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Using Holistic Tools to Up Your Masking Game

Masking is a favorite with students and instructors alike at the Euro Institute. There are so many different types and the high concentration of active ingredients means they act quickly and results are visible almost immediately. This week’s post from Shawna Rocha, owner of Awaken Day Spa in California and Washington and specialist in sensitive skin and holistic skincare therapies, discusses the benefits of using facial tools to take your masking treatments to a new level and, as always, help your clients achieve glowing skin!


Masking is definitely a given in any facial treatment. Masks have a higher concentration of active ingredients that are needed to improve skin’s health. Face masks can help deliver moisture to dry or dehydrated skin, use hydroxy acids to remove dead skin cells, remove excess oil, clear clogged pores, reduce large pores, improve skin texture, help with aging skin, but most importantly, masks help deliver glowing skin. Adding holistic tools to any mask is a great way to take your client’s treatment to a new level.

Facial tools are skin care devices that help improve the effectiveness of skin care products. They help products penetrate better, improve circulation, relax facial muscles, reduce wrinkles, tone skin and more. Using tools and devices during treatments can also help increase the price of services and retail sales.

Types include:

Facial Rollers: Facial rollers are the most popular of all tools in the treatment room due to their simplicity and affordability. They are easy to use, offer many benefits, and work great over most mask types. They are usually cool to the touch, making the rolling experience soothing and refreshing. Everyone can appreciate the ease and efficacy of this double-sided tool. The larger of the two ends is great for rolling along areas such as the jawline and neck. The smaller side can be used to combat puffiness under the eyes or minimize the look of pores around the nose.

Many of these tools come in a variety of gemstones. Regardless of which gemstone is chosen for the facial roller, there are benefits of using these massaging devices regularly. Studies show that rolling the face for five minutes daily can stimulate blood flow, increase lymphatic drainage, aid in deeper penetration of skin care products, ease muscle tension and provide a mild skin toning effect. Facial rolling is also a great way to relieve stress and relax facial muscles.

Gua Sha: Gua sha is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that uses a tool, such as a stone, and runs it over the skin to break up tension due to stagnation from water retention, muscle tightness or other congestion. Not only do they feel cool and soothing, they can also help boost lymphatic drainage to reduce puffiness and inflammation, instantaneously. Using gua sha long term can help stimulate collagen production to fill in fine lines and boost skin elasticity. There are many shapes, styles, sizes, and types of gua sha tools to choose from. Always try to find ones that fit comfortably in the hand and can be maneuvered with ease across the skin. No matter what type of tool is chosen, the benefits are all the same.

Gua Sha Spoon: The gua sha spoon deserves a shout out all on its own. While this obviously looks different than most other gua sha tools, the spoon-like shape is a favorite to use around the eyes. One can easily target puffiness around the inner eye, swelling under the eye, laugh lines and nasal ridges. Along with the rounded edge, however, there’s also a flat edge, so it can still do double-duty for the more standard scraping or gliding motions on the cheeks, forehead, jawline, and neck.

This tool can be used most easily with thicker eye masks or creams and gel-type masks, as it is important to have continual movement and not drag on the skin.

Gemstone Mushrooms: Mushrooms are in a class by themselves. Gemstone mushrooms can help apply and penetrate products, be used as a pressure point tool, and be gracefully used for facial massage. Of course, these come in different colors and gemstones, too. So, just pick a favorite. The shape of this tool is very smooth, but the mushroom-shape has a curve in the middle, which can be convenient for the user to grasp. For clients with bags and inflammation under the eyes, gemstone mushrooms are absolutely great.

The eye area can be massaged with the mushroom scraping tool to reduce puffiness and effectively remove wrinkles, fine lines, and dark circles. It can be used on the neck to reduce neck circles and promote lymphatic circulation in the neck area to keep the body and mind healthy. Apply to cheeks to get a perfect jawline and contour. These are also great to help target acupressure points in the face.

Kansa Wand: The kansa wand has found renewed popularity in the last few years, especially on Instagram and other social media platforms. The ironic part is that it’s been used for centuries in Ayurvedic practice to balance the skin’s pH level as well as the doshas and chakras. It’s designed to stimulate blood flow, encourage lymphatic drainage, drain toxins, and sculpt the facial muscles. It also helps to reduce puffiness and increase blood circulation to the face. Even if you don’t believe in the Ayurvedic benefits, recent studies show that external application of copper assists in keeping a good balance of bacteria on the skin and can increase activity in the dermis, which can stimulate new skin cells. The kansa wand is also very relaxing if done in the proper motion on the face. It reduces stress and anxiety through its movements for calming, detoxifying, and soothing the skin. Some clients see more definition around the cheekbones and jawline as well.

Gemstone Mask: Gemstone facial or eye masks are making their way into facial treatments. They are a weighted, intricately handwoven pattern of stones that feature a cooling and calming design that can help minimize the look of dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles, as well as relieve sinus pressure. These masks can be made from a variety of gemstones and simply lay over the face or eyes.

The weighted face mask placed over another mask can soothe post-treatment redness and promote relaxation and reduce anxiety during a treatment.

Cryo Globes: Ice globes, cubes, wands, and facial sticks are fun-looking face massage tools. Depending on the brand, they can be also called cooling globes, ice balls, cryo globes, chilly spa globes, skin icing tools or cryo sticks. They can also come in cubes, wands, and sticks, but they all complete the same goal. Facial massage with these tools is great for reducing puffiness, refreshing tired skin, soothing inflammation, irritated skin and relieving tension or pain. Moreover, ice globes benefits also include relieving pain like headache, muscle tension, sinus pain, sunburn or skin irritation.

Additionally, ice globe facials help soothe and calm skin after harsh skin care procedures like extractions, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling, waxing or injections. These can be used at room temperature, cooled in a refrigerator or even frozen.

Ice Roller: Ice rollers stimulate the lymphatic system and massage the face to get rid of puffiness and toxins, stimulate blood flow and reduce muscle tension. Anything ‘cryo’ is anti-inflammatory, slows the effects of aging, speeds up healing and can stimulate collagen production. Ice rollers may also help constrict blood vessels, thus decreasing inflammation and reducing the appearance of broken capillaries.

Similar to gua sha tools, ice rollers help increase lymphatic drainage, just at a colder temperature. Work towards the outer edges of the face to aid lymphatic drainage and allow the body to flush out those toxins. It also works great for break outs, acne and inflammation, or those clients with sensitive or sensitized skin. The increased blood circulation and cold temperatures help to kick the skin’s natural defenses into reaction, calming any irritation, redness, or areas of sensitivity.

Mask Away! Overall, it is great to add any holistic tool over any mask. It feels awesome for the client, has many benefits for the skin and is not much extra work or time for the esthetician. The best part is that they can also be added on as a retail sale and treatment that the client can use at home to reduce inflammation, redness, increase toxin release and help with contouring the face.

Shawna Rocha is the owner of Awaken Day Spa in California and Washington. She loves helping clients with compromised and sensitive skin. Since becoming an esthetician, Rocha completed multiple advanced courses in Oncology Esthetics and Immuno-Esthetics, and she specialized in training in sensitive skin and holistic therapies. She holds several certifications, including one in NCEA and has become the director of education for Hale and Hush Skincare.


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