skincare essentials dubai

Are Face Masks Essential for Skincare?

This is your Face Masks 101.

Face masks have been around for thousands of years. Cleopatra was known to use Dead Sea mud, and some Egyptians even used crocodile dung masks that allegedly gave a youthful appearance (thank goodness those days are over). But do you really need to add face masks to your skincare routine?

Here’s the Lowdown

Face masks are not completely necessary and will not dramatically improve your skin overnight. However, they can be beneficial in many other ways. They don’t offer long-term benefits, but can certainly offer short-term benefits such as reducing inflammation, oiliness, breakouts, skin tightening, and hydration. I recommend incorporating them once a week to continue improving your skin health and texture. If you have an event to attend, they are great for prepping your skin for an amazing glow!

More importantly, taking time out for yourself to put on your favourite face mask improves your mood and can be great for your mental health. You are more likely to do something relaxing while putting on a face mask such as taking a bath, watching a movie, or taking a nap. Who can say no to some good old self-care? 

Types of Masks

Sheet Masks 

These masks are usually filled with hyaluronic acid, green tea, and aloe vera to give your skin an extra boost of hydration, calm, and soothe.

Clay Masks 

Clay masks draw out impurities and usually contain kaolin, which is oil-absorbing and wound healing – great for oily/breakout-prone skin!

DIY Masks

Proceed with caution when doing DIY face masks. Avoid lemon juice and aspirin, and stick to more calming ingredients such as yoghurt and aloe vera as they are usually safe to use. Just be aware of any allergies you may have. If you like experimenting with at-home face masks, then definitely try this DIY mask!

I am a lover of multi-masking. My skin is dehydrated, oily, breakout-prone, and I have post-inflammatory skin pigmentation so I like to use two masks at once. You can even layer or sleep in some of these masks! Here are some of my favourites.

My Favourite Face Masks 

For Oily/Breakout-Prone Skin

Tri Biobotanical Revival Masque, Environ

Tri Biobotanical Revival Masque, Environ

I love the consistency of this mask – it’s creamy rather than clay, so if you want something a little richer, this one is a great choice as it gives amazing results.

Benefits: Hydrates, soothes, replenishes, and detoxifies skin

Contains: Lactic acid, salicylic acid, mandelic acid, and tea tree leaf oil 

Tip: This is a great multi-mask product. If you suffer from blackheads, I would recommend using this as a treatment in those areas and multi-mask with a different mask of your choice. This mask also contains lactic and mandelic acid, which are exfoliating ingredients known as AHAs, so I would avoid exfoliating beforehand as this could cause dryness/flakiness and irritation depending on your skin. 

Clarifying Clay Mineral Mask, ESPA 

Clarifying Clay Mineral Mask, ESPA 

This mask is great because it’s not only a face mask, but it’s also great for us as a spot treatment. If you have a pimple, but don’t want to apply the entire mask, you can just put some on the area and leave it on. It is non-drying so, unlike some clay masks, it won’t leave your skin feeling dry afterward. Plus, it’s surprisingly hydrating.

Benefits: Balances excess oils, purifies the skin, soothes, and hydrates

Contains: Rose geranium, kaolin, rose damascena, and marshmallow 

Tip: I would sleep in it when spot treating as it draws out the impurities and helps to reduce the size of the pimple and inflammation.

For Sensitive Skin or Hydration

Ultimate Recovery Bio-Cellulose Mask , Medik8

Ultimate Recovery Bio-Cellulose Mask , Medik8

Benefits: Decongests skin, clears breakouts, and reduces inflammation 

Contains: Hyaluronic acid, rockweed algae extract, and zinc 

Brightening Sheet Masque, ZO

Brightening Sheet Masque, ZO

This is a quick and easy mask to use, and is perfect for dehydrated skin, which makes it great for travel, especially on or after a flight due to the dehydration your skin goes through while flying.


