How To Choose The Best Facial Stone For Your Gua Sha Or Face Roller
There are many avenues into a facial stone obsession. Mine started with a particularly relaxing facial, which turned into a weekly rolling session. Now I keep gua sha stones at my desk for whenever I need to cool down puffy, morning eyes or massage a tense neck. And if you're a mindbodygreen frequenter, I'm going to take a wild guess and assume you're likely a fan as well.
But what if you're looking to expand your arsenal? Or learn more various stones out there? Or what if you have a roller and you're looking to get into gua sha?
Well, I tapped some of our favorite experts for a full rundown on what stone and type of tool are right for you.
The tools: Rollers versus gua sha stones
There are a lot of at-home facial tools and machines out there, ranging from high-tech buzzing things to old-school slabs of stone. For our purposes, we're going to stick to those made out of gemstones.
- Roller: These have become something of a gateway for Westerners—you've likely seen these pop up all over Instagram or on celebrities' must-have lists. For good reason: They're easy to use, for even the most beginner among us. Most options out there now come double-ended: a larger stone for the jaw, forehead, and neck, and a smaller side for under-eyes and to carve out cheekbones. Here's a quick tutorial.
- Gua sha stones: These come in all shapes and sizes but usually tend to be flat stones with scallops, dents, curves, or edges. You can use these to manipulate skin, muscles, and lymph fluid. But you should select a stone based on your expert level: A general rule of thumb is the simpler the tool, the more beginner-friendly it will be, whereas more advanced stones will have a few sides and textures so you can try different techniques. For a quick tutorial, watch this from resident gua sha expert Britta Plug.
How to pick the stone that's right for you
First, the below are not medical claims, as we have no peer-reviewed studies. But gemstones hold a certain modern-day power, if you choose to believe. And really this boils down to choice: You're choosing to set an intention with the stone you pick, and sometimes that intention is all the power you need.
For a breakdown, I went to licensed acupuncturist Elizabeth Trattner, L.Ac. She's developed a very popular acupuncture and gemstone facial and regularly uses gemstones in her practice.
- Rose quartz: This is the most common out there: You've likely seen this pastel pink stone in rollers and all shapes of gua sha stones. It's gained popularity as it opens the heart chakra. Trattner likes it because "it carries a small charge to help awaken the skin. I like using rose quartz for patients who have issues with stagnation and also hyperpigmentation," she says.
- Jade: Jade, while not as commercially common as rose quartz, has the history. Trattner explains, "In traditional Chinese medicine, jade is referred to as the stone of heaven and represents health, wealth, longevity, and prosperity and is believed to draw out negative energy. I use jade as my default crystal of choice when working. It has been what practitioners of TCM have used for thousands of years for health and beauty." As for the skin benefits, anecdotally many claim it's good for inflammation and reducing redness. Trattner agrees: "I find jade to be balancing for the face. I prefer using jade gua sha as the stone is harder and gua sha blades are thinner and easier to work with."
- Fire agate: As her personal favorite, fire agate is a variety of chalcedony, a mineral of the quartz family. "Quartzes have a piezoelectric effect, which carry a small charge; however, the energy of a fire agate is different from clear or rose quartz: Fire agate is also good for helping calm irritated skin and acne," she says. The striking red and orange stone isn't as popular, so options are limited.
- Bian stone: This demi-matte black stone hails from a mountain in China, where it was struck by a meteor and, therefore, is thought to have notable, supercharged benefits: "Bian stone contains over 40 minerals and trace elements. It produces negative ions, so it also has antioxidant properties," says Trattner. "I like using bian stone tools on skin that has been depleted."
- Scolecite: You'll likely see this stone most as a home décor element: It's thought to rid space of negative energy. Trattner uses the stone in the form of a wand, or a long, thin gua sha tool primarily used in acupressure. "I use scolecite to detoxify and decongest skin. Scolecite wands are another underutilized beauty tool. Scolecite is a softer stone, and wands can be used on acupressure points of the face, and the smooth side can gently decongest puffy eyes," she says.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.