of course, it’s all connected because our facial muscles are attached to our skin, but the general idea is that I’m aiming for something beyond the mere topical.)
The meditative nature of gua sha massage certainly doesn’t hurt, either. The sensation of the cool stone against my skin coupled with the repetitive strokes simply feels divine, and it’s a great way to unwind at the end of a long day. I also love the way that using a facial stone allows me to indulge in the experience of using a facial oil (because when you get in touch with your skin for five or ten minutes, you really get in touch with your topical products, too!)
Apparently, I’m not the only one who has completely fallen for the gua sha and other stone massage tools. Innovation abounds in this lo-fi branch of the skincare industry–meaning there’s something for everyone. Let’s take a look!
The Latest Developments in Stone Massage Tools
Stone massage tools (although of ancient origins) have been evolving over the past few years, and the latest options are quite possibly perfection.
Wildling Empress Stone
Launched by the woman of gua sha cult fame, Britta Plug, the Wildling line is centered around its superstar gua sha stone, the Wildling Empress Stone. This elegant tool is made from Bian Stone, which contains over 40 trace minerals. The unique design, including the perforated edge, allow for macro-level work (such as sweeping along the jawline) as well as fine-tuning (like using the perforated edge to diffuse fine lines around the eyes).
Skinowl White Tourquoise Beauty Wand
Next on our list is the gorgeous Skinowl White Tourquoise Beauty Wand, which is designed to boost collagen production by stimulating the soft tissue of the face, support healthy lymphatic drainage (depuffing!), and aid penetration of topical products into the skin. To use a beauty wand, you’ll follow a similar principle as you would with the gua sha: upward and/or outward strokes or wiggles using a light to medium pressure.
HAYO’U Beauty Restorer Precision – Jade Facial Contouring Tool
The HAYO’U Beauty Restorer Precision – Jade Facial Contouring Tool is designed to combat the signs of aging around the eyes and lips while also boosting microcirculation, decongesting skin, and improving elasticity. Using this one is quite unique as it requires small flicks around your lips and eyes to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This tool would be especially useful if you’re more interested in contouring and sculpting versus depuffing and relieving muscle tension.
I don’t think life is going to get less stressful anytime soon, so you can find me taking deep breaths and using my gua sha calm those worry lines!
Do you use a facial massage tool? Which one is your favorite?
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Photo: Mary Hood Luttrell, Respective brands