A Guide to The Different Materials of Gua Sha Stones

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    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA ISTOCK

    The Chinese facial tool in rose quartz is calming and opens up the heart chakra, while amethyst is cooling and releases muscle tension.

    By now you’ve likely heard of gua sha, the Chinese art of facial lifting that has recently swept the beauty world. The practice involves using a tool to sweep the face in an upward motion releasing stagnant blood and lymph, to promote circulation and healing. Used in China for centuries as a folk remedy, the name translates as “to scrape” (gua) and “sand” (sha). While that sounds a little harsh, it’s actually very soothing and has been credited with all kind of health benefits, from relieving stress to preventing hair loss, as well as tightening and lifting the jawline. While there are many online tutorials on the methods and movements that make up the practice, the tools come in different materials, and work best with skincare that provide slip, glide and moisture.

    Originally, people used Chinese soup spoons to perform gua sha, and even one’s knuckle can be used in a pinch, says Sacramento-based gua sha practitioner Valerie Yager of Valerie Yager Skincare. Her favourite tool is clear quartz, which she says is “programmable” for each individual who uses it. She also likes tools with a comb edge for scalp stimulation and unblocking lymph in the neck, which is symptomatic of “tech neck.” Yager uses Laurel Whole Plant Organics Hydrating Elixirs in her treatments. Chrystal Macleod, founder of Harlow Skin Co. sells gua sha tools at her Vancouver Harlow Atelier and loves both the jade and rose quartz tools equally. She personally uses them with Harlow’s Youth Dew Face Elixir for “an intense moisture fix.” Whistler-based blogger and podcaster Erin Treloar of Raw Beauty loves her K’Pure Natural Body Care gua sha tool. “It’s heart-shaped rose quartz and comes from a company I wholeheartedly believe in. It’s a perfect tool for beginners.” As for products, she starts with Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator Spray which she loves for its smell (marshmallows) and its reasonable price point ($28 for 2oz.) and then uses K’Pure Lighten Up Skin Brightening Serum or Saje Sensitive Elixir Calming Skin Serum. For the DIYers out there, siblings Sean and Sara Panton’s Vancouver-based essential oil brand Vitruvi offers this recipe to make your own gua sha oil with evening primrose, bergamot, geranium and rosehip.

    Click through to find the best material for your gua sha tool: