Unfussy self-care rituals are just what we need in these tumultuous times… and let's be real: times are often tumultuous for mamas. Whether you're adjusting to life with a newborn or homebound for, oh, some other reason, you deserve to feel calm and cared for.

Enter: Facial gua sha—this writer's favorite get-glowy-quick technique.

An ancient Chinese practice, gua ('scrape') sha ('redness') uses a special heart-shaped tool made of jade or rose quartz to work deep into your facial muscles and fascia, releasing tension and inflammation and stimulating blood circulation. This helps to increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your skin, and move stagnant energy or chi. That may sound like a tall order, but this is one multitasking skin care gizmo, mama.

I first tried gua sha on my upper back and shoulders in my trusted TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) practitioner's office. Incredulously, I plopped on a stool, leaned against her acupuncture table and squirmed a bit as she scraped my skin in a downward motion, skeptical that this unassuming tool could possibly alleviate my chronic back pain. As I settled into the (admittedly strange at first) scraping sensation, though, I felt an undeniable release of strain… then a whoosh of blissful comfort. My stubborn aches had vanished.

You better believe I became obsessed with gua sha after that. My TCM practitioner explained to me that facial gua sha activates acupressure points along the 12 major meridians on your face, and doesn't yield the same red marks that my first round of back and shoulder gua sha did. (Reminder: sha means redness, which signifies healing in traditional Chinese medicine.) Plus, she assured me that using a gua sha tool is a piece of cake.

She was right: The Pink Moon rose quartz gua sha tool comes with easy-to-follow instructions and I was able to get the hang of things in no time.

Pink Moon gua sha tool

Pink Moon Gua Sha Tool

Made from rose quartz, this gua sha tool has a natural cooling effect to help reduce inflammation and puffiness. As an added bonus, Pink Moon helps small brands that are ethically and sustainably made, cruelty-free, and female-founded flourish.

Given my initial positive experience with gua sha, I expected my new self-care routine to rid of neck and jaw tension (spoiler: It did), but I never imagined that facial scraping could help me look, dare I say, radiant? Truly, regular use of this tool has left me luminous––at least from the neck up. So go on, treat yourself to an easy new pampering practice.


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