Yang Face brings Gua Sha tools back to their roots

WWhen you use the jade roller to relieve jaw strain or reduce puffiness under your eyes, you are leaning on gua sha, the act of applying pressure and scraping the skin to produce an internal healing effect. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries and can be taken with everything from soup spoons to bare knuckles.

Over the past few years, this approach has taken over the skin-care industry with a chic twist—but in the process, it’s become estranged from its history. Expensive tools made of jade and rose quartz (reminiscent of the ornate tools used by the Chinese elite during the Qing dynasty) have found their way onto the shelves of retailers. large, but most of it comes from Chinese-owned brands.

Paige Yang, LAc, DACM, is working to change that. With Yang Face, a luxury line of legally sourced Chinese facials launching in July 2020, she is giving power back to licensed TCM practitioners.

“It’s really annoying to me to see so many white health care brands posing as experts on these tools and how to use them. And they don’t have any credentials, background information. or any relationship,” said Dr. Yang, who is currently working here. an acupuncturist and TCM. Asian cultures are so much appropriated because they’re seen as more passive and polite—and it’s time for that stereotype to end, she says. “We don’t like to stir up waves because we’re that ‘model minority’ and we’re supposed to go with the flow, but I want to be the voice that’s like ‘No, this isn’t okay’. .”

How was the brand born?

As a TCM practitioner, Dr. Yang will ask her patients to purchase facial tools online to maintain results between sessions. She usually finds their tools broken within a week of purchase. “I feel responsible,” she said.

When her husband and a friend suggested that she start making her own tools, she began researching what was already on the market and was amazed at what she found. “I realized that almost no one in this field – maybe one or two people, beyond my knowledge – has a line of tools that come from culture or medicine,” she says. “And I find that many people don’t even know that these tools have been misappropriated because the people who disseminated them have not once acknowledged their origin.”

With that realization, she began creating Yang Face, and she began the process by going back to her own roots. She met (via WeChat) with women-run producers based in Guangdong province, China, her grandmother’s hometown. .positive. She has partnered with a small, women-led business based in the area. “I like that it’s not a big company. It’s not in a huge warehouse. I see a lot of women taking on management roles, natural light and windows,” said Dr. Yang. She can tell that the people who will make her products are treated well and she is also pleased that they have sourced their gems from a family-owned, well-run mine. ethics in South Africa.

“A lot of people don’t realize that with the ubiquity of gems and crystals in the new healthcare space, there’s also a price on the other side of it,” she says, likening it to impulses. There is a conflict surrounding blood diamonds (a term from a diamond that comes from a war-torn country, where companies buy diamonds from warlords, finance them, and continue to destroy them.) While there are some diamond certifications (such as the Kimberley Process) can help guide consumers toward potentially conflict-free diamonds, there is no such ethical certification for other stones and gems. So for Dr. Yang to do her due diligence, it makes a lot of sense to know the source of her gems.

Bringing Chinese facial care tools back to their roots

Yang Face’s tools are made of rose quartz, except for the gua sha comb which is made of jade, so it is more sturdy. Dr. Yang said: “I decided to choose quartz because it is very abundant. It is found almost everywhere in the world compared to the dark gems which are really coveted and have a lot of conflict.” . She said, “I wanted something that could be really clear about that energy, and I feel like rose quartz provided that for me—It doesn’t pick up the processor’s energy as quickly as other stones. another tough noble”. “So when it passed through people’s hands during production, I was superstitious about a worker having a bad day or a major injury and then passing it on to the recipient.”

To ensure his products are made from the highest quality, 100% grade A stones, Dr. Yang has them certified by a third party verifier. Many brands add ceramic, glass, acrylic or plastic “fillers” to their tools so they can use less of the actual stone, but “you can see there’s a huge difference in weight, clarity, the temperature of the ice, and how it feels in the hand,” said Dr. Yang.

Producing tools of this quality doesn’t come cheap—Yang Face tools start at $45 for a gua sha jade comb and up to $325 for a rose quartz mask with fully reusable. Even as these prices narrow her market, Dr. Yang feels she owes her gua sha’s origins to making the product the best it can be. However, she is still working on making her brand more accessible. “I felt my intention was to really help women create a ritual with themselves, connect with themselves, and just build that love and care. Then I also noticed that the level prices really filter out a lot of women and that’s counterproductive to my goals,” said Dr. Yang. “I hope to put out the videos [TCM facial treatment videos] absolutely do not use tools or use culinary tools [like spoons] so that women who can’t afford these things can feel part of the community.”

Right now, the most important thing for Dr. Yang is to educate consumers about the cultural appropriation that is rampant in most gua sha brands and to honor the practice’s origins.

“When I first launched, I knew that my tools were very expensive,” says Dr. Yang. “I told my entire community on social media that it meant more for them to read through my website and understand the message than to actually buy from me. And a lot of people messaged me. and say, ‘Hey, we might’ not be able to afford these, but we want you to know that we’ve read everything and we’ve heard when you have to say, ‘and that means both world to me.”

Shop some Yang Face Tools below

A woman resting with a Yang Face rose quartz under-eye mask.

Under-Eye Mask — $85.00

Apply your favorite serum or eye cream and then help it penetrate deeply by applying this rose quartz under-eye mask. The weight from the stones also helps to reduce swelling under the eyes, puffiness and dark circles.

Two gua shas on a heart shaped face.

Heart Pair — $75.00

These rose quartz heart-shaped gua sha tools are a fun twist on the traditional shape. She designed this heart shape because it’s perfect for gifts. “In China, they call it a peach shape, which I think is cute,” says Dr. Yang.

Double-ended rose quartz face roller with flower handle.

Flower Roller — $55.00

This double-ended flower roller is one of five face rollers available from Yang Face. There are also textured rollers for a deeper massage.

Two rose quartz face beaters.

Pounders Pair — $85.00

Dr. Yang says she likes to use beaters on her patients TMJ. “This is the best thing for me to really get to know my patients,” she says.

Two gua shas faceted with s-shaped rose gold.

S-shaped pair — $75.00

“S-shaped boards are slightly more advanced tools and require a bit more mechanical ease and familiarity with the tools,” says Dr. Yang. “But with more advanced tables, you can get more clinically advanced results. Those things are more for shaping, contouring, sculpting, that’s what people are really interested in.

Rose quartz vibrating instrument.

Eye Vibrator — $65.00

Dr. Yang originally created the Vibrating Eye Tool as a promotional gift, which was not included in the full line. But, people loved it so much, she kept it around. Plus, it’s good for… not just the skin under the eyes. “All my girlfriends use it for the vibrator,” says Dr. Yang. “They’re like ‘okay, we don’t use this on the face.'”

A jade comb and scalp gua sha.

Gua Sha 2-in-1 Comb — $45.00

“The Gua Sha 2-in-1 comb is a way for me to get an item at a slightly more favorable price,” says Dr. Yang. It was the only item made from jade and not rose quartz. That’s because “jade is thicker and sturdier than quartz, so it will last longer when used on your scalp. And people love that.”

Full face rose quartz mask.

Full face mask — $325.00

“Masks are a really high-end luxury product that, to my surprise, actually sells well,” said Dr. Yang. “I just wanted something a little more unique, really eye-catching, striking, and also able to set a precedent for the luxury aspects of the line.”

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