Things that stand the test of time do so because they are useful, effective and add value to our lives so there is no wonder why ancient beauty tools are making a huge infiltration into our current skincare regimes.
Never one for trends or superficialities, when looking to add to Truth Beauty Company's tool collection, I wanted to work with a brand that had a connection to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). And as luck would have it, through a mutual friend I was introduced to Amanda Schuler.
Amanda shares with us that the Kungfu Apothecary collection is the culmination of her years spent living in China, which sparked her fascination with Traditional Chinese Medicine and how it relates to health, beauty and wellness.
She learned that regular facial acupuncture combined with the use of facial tools including the Gua Sha, facial roller, eye wand and facial cups, can significantly enhance ones appearance and most importantly, ones state of mind. With that as her motivation, when this serial entrepreneur arrived back in Canada she set out to make this ancient folk ritual popularized.
Her 3-2-1- technique is sure to woo you to incorporating this self-care practice as part of your daily habits. Now let's learn it:
The full 3-2-1 Technique, an effective way to activate energy flow to the face, which has a tonifying and lifting effect. Why?
Because the use of these facial tools will bring fresh Qi and blood to the face by detoxing the meridian systems. Imagine a traffic jam. Our system can sometimes get stagnant and needs to get freed up. By using gua sha on our face and neck, we are opening up the highway/pathways and bringing fresh energy to the face and skin. This routine can be completed in about 6 minutes, doing 3-4 strokes per move. If you have time, you can absolutely do more strokes per movement. Please note that it is important that the ritual be done using a facial oil rather than moisturizer to give your face enough "slip" to do the proper technique.
It's as easy as 3-2-1:
3 minutes Gua sha:
Always begin at the neck and unless otherwise mentioned, always keep your tool at a 15' angle, in other words you want the gua sha flatter to the skin rather than at an upright angle.
Back of neck:
Use the large U-shaped notch of your gua sha to encircle the back of
your spine. Glide the gua sha up the spine to the bottom of your hairline 4 x.
Using the jagged side, move your gua sha about an inch or two away from the spine to sweep upwards all the back to the back of the occiput 4 x on both sides
Front of neck.
Using the same notch, use a feather light stroke and glide your gua sha from the front of your neck and up towards the tip of your chin. Because you are stroking along the larynx, it is essential to use a feather light stroke, just let the weight of the gua sha do the work with no extra pressure from your hands. Using the flat side of your gua sha, move slightly to the right and swipe upwards another 4 x on both sides. This is a key stroke and it helps clear the stomach meridian. Again using the flat side, move another inch or so towards your shoulder, and repeat the same stroke on both sides, ending up at the ear.
Side of neck:
Again using the flat side, or the notch if you prefer, begin at the top of the shoulder and glide your tool upwards towards the top of the shoulder and glide up along the side of your neck, ending at the side of your neck just under your ear. *Please note this stroke is contraindicated during pregnancy*
Start in the middle of your forehead. Use the flat side of your gua sha to gently lift the forehead area from tip of nose to bottom of hairline. Do this same stroke on both sides of the forehead, each time lifting from the eyebrow to the bottom of your hairline. Move towards the side of your eye, and stroke there gently, this is a very effective stroke for smoothing crow's feet. Unify the strokes of the gua sha by using your hands to smooth your oil into your entire forehead.
Jawline & Cheekbone:
Amanda's favourite strokes - using the large notch of your gua sha, anchor
your chin with the opposite hand and gently swipe upwards along your entire jawline, ending at the edge of your ear. give your gua sha a wiggle. Keep moving up the face doing the same strokes. Make sure to keep anchoring the face with one hand and use a nice feather light stroke towards the temple and keep your gua sha at a 15' angle. Keep going and use the flat side to gently envelop under your cheekbone, moving up towards the temple.
2 Minutes Eye Wand:
Use the larger end of your eye wand and gently lift from the inner corner of the eye under the eyebrow to your temple. Use the smaller end to very gently move your eye wand from the inner corner of your eye towards the temple. Use the smaller end to circle around the eye lifting at the end of the eyebrow. Do the wink eye lift; use the blunt end and press and lift the side of your eyebrow; wink while holding the tool. This helps train the eye muscle to lift instead of droop and its extremely effective. Use the larger side in between your eyebrows, gently press and lift spreading out any tension or 11 lines. Acupressure, press the small end just beside the nostril at both sides and take a deep inhalation and exhalation.
1 Minute Roller:
This is the most fun part where you can use your roller and freestyle a bit. Starting at the forehead gently roll the large side along your forehead, sealing in any additional facial oil into your skin. Continue this with your cheek, jawline and use the small roller part for your eye area. This is a great pore closer and feel free to do this with a cooled roller, especially in the summer season. (contraindicated if you run cold, or if it's the middle of winter).
Unify the entire face with a nice hand massage and enjoy your gua sha glow!
But don't forget, its a cumulative effect and results are best seen when doing the technique daily, or at minimum 3 x per week.