We put the Lanshin PRO to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
It wasn’t so long ago that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who knew what gua sha was. Fast forward to today, and both the word—and the practice—are fairly commonplace, particularly as it pertains to skincare. Case in point: Google gua sha tools and over 10 million results pop up. The traditional Eastern medicine practice involves using a special tool that you glide across your face and/or body. Gua sha is one of many modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy; “gua” means scraping and “sha” refers to the temporary redness that can appear on your skin during the process, explains Gudrun Snyder, Doctor of East Asian Medicine and founder of Moon Rabbit Acupuncture. “During facial gua sha, a tool is used to gently stroke the skin in upward and outward motions along the facial contours. The goal is to improve blood circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system, reduce puffiness, and encourage a healthy, radiant complexion,” she explains. (Unlike with gua sha on the body, however, a much gentler pressure is used so that “sha” or redness shouldn’t be a thing, more on that point in a moment.) Back to the point of the tool itself; as exhibited by our Google search, there is no shortage of options available, at quite literally every price point under the sun. The Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Facial Tool is one of the priciest of the bunch, though a Byrdie favorite (we actually deemed it the best overall gua sha tool out there). As someone who is a huge gua sha fan, I was curious to see if it lived up to the hype—and ultimately if it was worth the hefty price tag. So I took it for a test run, using it several times over the course of two weeks. Here, my experience and unfiltered thoughts.
About My Skin: Healthy, but prone to puffiness
Not to pat myself on the back, but my skin is in fairly good shape, all things considered (especially the fact that I’m in my mid-30s). I credit my lengthy career as a beauty editor, which has schooled me in the ways of regular sunscreen and retinoid use. And yes, I love me some Botox and filler, too—just as much as I love all things Eastern medicine-related, gua sha included. (What can I say, I find them to be complementary, rather than contradictory.) All that being said, I have a tendency to get puffy, fast, especially in my face. That’s part of how/why I started doing facial gua sha in the first place; I was intrigued by the claims that it could promote lymphatic drainage. One added game-changer as of late: I’m currently six months pregnant with twins, meaning that not only have my beloved injectables been put on pause, but also that my skincare routine has changed slightly and become slightly more minimal. Knock on wood, my skin has been holding pretty steady throughout this pregnancy, but I have noticed that said puffiness is much more easily exacerbated and that my complexion is a little more lackluster than usual. Maybe the third tri is when the pregnancy glow everyone talks about will finally kick in. (For those concerned, I confirmed with both my personal acupuncturist and Snyder that facial gua is safe during pregnancy, but as always, if you have concerns, check with your doctor.)
As mentioned, I’ve done facial gua sha on and off for years, and have tried many of the tools, both the ones you can get at the drugstore and the fancy ones. So when the Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Tool came across my desk, I was very excited to see how it stacked up.
The Design: High-quality materials and a unique shape
What stood out to me the most is the totally distinct shape of this tool, unlike any I’ve seen before. There’s a heart-shaped end, what the brand refers to as a ‘tapered waist’ (essentially another curved edge), and then two flat sides, one smooth and one serrated. Even at first glance I could tell that it would make it easy to reach all the different areas of the face, and Snyder agreed. “My initial reaction is that I love it!” she said, when I asked her to take a look at the tool. “The shape, with both serrated edges for the scalp and smooth edges for the rest of the face is very smart,” she says, also lauding it for the fact that it was designed by an acupuncturist.
And it’s not just the design that’s noteworthy. The Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Tool is made from Nephrite Jade, which is both gorgeous in appearance, and, according to Snyder, has functional benefits, too. “Stone tools made from jade have natural cooling properties. When the cool stone comes in contact with skin, it may reduce puffiness and provide a soothing sensation,” she explains. “And in TCM, jade is associated with balanced energy and promoting harmony.” Yes, please.
The Feel: Substantial and luxurious
To that point, the tool definitely has a nice weight and feel in your hand. It feels expensive and well-made; I also loved that it came with a little suede pouch to store it in and help protect it from getting banged around in my crowded bathroom drawer. This is why we love this tool as a gift, and it often tops our best beauty gift lists.
How to Use: Cleanse, prep, follow the protocol
Facial gua sha should be done on clean skin; you’ll also want to apply a face oil to help the tool glide smoothly without pulling or tugging. The one major caveat with gua sha is that it’s important to follow a particular pattern as you move it across the skin in order to reap the best results; upward and outward is the general rule of thumb, says Snyder. The Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Tool came with helpful instructions, though I found it way more helpful to watch the brand’s video tutorial. It’s not only extremely clear and detailed, it’s also oddly soothing and meditative, dare I say slightly ASMR-adjacent.
Over the course of my testing experience, I followed the complete protocol—which takes about 12-15 minutes—twice. The other times I tried it, I focused only on the areas that I wanted to target in terms of decreasing puffiness and increasing radiance: my jawline, cheekbones, and under eye areas. This was largely because I was short on time and felt that even a quickie session, two to three minutes total, spent on these spots was worth it. FYI, it’s very important to keep the pressure gentle as you move the tool across your face. The video tutorial is helpful in that sense, as it indicates where you can be slightly more firm (i.e. on your jaw muscle) and where you need to have an extra feather-light touch (like under your eyes.)
The Results: A great quick-fix that feels good
First and foremost, I LOVED the shape of this tool and how easy it made to get a perfect ‘fit’ in so many different areas. Also, maybe I just haven’t been doing gua sha properly, but following the brand’s protocol felt so good. I have a ton of tension in my neck and jaw and the relief I felt nearly instantly after gua sha-ing these areas was legit.
I’m well-experienced enough with gua sha that I know that while it definitely has benefits, it’s not some kind of miracle worker. It’s not going to drastically change your appearance, explains Snyder. In other words, I wasn’t expecting it to suddenly give me the snatched jawline of my dreams—and it didn’t. What it did do is help flush out some puffiness, even if temporarily, and definitely made my skin look healthier and glowier. And these are all things that Snyder says are very real benefits of facial gua sha: Relaxation of the facial muscles, improved blood circulation for a brighter complexion, and lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling and puffiness. While these all happen right away, they can also be cumulative over time, she points out. Once you’re used to the practice, it can be performed two to three times weekly, or even as often as daily, she says. (I did it every other day, give or take.)
To be fair, the effects were subtle enough that no one else would probably notice them. Rather, they fall into that category of effects that you can really see when you look in the mirror, even if no one else does. And I did notice that my skin looked generally better overall—even if I couldn’t pin-point the change *exactly* after my weeks of regular use.
The Value: Pricey, but worth it if you want to splurge
At $129, the Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Tool is definitely one of the more expensive gua sha tools out there. However, the unique design, which makes the process easier, and, in my opinion, more intuitive than ever, makes it worth the spend. The high-quality material further helps justify the price point for those who are willing and want to invest in a tool they’ll have for a long time.
Similar Products: You have options
While we have yet to see a tool that looks exactly like this, there are others that offer similar curved and serrated edges. The Supernal Cosmic Stone Xiyuan Jade Gua Sha Tool ($68) is one such pick that’s also made from jade. A slightly more basic (and cost-effective) choice is the Skin Gym Jade Gua Sha Facial Beauty Tool ($32), which boasts some nice curves, though lacks the jagged edges.
Facial gua sha isn’t going to entirely change the look of your skin or face, but it definitely has a place when it comes to helping temporarily de-puff and boost radiance, not to mention that it just feels darn good at the end of day. There are lots of tools out there to try, but the Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Tool offers a unique design—and comes with a very helpful and easy to follow protocol—that can make DIY gua-sha easier than ever.