A therapeutic beauty tool inspired by the traditional Chinese practice of scraping, the gua sha massager is the multitasking alternative to the jade roller. Usually crafted from semi-precious stone, it’s designed to be stroked over skin, and delivers multiple benefits ranging from facial sculpting to reduced stress. If you’re looking to elevate your skin care routine or simply crave a D.I.Y. massage, this device promises to be the do-it-all tool.
While I’m not the biggest fan of beauty tools, this massager got me intrigued. As a long-time fan of body massages, I firmly believe that releasing muscle tension can be a game-changer for skin and overall health. My face has been looking a little puffy lately, which motivated me to look for targeted solutions. When the opportunity came along to trial the Slim Face Ceramic Gua Sha from Korean cosmetics brand Milk Touch, I signed up immediately, especially since I’ve only heard good things about the brand including its Hedera Helix skin care line. To prep, lubricate and nourish my skin, I paired the Slim Face Ceramic Gua Sha with the Oil from Pyunkang Yul containing a potent mix of essential oils.
Over the course of two and half weeks, I indulged in this gua sha routine (around five to six times of use in total during that period), spending around ten minutes on each session. Read on to see whether this powerhouse duo is the secret to better skin and a more defined face!
(used together with Pyunkang Yul’s Oil)
As the name suggests, this ergonomically designed gua sha tool is 100% ceramic. It’s a little larger, heavier and more clinical-looking than the average rose quartz gua sha in the market. The hollowed-out area in the middle of the massager means that despite its size, this tool is easy to grasp and fits comfortably in the hand. Fitted with a variety of angle points and textures, it consists of six “zones” with various functions. There’s a curved edge fitting the contours of your face to depuff cheeks, a ridged edge designed to improve scalp circulation, and an acupressure zone dedicated to lymphatic drainage in the desired area.
Although suitable for all skin types, gua sha is not recommended for those experiencing sunburn or rashes, or those who have blood coagulation issues. Using it more than three times a week is also not recommended, especially if you’re a beginner.
Since I’d never used a gua sha tool before, I was initially a bit confused on how to proceed. Should I approach my cheeks, forehead or neck first? Would gentle strokes suffice, or are vigorous strokes needed to deliver the healthy skin I crave? After some research, I learned that one should always go gentle at the beginning to prevent bruising and breakouts. It’s recommended to glide the tool upwards and outwards in long, firm strokes, starting from the neck and shoulders before moving onto the face, nose and forehead. Just before you begin, applying facial oil is a must as it provides added slip, lessening the friction during the massage while preventing tissue damage.
Right from the get-go, it was obvious that the tool was great at relaxing my neck and facial muscles. As I massaged away, I could feel accumulated tensions in those areas gradually releasing. Gently kneading the pointed end of the tool onto the lymph nodes underneath my jaw was a special highlight, as the motions produced instant therapeutic effects. Discomfort was minimal, and although I experienced a slight tingly sensation immediately after usage, it went away after a couple minutes to be replaced by an energized feeling.
Getting the Blood Flowing
Gua sha works by stimulating muscles, improving blood circulation and boosting fluid drainage in your body’s lymphatic system to reduce swelling, clarify skin and lift the face. Essentially, it provides a mini detox for your skin by draining away excess fluids. By the end of the second week, I was beginning to see improvements in my skin tone, even though I’d pared down the rest of my skin care routine to a cleansing balm and moisturizing cream. No doubt the gua sha helped to amplify the hydrating effects of Pyunkang Yul’s Oil, which kept my skin baby-soft and nourished.
I was pleased that my face looked slightly less puffy by the end of the trial, although I need to use it for longer to banish persistent bloating in some areas.
I was skeptical about the benefits of this facial lifting tool to begin with, but after a few pampering sessions with Milk Touch’s gua sha I was sold. Whether you’re looking to start the day fresh or unwind during the evening, this tool is a great add-on to your skin care and self-care routines. Just don’t expect it to deliver on all the potential benefits, such as reduced inflammation and a wrinkle-free finish. What this massager does best is help the body reset (as a result of improved blood circulation and lymphatic draining, among other benefits), which is something you need for better skin.
What is it? Formulated with eight kinds of essential oils (including jojoba, rosemary and geranium oils), the simply named Oil provides deep hydration for skin without leaving any greasy residue. Free of parabens and mineral oils, this formula is gentle enough for sensitive skin.
My take: This simple, fuss-free product can be used in a multitude of ways, like providing hydration to skin, taming your hair’s split ends and enhancing the effects of foundation. The oil is a must-have whether you’re looking to kick-start a gua sha routine or soften rough and tired skin. What I love most about this oil is how quickly it absorbs into skin, leaving a subtle glow. Case in point – I added a few drops into my foundation for a more radiant look, and it made a visible difference. This combination didn’t leave behind an oily sheen even as the day progressed, nor any pilling of foundation. If you’re looking for a little extra nourishment whatever the season, Pyunkang Yul’s Oil is it.
All in all, the Slim Face Ceramic Gua Sha is so much more than a novelty tool. Although the changes it brought about to my face were subtle rather than dramatic, they felt significant. My face looked more defined by the end of the trial, and there was a newfound clarity to my temperamental combination skin. Massaging my face with this tool was also a treat for the senses, especially at the end of a long day. While I may not indulge in this practice daily, the Slim Face Ceramic Gua Sha deserves a place in my home spa routine as it’s a handy alternative to a professional gua sha facial.
On the downside, Milk Touch’s massager is a little heavy, so if you’ve got small hands, you might want to take this into consideration. It’s also unlikely to help you achieve all your skin care goals despite the massager’s reputation as a wonder tool. For the time-pressed, this device might not be the most suitable tool, as perfecting your gua sha technique takes patience and practice.
As for Pyunkang Yul’s Oil, it’s a useful product to have in your vanity. While not quite holy grail material like the brand’s Moisture Serum, a few drops of this oil can make a difference when it comes to upping moisture levels, or delivering radiance to a makeup look.
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