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This Chinese Facial Tool Is the Secret to Better Skin in 2018
Better Skin
June 18, 2019
Photographed by Irving Penn, Vogue, January 2002

Warning: Do not Google “gua sha.” The results will yield scary photos showing beet red human backs. This is the down-and-dirty version of gua sha massage, a practice of Chinese medicine that predates acupuncture and translates directly to “scraping.” Therapists use a flat handheld tool, which varies in shape and is typically made from horn, yak bone, or crystal. They apply medium to heavy pressure while raking it across the skin in an attempt to increase blood flow and stimulate the lymphatic system. Sounds a little rough, right? When done properly it can actually feel incredible, especially on the face—though done more gently, of course. In fact, gua sha facials and at-home gua sha tools are becoming more common than ever, especially after a year that saw the popularity of jade rollers skyrocket. That being said, this isn’t as easy as sticking the thing in the fridge and softly rolling it over your skin.


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