  • Replenishes hydration and prevents water loss
  • Provides antioxidant benefits
  • Calms and soothes

Contains: Aloe vera, green tea, and panthenol

Tip: Both the Medik8 and ZO sheet masks can be put in the fridge for a cooling and soothing effect. This is especially great for sunburn or post-professional laser, micro-needling, or peel treatments (make sure to check with your practitioner first, though).

For Combating Ageing or Pigmentation

Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask, Elemis

Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask, Elemis

I love the cooling and light-tingling sensation of this mask, and this favourite is one that I always go back to.


  • Improves skins texture
  • Twice-weekly treatment targets uneven skin texture and light scarring
  • Reveals smoother, more radiant skin in less than 10 minutes

Contains: Amazonian acerola cherry, white truffle, and amino acids

Tip: This is a great post-holiday treatment to reduce dark spots and renew skin.


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How To Do Gua Sha Facial Massage Using Tools To Look Younger

Gentle, upward strokes

We wanted to share something that would help you relax a bit and indulge in some self-care at home. Let’s Gua Sha!


Gua Sha is an ancient technique used by Chinese practitioners to heal the skin. Back in the day, this technique was used quite vigorously for the whole body too. But, with time it has evolved into the modern Gua Sha technique which is very gentle on the skin and effective. This skincare routine gives astounding results by reducing the puffiness under your eyes, chiselling those cheekbones and giving you that perfect jawline along with a radiant glow on your face. And for all these wonderful things you just need one skincare tool: The Gua Sha.



A Gua Sha tool is a small flat crystal that is usually made up of either jade or rose quartz. These crystals have healing properties. An ideal Gua Sha tool should have at least two angles – a curved longer edge for targeting different parts of the face and neck and a V-shaped or a U-shaped edge for massaging eyebrows and under eyes. You can do some research and choose the one that you feel is right for you. Here are a couple of our favourite Gua Sha tools:


Before getting started with your Gua Sha facial massage, you will also need a hydrating spray, and a face oil or a facial serum (you can totally replace the oil with a moisturiser too). You can start prepping your skin by cleansing and washing your face and neck. Then, on a clean and freshly washed face and neck, spray a hydrating spray generously. Here are a few hydrating sprays The Gaggler team has tried and tested:


Facial Spray With Aloe, Sage And Orange Blossom, 8 Oz, PRP AED 79, available at glamazle.com

Cactus Flower And Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist, PRP AED 80, available at bloomingdales.com

After your skin has absorbed all that goodness, you need to apply an eye cream under your eyes and gently massage by lightly tapping and pressing it into your skin with the help of your ring finger. Using your ring finger is important here because it puts the least amount of pressure on the sensitive skin under your eyes. Here is one of our favourite eye creams:


Ultra-Hydrating Energy-Boosting Cream, PRP AED 149, available at sephora.ae

Now, you are going to take some facial oil or serum (or a moisturiser based on your preference) and start pressing that into your skin. Use upward motions while massaging as it will help in uplifting your skin, reducing wrinkles and toning your face evenly. The lubrication and hydration will help the Gua Sha tool glide on your skin smoothly and it will also avoid tugging and scraping your facial skin. This is important to avoid scratches and face burns. There are quite a few options for face oils and serums you can try for this application:


Travel C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil, PRP AED 161.98, available at revolve.com

Skin Care Oil, All Skin Types, 25 ml, PRP AED 22.64, available at firstcry.ae

Fabulous Face Oil, 25ml, PRP AED 225, available at bloomingdales.ae


Argan Oil

AED 75.00


Sweet Almond Oil

AED 75.00


Rose Pure Essential Oil

AED 125.00


Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil

AED 55.00


The most important thing to remember when starting to use the Gua Sha technique is to use upward and outward motions to massage the skin. The speed should be slow and mindful. Also, you can repeat the movement for 3 to 5 times before moving on to the next part of your face. As recommended, practising the technique daily by incorporating it in your morning skin care routine or your night-time skin care regime will help you see visible results in a short amount of time. Of course, you can do it twice or thrice a week too if your time is limited, visible results will take longer.

