Meet Your New Best Friends: Facial Rolling and Gua Sha

Astrid Kieser Kisting, Opinion Editor

As a passionate skincare enthusiast, I have tried many different techniques. It can be confusing to navigate through the skincare world with products claiming to improve something when they really don’t. You can easily find yourself reading article after article filled with misguided information which can lead to nothing but an immense amount of frustration. Don’t fear! I’m here to give a review on facial rolling, one of the latest Tik Tok trends. First, let’s talk about how to pronounce the confusing word, gua shah, it’s not as hard as it looks! The pronunciation is written like this: Gwah Shah, and in English, it’s translated to scraping. It’s an ancient Chinese healing method that was originally used to treat victims of heatstroke and in fact, the skincare facial method was actually discovered by mistake. Facialists and acupuncturists used the S-shaped stone to help release tension and pain in different areas of the body. Then they started using it on clients’ faces and found that wrinkles were disappearing, people’s tension was gone, and their face was being sculpted into their client’s desired shape. Facial rolling also originated in ancient China. Facial rollers are typically constructed out of rose quartz or jade. The facial roller, like its name, rolls on your face whereas the gua sha stone is typically a flat stone also made of rose quartz or jade.

Personally, I love facial rolling. I try to do it every evening, and I have found many benefits from it. I know that it’s easy to be skeptical about something we see on social media, and I have yet to try gua sha. I thought it would still be valuable to write about facial rolling in general though, which I have tried. Facial rolling can be done in many different ways and can have meaningful results. Many people love putting their facial roller in the fridge, and I occasionally like to do this, but mine is usually cold because rose quartz doesn’t conduct heat well. You then should look at a diagram of how to facial roll/sculpt because there is a wrong way to do it. Essentially, you are draining your lymphatic system which helps smooth out fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent them from forming in the first place. You should always roll up, never up and down, and you can easily find a diagram as I mentioned before to visually understand how to do it correctly. I personally recommend facial rolling over gua shah because it’s more gentle and I like being able to roll my face, as it’s just easier. I also have really sensitive skin and that’s why I decided to try facial rolling over gua shah when reading many reviews and academic journal articles because the gua shah is more abrasive.

The main difference between gua shah and facial rolling is that gua shah is meant for facial sculpting and healing in terms of releasing tension while facial rolling is for draining the lymphatic system. They both have been proven to release tension, prevent wrinkles, decrease puffiness, and sculpt, but their methods are very different in attaining the same goals. I would hands down recommend facial rolling of any kind as long as you are gentle. I have personally achieved having a more sculpted face, I hold less tension in my jaw and my cheeks aren’t as puffy. The reason why I have chosen facial rolling over gua shah at the beginning was that overall the reviews I found were that facial rolling was more gentle. Both are great, and it depends on the person, but no matter which one you choose you will still experience great benefits.