Up until a few years ago, most of us had never heard of a gua sha facial tool. The funny thing is, they’ve actually been around for centuries (they were first used in seventh-century China, and even Cleopatra was supposedly a fan) - we just forgot about them for a while. But now that they’re back on our radar, our skin couldn’t be happier (or plumper!).
What is gua sha?
Gua sha tools are smooth carved stones that are used to perform a facial massage to stimulate blood flow and collagen production for plumper, lifted skin, giving the appearance of a natural facelift. They also help with lymphatic drainage to detox skin and leave your complexion looking radiant and healthy. Gua sha stones are naturally cool, so they’re great for instantly depuffing skin, too.
Gua sha tools are made with a variety of stones, which some believe have unique energetic properties. The two most common gemstones that are used are rose quartz - the crystal of self-love and anti-ageing - and jade, which is thought to be purifying and soothing.
Whether you believe in the healing powers of crystals or not, the firming and sculpting benefits of facial massaging is something we can all get on board with.
How do you use a gua sha tool?
Unlike a jade face roller, gua sha uses a scraping motion. There are a lot of different methods for using a gua sha tool, but these are the general rules: Always work from the inner part of the face outwards (and upwards), use a light to medium pressure, and use slow, mindful strokes.
Before using a gua sha tool, clean skin with a cleanser, then apply a facial oil. The oil helps the gua sha stone slide over the skin and the gua sha tool helps the oil penetrate deeply into the skin - they’re the perfect power couple!
Some spas in Australia, like MO+ in Sydney and Little Company in Melbourne and Byron Bay, use the practice in their treatments. Tip: Spoil yourself with one of their gua sha facials to get an idea of the best pressure and motions to use, then try the technique yourself at home.
Keen to give gua sha a try? These are our top picks for gua sha tools in Australia.
#6 / KORA Organics Rose Quartz Heart Facial Sculptor
You can thank Miranda Kerr for this beautiful heart-shaped stone. “I wake up with a puffy face most mornings so I wanted to create a tool that could quickly help stimulate circulation and reduce puffiness,” Miranda says of the inspiration behind adding it to her organic skin care range. Made of rose quartz, this one is oversized so it’s extra easy to hold.
#5 / Georgia Louise Lift+Sculpt Butterfly Stone
It may come with a steep price tag, but this butterfly-shaped gua sha tool has the tick of approval from Karlie Kloss *and* Martha Hunt. “It’s this amazing tool to really massage and depuff my face,” Karlie shared in a Vogue beauty video. Martha sang its praises during an Instagram rundown of her post-flight skin care routine: “this is great because it really helps contour your face, and it also makes whatever product you put on your face penetrate even more.”
#4 / Samson & Charlie Black Obsidian Gua Sha
For those with acne-prone skin and blackheads, try this one from Australian clean beauty brand Samson & Charlie. Black obsidian is believed to have balancing powers - both for your mental wellbeing and your skin. Use the long edge to massage your cheeks and forehead; the tip to reach small contours like around the eyes and in-between your brows; and the two peaks to hug the curves of your jawline.
#3 / Skin Gym Sculpty Gua Sha
As you’re probably starting to realise, the modern gua sha tool comes in many shapes and sizes. This teardrop Skin Gym one comes in a rose quartz or jade version and features three small soft contours, two long edges and a slim curved tip for ultimate versatility when sculpting the face.
#2 / Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool
If you’re interested in trying an amethyst gua sha - the serenity stone that relieves stress - then grab this pretty little thing from Sephora (it also comes in jade and rose quartz, if you prefer). Its asymmetric ‘V’ can provide a deeper or softer massage along the jawline, depending on how you flip it.
#1 / Herbivore Square Gua Sha
Herbivore’s square gua sha has a gentle curved edge that sits nice and flat on the skin, making it easy to cover larger areas (your body included!). It’s also one of the more comfortable gua sha tool shapes to hold. The defined notched edge is great for massaging the back of the neck to relieve tension, and also fits snugly along the jawline.
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.