Gemstones & Skincare: Why The Obsession is Real
Hello! Today's post has been a long time coming. You might even say it's been thirty-some years in the making.
You see, even as young child I was obsessed with gemstones. I read books about them. Collected pretty rocks and tiny crystals every chance I got. I memorized birthstone charts and did my geology reports about natural gems. No trip to the Denver Museum of Natural History (Now the Museum of Nature & Science) was complete without a pass through the hall of gems and minerals. Still isn't.
All this to say, I have always had a thing for gemstones. But it wasn't until several years into my skincare journey that my childhood love affair with sparkly rocks came full circle. I still collect rocks but now I have a whole collection of crystal tools that I use almost daily in my skincare practice. These days, I love gemstones for a whole new set of reasons. Let's discuss.
When we think of facial tools, we often think of modern-day gadgets like LED, lasers, microdermabrasion and microcurrent. Compared to modern day implements, a jade roller or a gua sha stone may seem rudimentary, but actually crystal and gemstone tools aren't such a distant cousin.
Crystals have been used in various technologies since the beginning of recorded history by just about every major civilization. Nikola Tesla researched crystals extensively and recognized their potential to carry an electric charge - something known as the piezoelectric effect. Quartz time technology is what is used in watches and other timepieces to this day, as it is known to be more accurate than clockwork watches operated by gears.
So how does this all play into skincare? The theory behind crystal healing is that because stones produce a charge of their own, they are infused with certain properties which can be transferred to whatever they come in contact with.
It's all very cool stuff, but way I utilize my gemstone tools is a bit more practical. When used a treatment, these tools are incredibly effective for enhancing the end result of the rest of the treatment. Here are some of the ways I use my tools to really uplevel my facial protocols.
When using a facial tool, I never work without first applying a really nice serum or a nourishing facial oil. This is because I know that massaging the face with a smooth tool that has just a bit of weight to it, will help efficiently infuse the product deeper into the pores.
This trick is also easily replicable at home. After applying my serums, I like to spend a quick minute just rolling with my roller tool and notice that it leaves the skin instantly smoother and plumper.
Hot & Cold Therapy
Just like it sounds, stone tools are great for getting hot or cold. Though they are naturally cool to the touch, I am able to change the temperature of a tool by sticking in cold or hot water. Cold works well for soothing and calming the skin after exfoliation or a stimulating facial massage. Hot stones on the other hand, are wonderful for warming up tight tissue. This then allows me to work just a bit more on the facial muscles and relieve areas on the face where we carry a lot of tension - the jaw, brows, forehead, etc.
At home you can use the same hot/cold water trick or even stick your tools in the freezer for an extra cold chill.
A popular method for using gemstone tools is called gua sha. While facial gua sha is derived from a body treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it does not utilize the traditional amount of vigorous pressure. Instead, facial gua sha entails very lightly stroking the face with the tools, which then facilitates lymphatic drainage.
Lymphatic drainage massage is amazing for the skin. It promotes natural detoxification and redirects the all of the stagnant fluid that contributes to puffiness in the face. By simply stimulating the lymph glands in the face and neck with light massage via the tool, I'm able to really rejuvenate the skin in a short amount of time and leave it with less inflammation and more healthy glow
Lifting & Sculpting
Once the skin has been warmed up a bit and primed with light massage, the real youth-boosting work can be achieved using the tools to really mold, lift and sculpt the skin. The combination of lymphatic drainage and sculpting work leads to some incredible changes - less fine lines, lifted brows, more pronounced cheekbones and jawline. Although I work with many modalities in my treatment room, gua sha is one of my favorite for instant gratification as it really does create some instant improvements in face shape and overall tone.
For more ways on how to use a jade roller or stone tool I recommend checking out this blog as well as the Spring Seasonal Beauty Ritual. For all the reasons listed above, I do love for my clients to use a roller or other tool in their home care and find it really helps maintain their facial results. I find rollers to be an intuitive and easy gadget that just about anyone can incorporate into their routine.
A question I get asked often is whether or not it makes a difference what stone you choose. The short answer is no, and the long answer is yes. No matter what stone you choose, you will still reap all the benefits that we've already covered. However, if you love gems and crystals like me, and want to take this practice a bit deeper, we can always consider the individual benefits and properties of popular stones.
Here are a few of my favorites and what they are known for:
Rose Quartz - The stone of self-love, rose quartz cools and soothes skin. I love it for any irritation or redness.
Green Jade - Known for both soothing and rejuvenation. Green jade works wonders for bringing blood flow and nourishment to the skin.
White Jade - Like other jade varieties, white jade soothes the skin, but it is also great for brightening and evening skin tone.
Clear Quartz - Clear quartz is a purifying stone and works well to stimulate lymphatic drainage.
Sodalite - Valued for it's spiritual properties, sodalite is also wonderful for purifying and increasing blood flow.
Opalite - Beautiful opalite is my favorite for infusing the skin with a glow. It is also very calming and helps with uneven skin tone.
Obsidian - Detoxifying and purifying, I love to use obsidian on acne to reduce inflammation and flush out impurities.
If the choices feel overwhelming, don't worry. I say always just go with the tool that calls your name. You really can't make a wrong choice but when in doubt, rose quartz is my absolute favorite and appropriate for any skin type. It always leaves skin looking beautiful at the finish.
You can check out all my favorite tools and rollers in my online shop here, or as always, feel free to reach out, if you have a question I didn't cover here. My inbox is always open at jenny @ iheartskindenver.com
Until next time,