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 more toned!).
What is a gua sha tool?
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 are things 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!
Keen to give gua sha a try? These are our top picks for gua sha tools in Australia.
KORA Organics Rose Quartz Heart Facial Sculptor
You can thank Miranda Kerr for this beautiful heart-shaped stone ($76 at Kora Organics). “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,” Kerr said 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.
Samson & Charlie Black Obsidian Gua Sha
For those with acne-prone skin and blackheads, try the Samson & Charlie Black Obsidian Crystal Gua Sha ($29.95 at 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.
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 ($56 at Sephora) 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.
Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool
If you’re interested in trying an amethyst gua sha (FYI, it's the serenity stone that relieves stress), then grab this pretty little purple tool ($59 at Sephora). Its asymmetric ‘V’ can provide a deeper or softer massage along the jawline, depending on how you flip it.
Salt by Hendrix U-Nicorn Gua Sha
Salt by Hendrix's U-shaped gua sha ($29.95 at SurfStitch) 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, and the defined notched edge is great for massaging the back of the neck to relieve tension and fitting snugly along the jawline.
SelfAmour Facial Reflexology and Sculpting Gua Sha
Boasting a mix of both smooth, jagged and pointed edges, the SelfAmour Facial Reflexology and Sculpting Gua Sha ($79 at SelfAmour) is crafted with its own unique shape to ensure you can sculpt and soothe all angles of the face. Bonus points for the fact it’ll look damn chic on your bedside table, too.
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.