Until the 16th century, the ancient Greeks believed stones like clear quartz crystals—derived from the Greek word “krustullos,” meaning “ice”—were eternal pieces of heavenly rain. In ancient Egypt, crushed lapis lazuli stones, associated with the all-seeing ancient Egyptian sky goddess Isis, were said to have been placed upon the eyes of Cleopatra and other royalty to promote enlightenment. The use of flat jade stones on the skin in China can be traced back to the 7th century—a traditional practice still used in gua sha, where the skin is gently scraped to promote oxygenation and regeneration. Now, taking their cues from ancient healers, spas and natural beauty companies have developed products and treatments like facial rollers that take advantage of the timeless healing properties of quartz, jade, tourmaline, amethyst and other gemstones to improve blood circulation, boost collagen, eliminate toxins and aid in lymphatic drainage.
Crystal facial rollers, where various smooth oval crystals with dual ends are attached to a metal tool, is the latest gemstone beauty trend, receiving kudos from celebrities like Khloé Kardashian and Hilary Duff for its DIY beauty effects. “Since ancient times, crystals have been used by healers all over the world,” says Karina Sulzer, founder of the LA-based crystal skin care label Skin Gym, which has a line of all-natural gemstone skin rollers for home use. “The reason they are so popular now is because there wasn’t a natural tool out on the market that everyone can use.” Similar to gua sha, skin rollers “provide an invigorating facial massage which helps contour your facial muscles while relieving tensions in your muscles, as well getting your blood circulation going,” she says.
At Spa Montage Laguna Beach, the Seven Flower Ritual—a luxurious treatment where a soothing flower oil application is followed by a dried petal dusting and body buff—continues with a wrap and facial massage with crystals. While cocooned in warm clay, the therapist performs a facial massage with small blue opal or moon quartz stones that have been chilled on ice. While you’re in the warm wrap, the cool stones massage your face, “and it helps circulation, flushes stagnation, helps with blood flow and brightens the skin to make it radiant,” says Spa Montage Operations Manager Cherie Rodriguez. The crystals glide across the forehead, between the eyebrows to the third eye where the therapist pauses and rotates the stones, then moves under the cheekbones, to the temples where again she pauses and rotates, and then to the jaw, all of which “helps with the drainage of stagnant fluid,” Rodriguez says, adding that quartz, considered the master stone, is used in other treatments at the spa for cleansing and healing. “Moon quartz has opalite in it, giving it a beautiful, translucent appearance, with a cast that looks like blue light coming through a thin veil,” she says. “The moon quartz is said to be a stone of self-discovery, associated with finding your inner voice since it has that subtle blue tone, a color associated with the throat chakra. With crystals, you have a lot of energetic properties, and those drawn to this really love the connection in that way.”
By Justine Amodeo