Lift and sparkle: 001 Skincare’s new facial treats


Gua sha - pronounced ‘gwar shar’ – is one of the most important new phrases on the beauty block. Because learning the principles of this ancient Chinese skin therapy means you can give yourself a brightening face-lift any time, any place. (Not to mention reinvigorating your skin top to toe if you carry on downwards.)

What we’d really like you to do is watch the wonderful Ada Ooi’s little film, ‘Gua Sha & Me’, about how she came to incorporate the principles of this tool, much used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), into her legendary facials.

However, since you might be reading this on top of a bus or in a rush, here are the headlines – but please do make time to sit and watch the film and Ada’s tutorials too. Her knowledge is awe-inspiring.

The UK, especially London, is home to some truly wonderful facialists and the hugely gifted Ada is right up at the top, as her client list of celebrities and the royal family attests. (She’s far too discreet to give away any names but Jo raves about her treatment in Ada’s ‘magic’ hands.)

In Asia, it’s pretty routine to have a facial every fortnight but here time and budget, let alone a culture where facials are often considered a special event, make that unlikely to happen. Now, however, we can all have a slice of Ada’s face-transforming skill.

Ada grew up watching her pharmacist grandfather combining Western medicines with remedies taken from the principles of TCM, including gua sha. Later she trained in TCM and aromatherapy and established a reputation for formulating stellar products as well as her facials. Her de-puffing beauty device Eyecicle won a Gold Award in the 2017 Beauty Bible Awards, by the way, for its effective tightening, brightening and smoothing of the skin round the eye area.

On September 2nd, 2019, Ada launched her gorgeously luxurious, natural facial oil, called VA Repair & Reglow TCM-Warming Concentrate. This warming formula is based on cherry kernel oil, rich in skin-nourishing vitamin A, laced with vitamin E and essential oils of benzoin, frankincense and juniper berry.

The oil is wonderful in its own right, and perfect for post-summer parched skin. But combine the product with Ada’s microSculptor™ No.3 THE THREE SLOPES (see picture above) and something magical happens. This satisfyingly tactile piece of hand-carved and polished Bian stone can be heated or cooled before you use it, for maximum effect.

So – using the microSculptor™. Ada explains that gua sha means ‘scraping skin’ and at its most basic that’s what happens. But this is a sophisticated device and the three slopes, or sides, are designed to be used in slightly different ways to treat different parts of the face from your jawline via your nose and cheekbones to your eyes and forehead. There are clear directions in the accompanying leaflet and also Ada’s tutorial here

For the best results, don’t skimp! Like everything else you need to do it regularly, once or twice a week.  And that diligence will pay off in terms of helping to smooth wrinkles, improve skin tone and texture, and firm contours as well as reducing the bête noire of many readers – dark circles and puffiness around the eye area.

It may feel a bit complicated at first but trust us, we have come to love the ritual of applying the fragrant oil and treating our faces to a session of gua sha – it feels so invigorating and we are always amazed at the really rather miraculous results in terms of brighter skin and more shapely contours.

Finally, big tick to all of you who spotted the name link between Ada Ooi and 001 Skincare – it took us more than a few moments…!


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Jo Fairley and Sarah Stacey