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Discover here the most common claims of contention when it comes to gemstones facial massagers like rollers and gua sha tools and decide for yourself if they really are worth all the hype they receive. Just to make it better, remember to avoid toxics on your beauty routine always.
Similar to how your blood travels through your body via your blood vessels, lymph fluid travels in a parallel system through lymph vessels and ducts. It can build up in areas that are particularly stressed, but is meant to drain out on its own via the lymph nodes, which are situated all over the body in specific spots and filter out toxins before returning the residual fluid to the bloodstream.
Gemstone tools are used to massage the face in a way that promotes lymphatic drainage—they help steer lymph fluid towards the lymph nodes, so that it can be filtered and reabsorbed. Massage can in fact facilitate the removal of this fluid from the face and as a result, reduce puffiness, which is the number one claim when it comes to facial rolling and gua sha. “Sometimes, you wake up, and your face is a little swollen, and your eyes are a little full. The roller could help move some of that lymphatic fluid and remove some of the inflammation or swelling,” says board-certified dermatologist and author of Asian Beauty Secrets, Marie Jhin.
Others are less impressed by this claim, like Doris Day, another board-certified dermatologist who points out that we don’t really need any special tools in order to stimulate lymphatic drainage: “When you’re putting on your serums and other things, you’re stimulating lymphatic drainage manually. Just by moving and making facial expressions, you’re doing lymphatic drainage.”
That being said, if you do choose to use a massage tool to enhance this process, keep in mind that technique is very important. As celebrity aesthetician Ildi Pekar says, “Facial rollers, facial cupping, dry brushing, magnetic therapy, and even hand massage—I think all of them work well, whichever tool you choose to use. Most times it’s not about the tool, it’s about your technique and how to properly open and drain using the lymphatic system.” Likewise, when talking about gua sha, celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau cautions that “you must know the exact way to perform this if your intention is to make the skin look less puffy or you can actually cause more puffiness.” So, be sure you do your research on how to perform your chosen method safely and effectively for the best results.
In addition to aiding the removal of lymph fluid from the treatment area, the other main claim made by gemstone tool enthusiasts is that they draw nutrient-rich blood towards the treatment area via pressure and friction. Fresh blood helps to heal and nourish damaged cells.
Increased blood circulation is a real benefit of facial rolling and most other forms of massage as well. Not only are there long-term benefits to this, like improved absorption of your skincare’s active ingredients, but also a temporary boost in the smoothness and plumpness of your skin immediately after massaging. In this way, the depth and noticeability of wrinkles can improve with gemstone massage to some degree, particularly with consistent use. Prevention-wise, gemstone tools can also help stave off further development of wrinkles as they help to relax the facial muscles.
Reduces Redness and Tightens Pores
The naturally cool temperature of gemstone tools constricts surface blood vessels to reduce redness and temporarily tighten pores. The tools can even be put in the refrigerator for an extra cooling experience. This is great for a quick pick-me-up; however, these effects do wear off once the skin warms up again.
A few other claims about gemstone tools you may hear floating around include that they encourage collagen production and increase skin elasticity. However, at this time there does not appear to be any scientific evidence for these claims. Topical skincare products like those containing retinoids, certain peptides, vitamin C and other such collagen-promoting ingredients are better options if this is an area of concern for you.
Claims of energy healing as related to gemstone tools are derived more from the crystals used to fabricate them rather than their action. These claims are not scientific, but rather based on traditional beliefs, which are valid in their own right when it comes to deciding whether you place value in specific gemstones or not. Below is an overview of the energy healing claims associated with each popular gemstone material that these tools are made of today:
There are also claims that certain crystals will treat certain skin conditions or concerns better than others. However, there are no scientific studies demonstrating that crystals have any healing qualities at all, and in the eyes of science, each gemstone performs the same as any other. But that does not mean that the different crystals do not have a variety of psychological benefits. The placebo effect can and does produce real results, so if you feel that a specific type of gemstone tool brings you the love, peace and balanced energy you’re looking for, then embrace it and put it to good use. And even if you’re just incorporating a crystal tool into your skincare routine because you find it aesthetically pleasing, the joy it brings to your moments of self care and the encouragement it gives you to engage in those moments more consistently are very real benefits, too.
Whether crystal-based or not, we recommend sourcing your facial massage tools from ethical retailers. Despite many crystal enthusiasts claiming that crystals help them connect with the Earth, not too many take the time to consider the impact of these crystals on the planet. And this is not entirely their fault—sources of healing crystals are notoriously difficult to track. Alternatively, other types of face tools with more traceable ethical and sustainable roots do exist, such as the Eco Dermaroller by Just Rolll With It, a microneedling device made from recycled materials that is itself also recyclable, or the Wood Face Brush by Wild Minimalist, a dry brush made from completely sustainable, natural materials that are all compostable at the end of the product’s life.
Just remember that no matter what you choose to do, we encourage you to make self care a part of your regular routine in a safe and sustainable way.
+ Words: Dorice Lee, Luxiders Magazine Contributor
Dorice Lee is a freelance writer and editor from Vancouver, Canada who is endlessly fascinated by the ever-growing potential of the sustainability movement. Through her work she hopes to contribute to that movement by making the notion of sustainability approachable and accessible.