Several months ago I discovered the Gua sha tool and then started seeing it all over the internet. At first I was a little intimidated by it but I have to say that now, I am in love with it. My fellow esthetician and friend Lili Mineni recently gave me a holistic treatment where she used this jade Gua sha for the face and I was instantly hooked. I have been seeing these tools everywhere, along with the jade rollers. I first tried the roller, which I love too, but the Gua sha delivers more results in my opinion.
What the heck is it?
Gua sha is a tool used in eastern medicine to perform what is called scraping or spooning. There are all different sizes and ailments it can treat on the body. It helps move stagnant blood and generate movement in the lymph system which is helpful for immune system. It is also anti inflammatory. Different practitioners such as physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists can utilize these tools for the body and estheticians are able to incorporate this tool in the treatment room too.
What I love about using it on the face is that anyone can do this at home. I have been using mine for a few months now and I can most definitely see a nice difference in my skin.
How to use it?
After you cleanse your skin apply a serum or oil. Typically you want to keep the strokes in an upward motion toward the ears. I will be doing a video on a simple technique you can easily do at home (there are also a bunch of Youtube tutorials). I am loving the ritual of doing this at night, it also feels amazing! Some of the benefits of facial Gua sha are firming, lifting, working on fine surface lines and its also great for de-puffing the eye area. One important area not to miss is the neck where Gua sha can promote circulation of blood and to release tension.
Where to purchase?
Gua sha is widely available nowadays, from Amazon to Sephora. Finding one you like the best and seeing how it works with your face shape and finding a color you prefer is all you need to choose. The two most popular types are green jade or rose quartz and is mostly a personal preference. These materials keep cool naturally making it feel amazing on the skin!
My final verdict?
I am hooked. I see how ultra popular these tools are becoming and feel like this is such an interesting trend. I also see the surge in demand from the skin care industry for natural products, natural procedures and just getting back to basics. And I am all about it! Have you tried Gua sha or rollers?
I first learned about Arnica when my son was just a little guy. For us, using an Arnica gel worked wonders for healing and preventing bruising. I found it helped with pain relief as it is anti-inflammatory. Ever since then its been the first tool I grab in the medicine cabinet when someone falls or has an accident (and this person is usually me).
It has been used for its healing qualities since the 1500's and is highly popular in Europe where it is natively grown. Today Arnica is used for a wide variety of aliments, such as wound healing, bug bites and sprains.
Using Arnica in facial skin care is a wonderful tool for many skin types and products because:
I use Arnica in the UNDO serum and REPAIR toner which adds to the healing and calming benefits to the skin. Arnica complements the other ingredients that are formulated together making this a wonderful choice for any sensitive skin, sun or winter chapped skin and anyone looking to bring inflammation down. I love Arnica! Have you ever used Arnica topically? How has it helped?
I get this question many times. What is a toner, do I really need one and what the heck for? I have been an avid toner user for years and my method has changed quite a bit. When I was beginning to take care of my skin as a teenager the toners out there were geared for acne and oily skin types. They were were meant to strip the skin of oil. After we found out that is not a great way to treat the skin many people just stopped using them all together. The newer generation of toners have been created for the opposite purpose, to re-balance and hydrate. So let's start with the basics.
Why use a toner?
One of the main reasons we "tone" is to re-balance the skin after cleansing. It helps to restore some of the natural balance or the pH in the skin that a cleanser can sometimes remove. Many of the toners on the market have a water base with different cleansing and hydrating properties helping to replenish and prep your skin for the next step-treat! When the skin is nice and hydrated the treatment product next will penetrate deeper into the skin, getting the most benefit for that product.
What types of toners are there and what should I use for my skin type?
The toners on the market now range for all skin types, from oily skin types having more of an astringent toning effect to the drier skin types can focus on hydrating and protection. There are natural ingredients to help keep oily skin under control and helping kill bacteria without over dying the skin. Avoiding a product with alcohol is important, this can strip the skin and make the skin produce even more sebum (oil) in the skin and cause breakouts. Dry and sensitive skin should use gentle botanicals and hydrating ingredients to help restore moisture and calm the skin. Using a toner with antioxidants help protect the skin from the elements as well.
How do I use it?
Most toners can simply be applied to a cotton pad and swiped all over the face, neck and décolleté. Some toners such as my REPAIR toner, can be sprayed directly onto the skin. For people who prefer to use cotton you can spray it on to a cotton pad and then apply. Hydrating toners like this can be used not only following the cleansing process but throughout the day. When you are outside to protect from free radical damage, when you are stuck on an airplane and need a boost of hydration or if you want to spray over your makeup to set it.
I hope this helps answer some questions about what and why we use a toner in the first place. There are so many benefits to using one and every single skin type can benefit from daily use. I'd love to hear from you, do you use a toner and why?
One of my favorite holidays is coming up and I am offering 20% off my UNDO serum and REPAIR toner for Valentines day! Whether this is a 'Galentines' present or even a 'treat yo-self' present, these two products make the perfect gift.
This is a great gift idea for the men in your life too, my husband loves applying UNDO serum every day. It is soothing and healing making it great for razor burn. It is easy to achieve that dewy skin with UNDO serum and REPAIR toner! Just apply code LOVE at checkout to receive the discount. Offer ends February 14th!
As an esthetician and skin care educator who has worked in almost every facet of this amazing industry, my journey began not only with a quest to heal and correct skin but to connect with people. I have spent my 15 year career as an esthetician in the treatment room in every type of spa, as well as a trainer for multiple luxury brands, where I have had the privilege of traveling all over the world.