Hold the tool with your dominant hand and use the other hand to hold your skin for better support and also for monitoring the pull on the skin. Make sure you don’t tug or scrape your skin too much. Use light to medium pressure. You can get a little firm on the jawline, the chin and the neck. The tool should be placed almost flat against your skin. The lower the angle between the tool and your skin, the better it is. Let’s get started!

We are going to start with the neck first. Place your two fingers on your sternum between your collar bones. Then, use the long edge of the tool and start from the centre of your neck and move the tool firmly in an upward and outward motion towards the chin and wiggle it when you hit the bone. Now, place your fingers on your shoulder and using the long edge of the tool massage the side of your neck by scraping in an upward and outward fashion. When you hit the bone, just give the tool a wiggle. Repeat the same for the other side of the neck. You’ll feel the tension in your muscles getting released.

gua sha neck massage

Now, place two fingers on the centre of your chin and scrape the notched edge of the tool against your skin in an upwards and outwards manner following your jawline. When the tool reaches near your ear, wiggle it a bit. Use the same steps for the other side too.

gua sha jaw massage

Now, place two fingers on the centre of your upper lip line and using the long curved edge of the tool tuck it under your nose and sweep the tool upwards across your cheek until it touches the side of your face and then give it a wiggle. Moving further, place two fingers on one side of your nose and stroke the long side of the tool at an angle in an upward fashion, starting from the side of the nose across your cheeks to the edge of your face and when you touch the bone on the edge of your face, wiggle the tool to massage. Perform the same by following your cheek bone to sculpt.  Repeat the same pattern for the other side.  

gua sha technique 4

Now, place your middle finger below the inner corner of the eye and use the notched edge to softly massage the under-eye area. Start from the inner corner of the eye where your finger is placed and then follow the socket bone and move the tool upwards gently at an angle until it reaches your hairline and then wiggle it. Moving ahead, place two fingers in the centre between your two eyebrows. Now, using that as a starting point, trace the eyebrows using the tool. When you reach the end of the eyebrow, tilt the tool upwards at an angle towards the hairline and when it reaches the hairline give it a wiggle. Perform the exact same process for the other side too.

gua sha undereye

Now, keeping the fingers at the same place in the centre between your eyebrows, using the longer edge of the tool, end with a few upward strokes on the forehead towards the hairline. When you reach the hairline, give the tool a wiggle and you’re done!

gua sha forehead massage

You’ll feel that your skin feels soft and plump now, your cheeks look a bit uplifted, your eyes look more open and you’re glowing from within! By incorporating Gua Sha facial massage 2-3 times a week, if not daily, you will start to see and feel a visible positive difference in your skin.

Frequently Questions

What is the disadvantage of Gua Sha?

Gua Sha, while generally safe and beneficial, has a few potential disadvantages to be aware of. Let’s begin with potential skin irritation. Excessive or aggressive scraping may lead to skin irritation, redness, or bruising. Some skin types are sensitive to touch and may need the use of gentle pressure. In this case, it’s best to avoid applying too much force. Breakouts and acne flare-ups is another outcome you may not want. Fact is, Gua Sha may aggravate active acne or sensitive skin, potentially causing breakouts or flare-ups. This brings us to the possibility of broken capillaries. Improper technique or excessive pressure can also lead to broken capillaries, especially in delicate facial areas such as around the eyes. Allergic reactions is another possibility in case of excessive scrubbing. Some folks may have allergic reactions to the oils or products used during Gua Sha. Patch testing and using hypoallergenic products can help minimize this risk.
It all boils down to misuse or improper technique. As you can see from the above, using Gua Sha without proper knowledge may lead to ineffective results or potential harm. It’s advisable to learn the correct technique from a trained practitioner or trusted source. Always apply gentle pressure, and monitor your skin’s reaction throughout the process.

