First, the Herbivore Botanicals Jade Roller entered our lives, and our definition of skincare tools changed forever. A quick search of ‘skincare tools’ on Sephora will lead you to Clarisonics and a host of electronic products that feel anything but natural. The jade roller was something simpler, but equally as powerful- like a mini high vibrational workout for your face. Then our clean makeup artist friend, Sarah Rose, introduced us to the Gua Sha– a thin plate of jade used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to scrape away toxins and oxygenate the skin. We quickly got our hands on one, and have been using it in our morning routines ever since. It makes your oils and serums sink in deeper and brings a healthy pink flush to the skin. At this point, we were hooked on these traditional medicine tools and were hungry to learn more.
Call it fate, or perfect timing, just as we were getting more interested in skincare tools, Hayley Wood, AKA the Therapeutic Skin Coach, posted the most intriguing video of all of the skincare tools she uses in her practice. We’ll be honest, some of these tools look more like torture devices than tools of relaxation. So of course we had to question Wood about her collection and learn all we could. We learned that it’s more of a science than we initially thought. Tell us, have you used any of these skincare tools? Has your esthetician?
The Moment: In general, why do we use these skincare tools? Why are they worth the investment?
Wood: Skincare tools are all the rage right now which is great because estheticians have been using tools to enhance their treatments for a long time. I am so happy that a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon of using more natural, non-toxic ingredients in their skincare as part of their self-care practices so the tools are a great compliment to that. Each tool has its own purpose and may not be suitable for all skin conditions, however, with the right instruction from your skin therapist it can be a wonderful addition to your home care. They can help you support your lymphatic system, gently massage the skin to increase blood flow and circulation, and also are meant to be used in connection to a deep, slowed down breathwork. So for all of that I would say if you’re willing to actually use your tool of choice daily, it is worth the investment.
The Moment: What is reflexology? How does it relate to inner/outer beauty?
Wood: I was certified with Dien Chan multireflex at the end of 2017 and it has elevated my understanding of the skin so much. The concept is very simple, your skin communicates a lot about the body and with the right tool you can connect the right pathways in the nervous system to help with any imbalance. When I use my detector to find a specific type of sensation (usually a little sharp pain indicates we found the point of interest) we can then focus on what that point is correlated to. This really allows the client to be their own guide as well because the more they communicate, the more we can work on. It’s also really fascinating to see the similar shapes that our body has throughout the body. For example, the bridge of the nose is similar to the spine. A great example is how I can look at someone now and know if they are having neck pain based on how their frown lines look in between their eyebrows. Those subtle connections are very important to your whole body health and so as your skin improves, so does the connected areas we are working on.
The Moment: They say beauty is pain, and some of these tools look like torture devices, do they/are they supposed to hurt?
Wood: It’s funny how that mentality is what typically attracts people to the tools but in all honesty they are not painful at all. Some have the look of a dermaroller, like the yin yang roller #206, but they don’t puncture the skin at all. The rolling method depending on your particular needs will actually feel really nice like a release of tension in the skin. Another great tip is that if one side of your roller doesn’t feel great it usually means that you need the opposite side more to gain topical and internal benefits. So for instance if I roll the Yin side of my #206 tool on someone and it feels great that means we are dealing with an excess of Yang energy. Creating this balance is immediately transformative to the skin and someone’s energy in general.
The Moment: A lot of the Multire Flex tools associate themselves with yin or yang. What does this mean in terms of skincare? When do we know our yin and yang are out of balance?
Wood: It is so interesting because it’s a relatively new concept to me as well but as soon as I started applying it to my practice the changes were much more apparent and results are lasting much long. Basically an excess of yin means we would work the yang tool and vice versa. Yang tools help oxygenate the skin, regulate deep blood irrigation, eliminates stagnations, and can heat and dry an area. So this works well for scars or deep set wrinkles. Yin tools help calm irritation, regulate surface blood irrigation, stretch out concentrated pigments and helps liquids drain out. Which makes it wonderful for very surface acne due to lymphatic stagnation or even flared rosacea.
The Moment: Can you tell us more about the use of crystals in skincare? We are seeing jade rollers popping up everywhere these days. What are they doing for our skin and what are the best crystals to use in a skincare ritual?
Wood: I’ve always loved crystals because let’s face it, they are stunning. I keep a lot of selenite around my products and where my clients come in so that I can continuously clear the energy in the room. Selenite has the ability to clear space in a similar fashion that smudging a room would. I also have tons of rose quartz, clear quartz and amethyst to create a self-loving, worry-free zone. The first things my clients say is that the energy of my treatment room, which is located in my home in a neighborhood nearby Hollywood, feels calming. So that being said I really believe in their power considering how hectic it feels in the surrounding areas. The gua sha stones and rollers that I have are made of jade stone and rose quartz (gifted by my friend and fellow green beauty esthetician, Angela Caglia). I utilize the gua sha as part of my massage if someone has a lot of inflammation in their skin or just seem generally pretty stressed. The slow, methodical movements help you tune into your breath and work gently to help with calming the skin.
The Moment: Any warnings or dangers we should be aware of when purchasing and using these tools for self-care at home?
Wood: I would say that unless you speak with your skincare therapist on proper usage I wouldn’t invest in this type of care quite yet, especially the multireflex. The quality of the stones can also be cheapened if you just purchased a cheap jade roller on Amazon. Youtube is also not reliable as I have seen some of the techniques demonstrated on their that are not in alignment with my teachings. Just reach out and get a customized routine for best results. Otherwise, you can’t really go wrong with starting with a roller to help soothe the skin and work with product penetration.
The Moment: Do you have any additional resource recommendations for us to learn more about these tools and how to properly use them?
Wood: I would say that the best people to look for inspiration and guidance, besides myself, would be Sandra Lanshin Chiu (Treatment by Lanshin) because she does a lot of events with one of my favorite green beauty brand founders, Josh Rosebrook, on a proper at-home technique for gua sha. My multireflex teacher, Erica of @reflexappeal is also a phenomenal resource. They are always sharing tips on their instagrams and websites.
The Moment: Let’s walk through some of your most loved tools! We’d love to talk about gua sha, rollers, and the multire flex tools.
Wood: My personal favorites include the #252 yin yang tool because it’s great for my “11”’s in between my brows which I’ve had since I was a teenager since I’m quite expressive. The result is almost immediate. I also love to do gua sha or the jade roller on my forehead if I am experiencing a headache due to dehydration or spending too much time on my computer. I have poor vision so by the end of the day if I can reduce that tension in between my brows I’m a happy girl. These tools are such a great help and have gone beyond what some of my favorite skincare has been able to pull off.
The Moment: Can we grab links to your favorite tools?
Wood: You can get the multireflex tool’s here. Jade roller beauty is a great source for jade rollers, Angela Caglia for the rose quartz rollers, and as for gua sha I would recommend signing up for one of the classes by Treatment by Lanshin to receive her at-home routine tutorial as well as a stone with the purchase of her class.
Special thanks to Hayley Wood!
Photo by Kristine Lo