Gua Sha vs. Facial Roller – Which is Right for You?

At-home facial massage and facial stimulation has become the hottest new skincare trend in the Western world. But, the practices have actually been used for centuries by the Ancient Chinese. 

So – what exactly is the difference between gua sha and facial rolling? Let’s dive into what each tool is before examining the unique differences.

What is a Gua Sha tool? 

In Chinese,“gua” means scape and “sha” means sand. When put together, the term “Gua Sha” refers to a uniquely shaped flat tool that’s used for skincare purposes. This tool is usually crafted out of metal or gemstone material.

Traditionally, a gua sha tool is used in a light scraping motion with steady upward strokes.

Gua sha tools have been used as a part of traditional East Asian and Chinese medicine and boast some dramatic results for users over time.

Gua sha skincare facial massage detoxification spring beauty tools beauty traditional chinese medicine

The benefits of Gua Sha include:

  • Relaxation of stiff muscles
  • Promotion of lymph and tissue drainage
  • To encourage facial skin stimulation and circulation
  • Prevents puffiness, fine lines, and dull skin appearance
  • For sculpting and contouring of the facial skin over time
  • Enhances the delivery of fresh oxygen and nutrients to various tissues throughout the body
  • Can help penetration of topical skincare products 
woman using gua sha tool for facial massage

Want to learn more about how to give yourself a Gua Sha massage?Check out our Free Flow Botanicals Gua Sha massage guide.

What is a facial rolling tool?

Facial rolling is also an ancient Chinese skincare practice that is said todate as far back as the 7th century! Constructed with a crystal-based material, facial rollers were touted at the time for their holistic health benefits.

Today, facial rollers are traditionally constructed using jade, rose quartz, amethyst or other types of crystals.

The purpose of a face rolling tool is to lightly stimulate the skin’s surface and to help with the application of topical skincare products.

facial roller set

The benefits of facial rolling include:

  • Gently decrease puffiness of the facial skin
  • Boost absorption of topical skincare products
  • Achieve a healthy glow by stimulating better circulation
  • Warm your roller slightly for varied effects on the skin
  • Promotes time spent on self-care and relaxation

Key Differences between Gua Sha and Facial Rollers

As seen in the lists above, some benefits of gua sha and facial rolling do overlap.

However, there are some differences that may help you choose the product that’s right for your personal skincare and holistic health needs.

rose quartz gua sha tool set

A Gua Sha tool may be right for you if:

  • You’re looking for a well-sculpted look
  • You want to focus especially in the jawline and cheekbone areas
  • You’re ready to commit to a long-term process and benefits
  • You are willing to learn specialized techniques and massage patterns
facial roller on face massage

A Facial Roller may be right for you if:

  • You’re wanting faster results with less commitment 
  • You want a new habit to soothe, relax, and calm yourself 
  • You already have a complex skincare routine that includes several products
  • You’re less concerned about sculpting, puffiness, and lymphatic drainage

Bestselling Free Flow Botanicals Facial Massage Products

Amethyst Gua Sha Tool ($40 USD):This luxurious gua sha tool looks out of this world with its unique aesthetics. 

amethyst gua sha set

Crafted from amethyst, this balancing gua sha tool is meant to bring the benefits of gua sha in addition to helping one to develop insight, intuition, and a calm & peaceful state of mind.

Clear Quartz Facial Roller ($40 USD): A facial roller that combines simplicity with elegance. This facial roller is crafted from clear quartz, a master healing crystal that helps to balance and revitalize your body, mind, and spirit. 

clear quartz facial roller

Clear Quartz evokes feelings of clarity, harmony, and calmness. Use it as you apply your topical skincare products and elevate your morning or evening routine!

Nourish Facial Oil ($48 USD):Both gua sha and facial roller tools are best used with an oil or lightweight skincare product. Our Nourish Facial Oil is designed to be light but deeply moisturizing. 

facial roller gua sha with nourish facial oil set

This oil is best for those who have dry, sensitive, mature, or environmentally damaged skin. Delicate scents of jasmine and geranium combine to provide a blissful spa-like experience. 


Don’t get us wrong, any time that you take for yourself and your holistic skincare routine is time well spent!

The difference between gua sha and facial rolling may seem minimal but you want to make sure that you’re choosing the tool that’s right for you. 

Both tools are designed to destress, relax, and stimulate tired muscles. They’re also both great ways to encourage a healthy glow and don’t require a ton of additional topical skincare products, invasive rejuvenation methods, or chemicals. 

Don’t forget to examine your entire lifestyle from a health-conscious perspective to see what other ways your skin may be able to benefit from some changes.

Diet, sleep, and an active lifestyle are all vital pieces to keeping that youthful glow both inside and out!

So, which tool are you choosing? A beautiful gua sha tool? Or a stunning facial roller? Comment below!


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1 Response

Karen O'Rourke

Karen O'Rourke

July 18, 2022

I alternate between the gua sha and the roller. One night I use gua sha and the next night I use the roller. Definitely makes a difference in the way my skin looks.

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