How often should you use Gua Sha on your face?

Gua Sha is ideally used on the face 2-3 times a week. This frequency allows the skin to recover. It also prevents overstimulation which may cause harmful side effects. It’s important to strike a balance between benefiting from Gua Sha’s effects and giving your skin enough time to rest and rejuvenate between sessions.

What should my weekly Gua Sha routine look like?

A weekly Gua Sha routine can be incorporated into your skincare regimen to enhance its benefits. Here’s a suggested weekly routine:

  1. 2-3 times a week: Perform a full Gua Sha facial session with the right technique. We recommend that you spend 5-10 minutes on your face, using gentle pressure.
  2. Daily maintenance: On the days when you’re not performing a full Gua Sha session, you can still incorporate some light Gua Sha techniques as part of your daily skincare routine. This can be done by using the tool to gently massage your face for a few minutes, focusing on areas where tension tends to accumulate, like the jawline, temples, and forehead. This helps to promote circulation and lymphatic drainage.
  3. Assess skin sensitivity and adjust: Skin can have mood swings too! It’s all about observation of your skin before getting into the session. Pay attention to how your skin responds to the Gua Sha sessions. If you notice any irritation or sensitivity, reduce the frequency to once a week or try using lighter pressure. Sometimes less is more when it comes to Gua Sha. It’s important to adapt the routine to suit your unique skin needs.
  4. Combine with skincare products: Applying a facial oil or serum before using Gua Sha can provide lubrication and enhance the benefits. Choose products suited to your skin type and preferences. Gua Sha can help massage these products into the skin, improving their absorption.
  5. Regular cleaning of the tool: Clean your Gua Sha tool after each use, following the instruction manual that comes along or using a mild soap or cleanser. This ensures hygiene and prolongs the life of the tool.

Is it OK to use Gua Sha every day?

It is safe. But, there are some pretty important factors to consider when you want to incorporate this technique into your daily life. While some people may benefit from daily Gua Sha sessions, others might find it too stimulating for their skin. Bottom line: Daily Gua Sha sessions may be too much for your skin to handle. It’s best to start with 2-3 sessions per week and gradually increase the frequency if your skin tolerates it well. Also consider if you have an active breakout, sunburn, or other skin conditions. Then, it’s advisable to avoid Gua Sha until your skin has healed. Gua Sha involves massage and pressure, which can potentially aggravate certain skin conditions. We find that daily Gua Sha sessions could be time-consuming, from a schedule perspective, especially if you’re following a full routine. We also recommend that you pay attention to how your skin responds to daily Gua Sha. If you notice any signs of irritation, redness, or discomfort, it’s a sign to reduce the frequency or adjust the pressure. Everyone’s skin is different, so it’s important to listen and adapt to your skin’s needs.

You can start with a few times a week and gradually increase the frequency as long as your skin shows positive results and does not become irritated. Ultimately, it’s best to experiment and find what works best for your skin.

Pro tip for a great Gua Sha Ambience

Let’s talk about candle lit tranquility. Using candles while practicing Gua Sha can enhance the overall experience and create a soothing environment. The soft glow and flickering light of candles can help create a calming ambiance, promoting relaxation and mindfulness during your Gua Sha session. Additionally, our intention setting candles can contribute to the sensory experience by filling the air with pleasant aromas, further enhancing relaxation and promoting a spa-like atmosphere. Just make sure to place the candles in a safe and stable location, away from any flammable items, and never leave them unattended. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere as you indulge in your Gua Sha self-care routine.


Love Intention Candle

AED 45.00


Express Your Inner Child Intention Candle

AED 45.00


Abundance Intention Candle

AED 45.00


Dare To Dream Intention Candle

AED 45.00


Lunar Renewal Intention Candle

AED 45.00

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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