A jade gua sha tool next to a sprig of rosemary.
Courtesy Lanshin

The World of Gua Sha Facial Massages

By Aileen Kwun
June 27, 2020
2 minute read

Anxiety and stress can take a serious toll on your health—and your skin. This may, in part, explain why the wellness world has finally taken note of gua sha, a traditional Chinese medicinal technique for relaxing and relieving tension to aid in myofascial release. The method is used to relieve tension in muscles throughout the body, and gua sha facials have garnered a particularly fervent following in recent years. You may have noticed, if you pay attention to these kinds of things, a flurry of influencers and beauty retailers hawking the jade roller, something of an entry-level intro to the array of gua sha tools: small, handheld stone instruments that come in a number of shapes and contours, designed to smooth and scrape over the skin’s surface. The Brooklyn-based holistic healing studio Lanshin carries some of the best, carved from materials including rose quartz, jade, and nephrite. Founder Sandra Lanshin Chiu, an accredited acupuncturist and herbalist, also offers online tutorials to get you started on your new favorite facial workout. Think of the small spatula- and spoon-like implements as doing for your face what a foam roller can do for your back, only much more intimately and delicately. While the advertised results for a more youthful, sculpted appearance may vary, the treatment is a totally doable, daily treat-yourself routine that just feels—to this writer, anyway—plain amazing.