Jade Rolling vs. Gua Sha

By Kara Mavros  


By now, you’ve most definitely caught wind of the crystals craze in Western wellness and beauty – maybe you or your friends are even in possession of a rose quartz or two. But when it comes to crystals in skincare, the two most common facial tools are a jade roller and gua sha: So what’s the difference and which is more effective?

According to crystal healing and ancient Chinese medicine, jade is meant to balance your body’s chi (or qi) and ward off negative energy. By this philosophy, when your qi is off balance, your body could suffer from a number of symptoms including poor circulation (leading to skin problems), fatigue, and anxiety. If you subscribe to this theory, jade rolling or facial gua sha could be just the ticket to achieving your healthiest self.

A jade roller is, as the name suggests, a tool made of jade crystal used to roll across every crevice of the face. When done consistently, natural beauty junkies swear by less puffiness and a decrease in lines and a tightening of the skin. The natural anti-inflammatory property of the jade roller can also help to reduce redness and other signs of skin irritation. To reap the benefits, all you do is move the roller in upward and outward motions on the face, using the large side for larger areas including the forehead and cheeks and the smaller end around the eyes, nose, and lips. I like to put a bit of facial oil on beforehand to really massage it into my skin. I also like to keep my jade roller in the fridge – there’s no better feeling than rolling cold jade over your face the morning after one too many drinks. Believe me.



Facial gua sha is another practice native to traditional Chinese medicine that is typically performed using a specially shaped tool made of jade. Again, after applying a facial oil, move the stone along the face and neck in several patterns starting from the bottom up. In doing so, this is meant to encourage the flow of lymphatic fluid and drain it along the pathways and out into the rest of the body. The jade is meant to be cooling and calming on the skin, cleansing it of any bad energy and stagnant xi through the lymphatic drainage system.

I’ve had my jade roller for a few months now, and have been using it consistently several times a week, primarily in the mornings for a refreshing wake up call. While this undoubtedly feels lovely, I haven’t seen the results I was looking for. On the other hand, I’ve only had my gua sha tool for a week and have already seen a noticeable difference: My jawline and neck feel firmer, and it’s also worth noting that I’ve had fewer breakouts this past week than I have in a while. Overall, I would say that both jade rollers and facial gua sha tools are great additions to anyone’s skincare routine, but if you had to choose one, or are looking for more prominent results, facial gua sha is the way to go.

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