I’m no stranger to facials and skin treatments. My obsession with them started in high school, and for years I’ve entrusted my skincare to Jane Cowan at Pink Moon. So when an email arrived from Beth Griffing of All and One Acupuncture informing me of a new beauty trend involving facial sculpting with stones and herbs derived from ancient East Asian techniques, I jumped at the chance to experience it for myself. An all-natural alternative to cosmetic surgery, Botox, and injections, the Thai Herb and Jade Stone Facial involves a type of massage named Gua Sha that’s administered with a cooling jade stone. This technique—with the addition of a hot steamed Thai herbal compress—promises to help lift and firm skin, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and promote lymphatic drainage. I’m pretty lucky that, at almost 37 years young, I don’t really have many skin aging issues, thanks to my aforementioned obsession. I do, however, have that pesky line in between my eyebrows. Add sleep deprivation and stress, and that line gets deeper, making me appear mad and tired. Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of solving my problem with Botox, but I prefer natural products and techniques—so this new beauty trend seemed right up my alley.
One doesn’t realize just how much stress and tension is held in the muscles of the face and jaw until a qualified person works on them. Over the course of the hour-long treatment, I could actually feel my skin lifting, the tension in my muscles and jaw melting, and the toxins being flushed away.
Usually during a facial, the treatment focuses on various topical products to achieve different results, which sometimes can cause irritation. The Gua Sha massage and Thai compress, however, only rely on a neutral oil, a gentle pearl exfoliating powder, and the natural herbs in the compress; the main treatment is the massage itself, which is absolute HEAVEN. One doesn’t realize just how much stress and tension is held in the muscles of the face and jaw until a qualified person works on them. Over the course of the hour-long treatment, I could actually feel my skin lifting, the tension in my muscles and jaw melting, and the toxins being flushed away. And that pesky line? Gone!
The treatment was almost a month (and two fashion shows) ago, and the line has come back a little—but the overall effects of the treatment continue. At $110 per treatment, it’s not cheap, but compare that to the cost of injections, Botox, and other cosmetic procedures, and it’s a downright steal. Plus, no pain or downtime! While I’ll still be going to my much-trusted facialist for regular surface treatments, I’ll definitely be incorporating this new technique into my self-care routine.
Luckily, Griffing also offers classes that teach you this technique for just $50, and she includes the Gua Sha tool. The class is open to recipients of the treatments as well as those who would like to employ a more DIY approach. To learn more, visit allandone.com.
And now... an event!
Stockpiler, a creative community connector that works closely with early and mid-career artists to curate and produce events, will host a collaborative project at Alexa Stark Studio, Designers in Residence. Focusing on slow fashion, the residency will feature work from Alexa Stark, Veil & Valor, and Amy Yeung of Los Angeles’ Orenda Tribe. The designers will display pieces from their spring collections, each making a statement about slowing down the pace of fashion, using upcycled and small-batch materials, and creating seasonless garments that can be mixed and matched. Be sure to check out @stockpiler on Instagram for updates on studio hours for specific designers and events.