I really want to buy a gua sha tool after seeing a ton of TikToks showing them depuffing people’s skin! But I want to make sure that I’m buying it from an AAPI-owned business. What are some good, small AAPI-owned brands that specialize in gua sha tools?
Gua sha, if you didn’t know, is a thin, flat tool commonly (but not always) made of stone that has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years. According to Dr. Ervina Wu, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and founder of natural skin-care brand YINA, TCM practitioners have historically used gua sha as way to treat a wide variety of acute illnesses such as heatstroke, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and digestive issues. “Gua means ‘scrape’ and sha means ‘petechiae’ (tiny, flat red, purple spots),” Dr. Wu explains. “The idea was to scrape the skin to invigorate blood flow, release heat toxins, stimulate lymphatic drainage, and activate various points of the body.”
Dr. Wu says that, as a self-care ritual, gua sha has proven to be an effective tool for relieving muscular tension and knots, which is ideal for those with tight muscles, sluggish circulation, and tech necks. There are various ways to use your gua sha tool depending on its shape, weight, and size (usually the tools come with specific instructions), but Dr. Wu advises using the gua sha tool, after applying oil, in firm-but-gentle, unidirectional motions. Gua sha can be used all over the body, but it has an array of skin-care benefits when used as a facial tool — among them are the ability to help drain lymph nodes, sculpt facial muscles, soften fine lines and wrinkles, release tightness, and decrease puffiness or inflammation by accessing tough-to-reach pressure points underneath the skin and stimulating microcirculation of your skin’s soft tissue. According to Dr. Wu, the key to reaping the benefits of gua sha is consistency, so try to incorporate it into your routine on a weekly basis.
Below, a list of gua sha tools from AAPI-owned businesses.
This gua sha tool and facial oil combination from Pink Moon is the perfect duo for gua sha beginners. The facial oil is a blend of antioxidant rich, non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t break you out) plant-based ingredients such as sunflower and moringa oils, which work together to hydrate and protect the skin against environmental stressors. The gua sha tool itself is made from rose quartz — which many believe has purifying, healing, and heart-opening benefits — and comes equipped with an easy-to-follow instruction card. Another awesome perk: For $20 more, you can purchase the duo with an added gua sha workshop hosted by a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and gua sha expert (just click “Over the Moon Duo + Access to Gua Sha Workshop” in options before you add to cart.)
This gua shatool from Dr. Ervina Wu’s brand YINA is larger than the above tools, which makes it an excellent option for both face and body gua sha. This gua sha tool has four different shaped edges — notched, pointed, rippled, and curved — in order to provide an array of invigorating options depending on what area of the face or body you’re treating. YINA’s gua sha is made of bian stone, which is said to cleanse the aura and balance the body’s energy. The brand recommends washing the stone with a gentle soap and water after every use.
This gua sha tool from beauty guru Sarah Cheung’s brand SACHEU is made of stainless steel, which has self-cooling capabilities (making it particularly excellent for combatting puffiness), is very durable (you don’t ever have to worry about accidentally dropping and breaking it), and has antibacterial properties (which is great for those are more acne-prone.)
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