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As much as I aspire to start each day like the beginning of a “Get Ready With Me” YouTube video—kicking off my covers with a burst of energy, making an iced matcha sans bleary eyes, and working through my skin-care routine with a pep in my step—the reality of my mornings is much slower. Dipping temperatures delay my emergence from the covers, and I apply my vitamin-C serum with one hand, the other firmly gripping my black coffee. Without a commute to the office, I have more time for myself in the morning, yet I struggle to really wake up

But as a Taurus, routine is something that keeps me grounded. And so I started thinking of extra steps I could add to my a.m. to decrease the likelihood of me crawling back under my duvet to sleep a few more minutes until I have to sign on for work. That’s when I found the Tool.

A stainless steel object made by the Nue Co. and shaped like an uppercase B, it weighs about as much as a roll of quarters. Inspired by the traditional Chinese medicine practice of gua sha, it’s used to “scrape” your skin—basically, pressing from the center of your face outward in repeated strokes. The benefits it promises? Visibly de-puffed skin in the short term and decreased inflammation in the long run. 

In quarantine, I’ve been separated from the jade roller I keep at my office desk and pull out whenever I feel a headache coming on. Gua sha, I knew, required a little more intention than lazily rolling an oval-shaped piece of quartz on my face. So I got the Tool for myself and started using it after I apply my moisturizer in the morning.

The stainless steel surface feels cool 24-7—it can be kept in the fridge, but its natural temperature makes that extra step unnecessary. Dragging it across my face, I felt myself start to wake up, at least a little more than I had when I just applied my products by hand. When I finished, my skin felt less stiff. Essentially, it’s the facial equivalent of doing that 15-minute yoga video you always tell yourself you’re going to do in the morning. The Nue Co. founder Jules Miller puts it simply, “There’s something very therapeutic about using a heavy, cool object on the skin.” 

While my sleep schedule might not render me a full-fledged morning person just yet, I’ve found a new way to put my best face first before any 10 a.m. meetings.

The Tool
The Tool, The Nue Co. ($42)

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