Manual Pick: Sonnet54 Gua Sha

by Hilda Nathalia Raina
30th August 2022
While a rigorous beauty routine appears to promise the cure for all skincare hiccups, in this Manual Pick, we slide back to the simplicity found in the age-old practice of traditional Chinese medicine which inspired Sonnet54’s stainless steel gua sha.

Chucked together with ‘trendy’ beauty products and their promise of quick results is the gua sha. Touting different beautifying properties like face-sculpting and smoothing wrinkles, the handheld tool arrived in multiple cuts of stones and crystals and peaked in popularity the past few years—only to be questioned as to why it hasn’t granted a sharp jawline after a week’s use.

Unlike the modern smooth-edged tools available today, gua sha or ‘skin scraping or rubbing’ was less for the face and more a body treatment. With a practice dating back to ancient traditional Chinese medicine, household items like a spoon, coin, or even animal bone were used to massage the skin until it’s red, signalling the release of tension in the body and at the same time stimulates circulation.

Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s Sonnet No.54, a poem that harps on how beauty comes from within, local skincare brand Sonnet54 taps into this history and reflects a more holistic and sustainable approach to beauty and health through their stainless steel tool.

Instead of narrowing its function to just another step in your beauty regimen, where the methodical strokes and cooling glides are reserved for the curve of one’s brow line or contour of one’s jaw, the team behind Sonnet54 seeks to restore the role of gua sha to also include the health-boosting benefits it was originally invented for. 

“We wanted to create a product that doesn’t just serve one function, but is long-lasting and could be used for multiple purposes. There are still a lot of misconceptions and scepticism when it comes to gua sha and its benefits, but we also want to address that it’s not a quick fix,” mused co-founder Christina Nursalim. 

For starters, depending on the applied intensity and edge used, targeting different pressure points in gentle motions can aid in lymph drainage, relieving insomnia and migraines, as well as debloating the belly and massaging muscle tension. While an increased pressure to the backside in outward motions also treats ailments like ‘trapped wind’ when used as a kerokan.

Concave with smooth edges, the custom-shaped design comes with a friendly grip for both beginners and long-time users. And by opting for stainless steel, its antibacterial property means the tool is less prone to trigger bacteria build-up on the skin. When its stone counterparts require an overnight stay in the fridge to obtain the coveted cooling sensation on the skin, Sonnet54’s gua sha naturally cools and readies itself for use.

Whether as a gift or to add to one’s self-care hacks, Sonnet54’s gua sha makes one look forward to carving a few minutes to wind down and ease the day’s weight with a few gentle strokes. 


Sonnet54 Multifunctional Gua Sha — IDR 350,000 – Available at Sonnet54’s Tokopedia page

Manual Pick is a series where we highlight items we love and desire that range from remarkably banal to mucho fancy.