As Jasmine Hemsley launches her own Ayurvedic kansa wand, we find out if the hottest new facial massage tool – promising to sculpt cheeks, combat tension, soften wrinkles and help you sleep – lives up to the hype
From jade rollers to gua sha and Ice Globes , you'll find a facial massage tool on every skincare supremo's bedside cabinet. The latest 'It' tool to get insiders excited? The kansa wand – a traditional wooden device for the face, scalp and body that has the approval of author and eco wellness advocate Jasmine Hemsley , no less.
While jade rollers and gua sha have their origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the unique dome-shaped kansa wand is rooted in Ayurveda , with a 5000-year-long history, meaning it pre-dates both of these. This ancient holistic system originates in India and promotes balance between body and mind, based on your constitutional type or 'dosha'. Jasmine lives by many of Ayurveda's principles such as tongue cleaning with her a copper 'Tongue Tingler'. (If you want an accessible introduction to Ayurveda and some delicious recipes, her book East by West, Simple Recipes for Ultimate Mind-Body Balance £15.74 is highly recommended).
The kansa wand is said to offer a whole medley of benefits from stimulating Marma points (energy points similar to acupressure points) and boosting lymphatic drainage to ironing out tension wrinkles, softening tight brows and jaw muscles. No wonder Ayurveda devotee Jasmine has created her own version – her East by West Kansa Wand , £45, that she dubs "the wand to wind you down."
It's one of a clutch of kansa wand tools by luxury Ayurvedic brands to make waves in that market. British brand Ilody launched the Ilody Kansa Wand , £69 earlier this year. Meanwhile Ranvat 's Kansa Wand, £70 is sold on Cultbeauty.
Mauli Rituals Tension Release Massage Body Massage Dome Tool, £64 at Net-A-Porter is a kansa wand in all but name. It's slightly bigger and designed for the body.
So can the kansa wand really out-trump the gua sha's sculpting, firming and glow-boosting benefits? Get The Gloss editorial director Victoria Woodhall sat down for an Instagram 'facial-a-long' with Jasmine to find out.
What is a kansa wand?
At first glance, a kansa wand looks like a simple massage tool complete with a wooden handle and dome-shaped metal head. But it's the materials it comprises that make this traditional tool particularly special, according to ancient belief.
The handle is made of teak, while the polished metal head is made from bronze or 'kansa' in Sanskrit, the ancient language of Ayurveda. This copper/tin alloy is naturally anti-microbial and is considered more sacred and healing than gold or silver sacred in Ayurveda, says Jasmine.
Image: Nick Hopper
"Copper is an absolutely essential mineral inside our body, " says Jasmine. "We don't necessarily know about it like we do zinc and magnesium, because we tend not to be deficient in it. But copper is fantastic on the skin. It's great for scars and even helping to create collagen,' she says.
Although clinical research into the topical application of copper is limited, and we don't know if a copper wand can transfer the benefits of the metal to the skin, there is some scientific evidence to support the use of copper peptides in skincare. According to a paper published in 2018, one copper peptide was shown to boost the production of collagen and elastin, accelerate wound healing, improve regeneration of the skin and stimulate hair growth.
How do you use a kansa wand?
Jasmine advocates using the wand daily, with just three minutes before bed promising to "change your sleep entirely" thanks to its tension-busting prowess.
"It's really important your skin is clean first," explains Jasmine, as the wand will push whatever is on your skin in deeper. Then, apply a quality oil or serum and work the kansa wand over your skin using small circular clockwise movements.
You then need to apply an oil to give the tool, which you hold like a pencil, some slip.
Jasmine starts around her eyes then gently moves the tool down her neck to promote lymphatic drainage before sweeping it across the centre of her face outwards.
"At first it feels very cooling but that will soon go as the head starts to warm up your body," she comments.
Next, she dials up the pressure and "freestyles" her wand around the back and sides of her neck, and towards her shoulders. She moves onto her forehead – an area that really made Jasmine fall in love with the kansa wand, she says as she uses it to banish "crunchiness" and tension.
The next part of a kansa facial involves stimulating the body's Marma energy points. There are 37 in the head, face and neck alone. The wand comes with a QR code link to show you where to target. You can also use it around the temples and along the hairline and scalp – in fact, Jasmine has incorporated the tool in her own new Ayurveda-inspired Hari's x Jasmine Hemsley treatment menu for Hari's hair salons across London.
Image: Nick Hopper
What are the best face oils to use with a kansa wand?
It's all dependent on your Ayurvedic type (also known as dosha or mind-body type) although you want something with plenty of slip to avoid dragging the skin with the wand, explains Jasmine.
"Ayurveda would recommend someone like me, a Vata type with drier skin, uses a heavier oil. Someone with more luscious skin, like an oilier Kapha type, needs a lighter oil; and a sensitive-skinned Pita type needs a very soothing cooling oil," she says.
Jasmine likes Twelve Beauty Ideal Moisture Level Serum , £52. If you're on a budget, Garnier Organic Restoring Hemp Multi Restore Sleeping Oil , £11.99, gets her seal of approval and Fushi Organic Sweet Almond Oil , £12, is one of her top picks for body.
For hair, she suggests Triveda Healthy Hair Oil , £10.50. Victoria enjoyed using her wand with De Mamiel Autumn Facial Oil , £80. To clean your kansa wand, Jasmine advises using a mild Castile soap and wiping with a soft cloth.
What are the benefits of a kansa wand vs gua sha and jade rollers?
Aside from the Ayurvedic beliefs surrounding its bronze head, the basic firming and de-puffing action of all three massage tools is much the same. That said, the kansa wand's unique design gives it some advantages. It's intuitive to hold, doesn't smash like stone gua sha if you drop it on a hard floor and unlike jade rollers,s which can sometimes come out of their clasps, it's really robust. According to Jasmine, the metal head helps to massage and create a glow in the skin with less effort required than gua sha.
Unlike some massage tools, kansa wands can easily be used on other parts of the body, too, including the shoulders and feet. In India, kansa wands come in larger sizes for bigger areas too. Jasmine says her daily kansa massage has helped her own issues with ' tech neck ' pain.
So, did GTG's Victoria notice any difference following Jasmine's facial demo of the wand?
"I'm a huge gua sha fan. I have the biggest collection of jade and quartz Beauty Restorers from the Hayou Method . The kansa wand is an altogether different feel and I'm happy to use both. While jade is naturally cooling, and I love putting the stone flat on my cheeks and eyebags to depuff, the kansa wand feels warms and smooth, more like a lovely massage. I found it much more overtly relaxing at bedtime. It's particularly good if you want someone else to do your neck, back and shoulders - especially if they have long nails or thumbs that dig in. Oil up and hand them this!"