Let’s be real. There are plenty of beauty tools out there that promise a lot. There are LED-powered masks that are supposed to zap acne and target wrinkles. Microcurrent devices that people swear are easy ways to tone and lift. And some gadgets even unclog pores, exfoliate, and deep clean the skin. So yeah, it’s a lot. And yes, it’s been proven that many of them work. But as we all know, such devices can also be pricey.
The thing about these tools is you’ll have to use them regularly to see some results. It can be tough to justify a big gadget splurge if you don’t know whether you’ll be able to commit to making it part of your routine or whether it will be effective for your skin needs.
If you’re on the fence, I’m about to tell you about one tool you can start with that promises most of the above (well, the sculpting, lifting, and firming part) and won’t cost you more than £40. In fact, there are some options that are under £10. Meet the gua sha tool.
Gua sha tools have actually been around for centuries. “Gua sha tools come in various shapes and stones,” explains Lin Chen, founder and CEO of Pink Moon. “It’s a tool that dates back to the Paleolithic Age and was used on the body to help increase circulation and release tension. In fact, the first texts documenting its use date back all the way to the Ming dynasty in China.”
These tools have been used as a unique approach for holistic healing in China for 4000 years, Chen adds. And the literal translation in Mandarin is “to scrape sand.” Traditionally, it’s used all over the body to aid the flow of energy (qi).
For the face, a gua sha tool can reduce puffiness, lift muscles and contour, and promote elasticity in the skin. And the best part? You might see these effects immediately after using it.
But there is also a myriad of other benefits the tool has. “Gua sha is excellent for lymphatic drainage, addressing stagnant energy, promoting blood flow, soothing headaches, reducing inflammation, shortening acute illnesses like colds and flus, and releasing tension—from head to toe,” Chen says.
Chen outlined some steps to take so you can make sure you’re using your tool effectively:
1. Always start with a clean face.
2. Before doing gua sha, you want to make sure to prep your skin with something emollient like a face oil or a balm. You also want to apply an oil that’s silky and doesn’t absorb right away, like Pink Moon’s Over the Moon Gua Sha Facial Oil, or you might tug your skin.
3. Keep the stone as flat and close to the skin as possible. Keep it at a 15-degree angle so you don’t create unnecessary friction or tug your skin.
4. If you have an active acne breakout, just do gua sha on the chest and neck. This will help to increase circulation and decrease inflammation.
5. Always use slow strokes on the neck and face, and use upward and outward strokes on the face.
If you’re ready to give it a try for yourself, scroll below for some options.
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This story was originally posted on Who What Wear US and has since been updated.