Old-school beauty tools that are making a comeback

What’s old is new again, with more and more of us rediscovering the beauty of skincare tools that were popular decades and even centuries ago.

Nowadays, there is a state-of-the-art device for every skincare concern imaginable – but that doesn’t necessarily mean modern beauty tools are any better than their old-school equivalents.

Sydney beauty expert Jocelyn Petroni considers “traditional” skincare tools a vital part of her skincare treatments.

“Innovation and technology is not just about machines, it’s about science and how we use that to better understand our skin,” she says.

“The more we research the skin, the more we understand the value of traditional skin treatments and methodologies.”

Gua sha and facial rollers

Stemming from ancient China and designed to help improve circulation, these facial tools are among the oldest beauty tools still used today.

Gua shas and jade facial rollers can help de-puff the face and reduce water retention.

“Gua shas and facial rollers definitely have their place in skincare and are very beneficial when incorporated into your skincare regime,” says Jocelyn.

“They’re good for lymphatic drainage, but you can also do this with your cleanser by working in the direction that the lymphatic system naturally flows, which involves working from under the chin, down the neck, towards the heart and the centre line of the face out to the ears.”

Dr Lamees Hamdan, founder of skincare company Shiffa, is a fan of jade facial rollers.

“I believe in the positive anti-aging effects of a good facial lymphatic drainage massage and a roller helps you achieve the benefits of a lymphatic massage without having to go to a spa,” says Dr Hamdan.

“Jade rolling stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage to the face and also contours the facial muscles. It helps with reducing fine lines, wrinkles and tightens the pores.”

Dr Hamdan says the main difference jade rolling is mainly a lymphatic drainage massage that is great for puffiness, while gua sha is a fascial-release massage – like foam rolling, but for your face.

How to use gua sha and facial rollers:

“Gua sha needs a well-oiled face and I like doing it at night after I apply my skincare products,” says Dr Hamdan.

“Jade rolling can be done on a clean, moisturised face. I do that in the morning because it helps with puffiness especially under the eye. Aim to do this at least three times a week.”

Muslin cloths

Muslin cloths are pieces of intricately woven cotton that most likely originated in ancient India.

Once considered a luxury fabric, it’s now mass produced for a broad range of items, from clothing to wrapping Christmas puddings.

However, its use in skincare is a more recent phenomenon.

How to use muslin cloths for skincare:

Because of its superfine, woven structure, muslin cloths are great for lifting and removing dirt and make-up.

Since they’re machine-washable, they’re also perfectly reusable, which makes for a sustainable alternative to facial cleansing wipes.

They can also be used in hot cloth cleansing, which involves soaking a muslin cloth in hot water to open pores and better lift dirt off the surface.

However there’s some evidence that steaming and applying concentrated heat to the face isn’t good for you and can cause broken capillaries.

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How to make the most of one facial towel without worrying about bacteria ? . I’ve found this is the easiest way to make the most out of one muslin cloth vs using a new one per cleanse. This also prevents using the same facial towel multiple times which often leads to blemishes from the bacteria that builds up. . This cotton muslin in particular is 22 inches in length and 14 inches wide. It’s the perfect length to get 6 uses per week. I only use a hands width amount of the cloth daily, which also helps me remember which part of the cloth has been used. . This may not work for everyone but I absolutely love it. Makes my cleansing routine a bit easier and saves me from doing extra laundry ? ?. . . . #cleansingtip #facialcloth #muslincloth #skincaretip #minimalistskincare #ecofriendlytip #skincarespecialist #loveforskin #mindbodysoulconnection #healfromwithin #londonfacialist #londonfacial #northlondon #highbury #islington #blackstockroad #stokenewington #finsburypark #londonwellness

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Gel eye masks

No, we’re not talking about gel-based eye mask formulations, but rather those comical-looking eye masks filled with gel.

Popular in the 1990s, they’re gaining a resurgence because despite looking silly, they can be incredibly effective at reducing puffiness in the eye area.

Another reason they’ve regained popularity is because they are reusable.

How to use gel eye masks:

They work most effectively warmed up with lukewarm water, but nothing too hot as the skin around the eyes is incredibly sensitive.

You can also freeze them to help de-puff the eye area, but don’t leave it on the delicate skin too long.


Initially a treatment for acne in the 1970s, dermaplaning has come a long way since then.

The process involves using a specially designed electric blade to superficially exfoliate the skin while removing vellus hairs (AKA peach fuzz) on the skin’s surface.

Not only does the treatment result in a fuzz-free face, it is also said to improve the skin’s surface and overall texture.

While the process sounds similar to dermabrasion, they’re actually different resurfacing treatments.

In dermabrasion, the operator uses a high-speed rotation brush to remove the top layer of skin.

Both can be used on the whole face or a small section.

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Written by Charlotte Brundrett.