“But why do I need a face massager?”
Irrespective of the number of ads luring you to get yourself one, this is a perfectly valid question to ask yourself; more so when you have managed to live so long with a basic skincare routine and maybe a clean-up every once in a while that included a quick, handy massage by your beautician.
You are right — you don’t particularly need that jade face roller or Gua Sha stone to wipe away your skin woes, but speaking for myself, am I glad that I have a Gua Sha stone in my skincare kit. The reason is simple: On days when I can’t book a facial and times when I have my particular moods, the Gua Sha face massager is my go-to for a quick 10-minute bout of self-care.
What are face tools?
The face tool trend, which started in 2016 or thereabouts, has seen a recent surge in popularity. Today, there is a range of them to pick from: traditional tools like the Gua Sha stone, jade face roller and Kansa wand or the more modern adaptations like the 3D roller, T-shape gold sculpting bar, and ice roller and the derma roller, among others. The reason behind why the trend took off may not be apparent, but the fact is that these face tools are recommended by the skincare experts who are the best in the business. Several celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Tracy Ellis Ross and Victoria Beckham, swear by them. The sustained popularity of these tools can be attributed to the fact that they work for the most part.
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They help de-puff your face — perfect for when you wake up with your face feeling bloated. They aid in lymphatic drainage — bye, bye toxins. They improve blood circulation — well, hello, healthy-looking skin. They help sculpt facial features and produce collagen. Other well-known benefits include reduced face lines, smoother complexion and reduced hyperpigmentation.
A bit of history
While the idea of facial massagers seems like a modern invention, history records show that the Gua Sha, jade face roller and Kansa Wand have been around for over 700 years and were part of medical practices of the time. Developed during the Ming dynasty, the use of Gua Sha is well-documented in an ancient Chinese medical text called Shan Han Lun. As a scraping technique, it was used to treat illnesses in the body, and the material used to scrape the Sha (disease) included anything from hands and stones to coins. Gua Sha for the face is a more recent evolution.
The jade roller – another Chinese face ritual believed to have been introduced in the 7th century – was mostly used by the elite. For example, Empress Dowager Cixi, one of China’s most powerful women, is believed to have used one. The origin of India’s Kansa Wand dates back even further, all the way to the Bronze Age. Made of kansa or bell metal, which is an alloy of copper and aluminium, the wand is prescribed in Ayurveda; one of its main benefits is that it aids in balancing the skin’s pH levels.
A good thing to own
“We use the gua sha tool or jade face roller for the facials we offer at our place. These tools are great for a facial massage because they ensure that the serum from the face mask gets absorbed into the skin, “says Sneha Bhagwat, co-founder of Bangalore-based nail and dry bar Nailbox. One of the few beauty bars in the city to use these tools, Bhagwat says that the decision came about because “not everyone likes their face being touched by another person’s hand. The other obvious reason is that people know about them and want to try and see what they are about,” she adds.
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Bhagwat thinks these face tools are, all things considered, good additions to have. “The gua sha stone’s shape allows you to massage all parts of the face better. And because rose quartz and jade are semi-precious stones known to store good energy, using them helps restore your chi (energy),” she adds.
If you have entered Face Tools in your Google search bar to casually window shop before you buy one, you probably are staring at tons of options available from ₹795 to ₹5000 plus. It is confusing, and the number of articles on the subject can leave you with an information overload.
My suggestion: Stick to the traditional tools. There are gua sha massage stones and face rollers for under ₹3000 today. Just make sure to buy from a reliable brand. Bhagwat’s only advice is to check that the tool you want to buy is actually made of rose quartz, jade, or aventurine and not plastic or any other substandard material. As for the modern electrical contrivances, they are pricier, seem complicated, and so you may want to check with a dermatologist before you use them.
How to use
Dab a bit of serum, face oil or moisturiser on your face. Next, rub the Gua Sha stone or roller on your face using adequate pressure in upward, outward strokes. Repeat the strokes on each part of the face at least five times. Follow the instruction manual for directions or check out YouTube videos on ‘How to use Jade face roller or Gua Sha’.
Use the face massager at least once a week to begin with. Then, if your skin doesn’t have an adverse reaction to it, you can use it daily, either as a morning or night-time ritual.