Natural Synergy

A look behind the Kjaer Weis x Lanshin collaboration with noted skincare expert Sandra Lanshin Chiu, LAc

Makeup, in our opinion, is all the better when what’s underneath is well-cared for and in good health. So it was only natural to team up with Sandra Lanshin Chiu, founder of Lanshin, on a series of videos introducing Facial Gua Sha - an ancient technique that’s getting a lot of buzz lately because of its incredible skin-rejuvenating properties. This surprisingly easy to do daily ritual enhances the benefits of natural skincare and preps skin for makeup.

A clay tagine cooking on coals

Sandra portrait SEPT2019

A licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist, Sandra is a leading expert on Facial Gua Sha, a version of the ancient Chinese Medicine technique Gua Sha. Facial Gua Sha boosts skin health and tissue function, for an immediate radiant glow, improved texture, and a more contoured, lifted look.

Here we talk all things Gua Sha with top practitioner Sandra Lanshin Chiu. Plus we discuss the special collaboration between Kjaer Weis and Sandra to create our one-of-a-kind Mookaite crystal Gua Sha tool—now available for a limited time!

Magasinet: Kirsten likes to think of Kjaer Weis as a natural option for makeup, and Facial Gua Sha as a natural alternative for cosmetic fillers. What do you see as parallels between Kjaer Weis products and Facial Gua Sha? Especially in terms of energy and health?

Sandra Lanshin Chiu: Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that physical beauty is the natural result of having a strong and healthy life force (“Qi”) in the body. My work with skin health is about amplifying and restoring that energy so that it can radiate through to the surface. The gentle and soothing strokes of Facial Gua Sha release muscle and tissue tension in the face and neck, and increase blood perfusion to the skin surface. This creates a dramatic improvement in the circulation of blood, lymph, and energy along with restoring a youthful shape to facial features, for example, the jawline. Many people think that procedures like fillers or Botox are the only way to change one’s appearance. In TCM, we know and practice that releasing the accumulation of facial and neck tension, as well as improving circulation in our skin also creates a more youthful visage, and for some, the difference can be quite dramatic.

The Kjaer Weis philosophy focuses on enhancing natural beauty, not covering it up. To paraphrase Kirsten, “Makeup shouldn’t mask the skin, it should amplify its natural beauty.” In that way, I feel that Kjaer Weis products and Facial Gua Sha have perfect synergy.

M: When were you first exposed to Facial Gua Sha, and how long has it been part of your practice?

SLC: Facial Gua Sha is derived from general Gua Sha practice, which is largely performed on the body. I learned about it almost 20 years ago, when I was first studying to become an Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist – it’s part of the extensive Traditional Chinese Medicine education.

About 4 years ago, I was introduced to the more gentle facial version of Gua Sha by Dr. Ping Zhang, a teacher of Chinese Medicine. Dr. Zhang was trained in the technique when she practiced in China.

M: How often should Facial Gua Sha be practiced? How long does it take to see results?

SLC: It’s been my experience that natural skincare and rejuvenation practices can achieve outstanding cosmetic results. Facial Gua Sha requires daily or weekly practice to maintain results, but the difference it makes is immediate. One of my goals, as I continue working with like-minded partners, is to develop powerful, scientifically-based, natural techniques as exciting alternatives for everyone interested in skin health and well-aging.

M: Do you have other recommendations for natural facial maintenance?

SLC: Proper hydration is key! My go-to protocol is to apply a fluid and an oil in 2 steps. Think of it as the deconstructed components of skin cream. My instructional video on IGTV goes into greater detail, but the gist of it is that hydration isn’t only about the products, but also how you apply them. Facial Gua Sha is invaluable for skin health and amplifying the benefits of quality skincare products; it really helps to create a healthy, hydrated canvas for makeup.

I also recommend "face training,” known as "face yoga" or "face exercise.” It’s a practice specifically designed for working our facial muscles. It strengthens and tones facial muscles, which helps maintain many of the benefits of Facial Gua Sha. I love Koko Hayashi, we’ve collaborated in the past!

I personally designed the shape of the Mookaite stone tool so that people of all experience levels can use it with ease and achieve results. The edges are carved to fit the curves of both the face and body in order to allow good tool-to-skin contact, essential for proper Facial Gua Sha.

Sandra Lanshin Chiu is a licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, and the founder of Lanshin. In practice for over a decade, Sandra now focuses on skin rejuvenation and treating skin disorders through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine, transforming the way we approach skincare.