“While new ingredient developments are important, there is so much we can learn from our forbears,” writes natural beauty guru Imelda Burke in The Nature of Beauty: Organic Skincare, Botanical Beauty Rituals and Clean Cosmetics, a beauty bible for anyone interested in natural skincare. Designed to help you “question the industry of being beautiful without being a beauty counter bore,” Burke’s book describes how, when mass production took off we became sidetracked by glossy advertising and the allure of the new. “We have been taught to dismiss tradition, and seek out the ‘straight-out-of-a-lab,” she wrote back in 2016. But some of the world’s worst-kept beauty secrets weren’t conjured up in sterile laboratories, they were passed on from generation to generation. The latest addition to Glasshouse Shop is one such product you’d be happy to inherit from your grandparents.
Gua Sha is an ancient massage technique which first originated in China and has quickly become a morning ritual around the world thanks to its ability to keep puffy eyes at bay, disperse tension headaches and relieve muscle tension. We spoke to Guy Morgan about this new addition to his range and how and why you should be starting your day with this ancient practice.
“Gua Sha is for anyone wishing to enhance their self care rituals,” explains Morgan. Inspired by the curvaceous sculptural forms of Barbara Hepworth, the stone itself is 100% A-grade White Nephrite Jade, non-chemically treated, and mined in China. “I wanted to create something that was versatile enough to be used on both the face and body. The ridged side is ideal for use on the scalp while the stone’s flat side is great for larger areas of the body and the curved pointy end is designed to follow the facial contours.”
Unlike jade rollers, which traditionally have a handle, the Gua Sha stone is designed to be held in the hand as this creates a deeper connection with your body, allowing you to incorporate some “intuitive flow into your self care,” says Morgan. Pair with Guy Morgan’s ultra-nourishing Flower of the Five Wounds sensitive balm and your skin will thank you forever.
Like anything that is propelled to the trend section of magazines, there will be a flurry of cheap knockoffs to choose from. As well as a too-good-to-be-true-price, imitation rollers will feel warm to touch and are often covered in chemical coatings made to look like jade. “In an age of bargain basement jade rollers of dubious quality, I wanted to respond with a return to fine craftsmanship. It was important for me to honour the ancient teachings of the traditional Gua Sha craftspeople of China.”
The Jade was mined in China and hewn by the craftsfolk of Beiyang Village, where all employees are fairly compensated and work to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) guidelines and regulations. In addition, Guy assures us that the mines are strictly monitored and undergo regular inspections.
Taking your beauty routine back to its ancestral roots isn’t just beneficial for your skin and hair, it can also help the communities where these practices originate from. Discover the ancient benefits of this traditional skincare tool yourself by giving Guy Morgan's Gua Sha a go in your skincare routine.
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