I know I'm not alone when I say I’m constantly in search of the silver bullet of beauty products that’ll give me perfect skin. Pretty much every woman on the planet is drowning in a sea of sheet masks, beauty tools, and serums, right? Well, the journey for an effortless glow lead me to the Kansa wand (and no, Barbara, it's not a sex toy). If you haven't already seen these wands flooding your Instagram feed, let me fill you in: the Kansa wand is a tool used for centuries in Ayurvedic culture designed to balance your skin's pH level, as well as your doshas (which, in Ayurvedic medicine, represent three "biological energies" that exist within the body) and chakras (which reference seven spots along the spine that are spiritual energy centers). Admittedly, chakras and doshas have never been a major focus of my skin care, but I'm open to it. And while the Ayurvedic tool may seem super similar to the ever-trendy jade roller, I decided to test it out for 30 days to see if the Kansa wand offered any unique benefits to my routine.
Kansa wands are unique to Ayurvedic therapy, which, according to Mona Sharma, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Wellness Coach, and NLP practitioner based in LA and Toronto, is "one of the world's oldest healing systems" rooted in combining the mind and body to support natural healing.
Kansa wands specifically started as a nighttime ritual used in South India, according to Michelle Ranavat, the founder Ranavat Botanics, a clean skin care line inspired by Indian beauty rituals. The rounded metal tip is made of Kansa, an alloy that blends aluminum, zinc, and copper metal to create a product with naturally antibacterial properties. "Before they had water purifiers, they would use Kansa," Ranavat tells me. The unique metal blend is central to fighting toxins and bacteria to keep your skin clear, while the unique rounded shape promotes relaxation and stimulates new skin cells. Can I get a "yes please!"?
While you can use a Kansa wand at any point in the day (in fact, Ranavat shared that she uses one in the morning if she needs some de-puffing around her eyes), I decided to use it exclusively as part of my evening routine. I figured if it originated as a nighttime product, I should use it as a nighttime product.
After washing my face, I applied toner and serum. In my case, I used Radiant Rani, a saffron-infused serum which boasts 14 different herbs, but whichever oil or serum typically used in your nighttime routine should work just fine. This step is essential, however, to prevent your skin from being pulled by the Kansa wand. Ideally, the wand should glide over your skin easily. I did try to use the wand once without serum and, girl, it felt bad.
After perusing a couple YouTube tutorials, I dove in and mostly followed my gut: figure-eight motions across my forehead (a recommendation from Ranavat), gently circling my temples, sweeping away from my eyes, and circular motions around my cheekbones and jawline. As someone with a tense jaw, I found it to be super useful. "Aim for 5 minutes a day to really see and feel a difference," says Sharma. Adding, "This is a great way to introduce a daily mindfulness practice to get the full benefit."
As I sat on the couch, testing out the wand for the first time while watching reruns of Mad Men, I could feel my boyfriend, Seth (who, mind you, has zero interest in skin care routines), sneaking jealous glances from the corner of my eye. When I was finished, there was a brief pause before I heard him quietly say, "You know you can try that on my face, too..."
Minutes later, his face was serum'd up and he was lying flat on the couch, eagerly. Once I'd finished, he popped one eye open and just said, "Are you sure you're done? Maybe a little longer?"
I have to admit, that's an accurate summary of the experience. Have you ever seen someone so at peace?
OK, so, first off: Using a Kansa wand was just about the most relaxing experience ever. It's like a mini, at-home spa facial, and quickly became one of my favorite parts of my day. Personally, I ended up preferring the Kansa wand over a jade roller because I found the circular motion to be much more calming than rolling, and found that sensation of the metal, which started out cool and ended up warm, to be ultra-soothing. It's definitely a perfect wind-down habit to adopt before bed.
I also appreciated that the experiment caused me to be more on top of my skin care routine overall, because I do *occasionally* (aka frequently) opt for a quick face wipe when I'm feeling tired. However, the routine of using the wand offered a daily reminder to take a couple of minutes to be intentional.
It's worth noting that the wand is also ideal for travelers. I carried it with me on a recent trip to California's "Lost Coast" and found it to be an honest-to-god lifesaver. On a weekend where I was on multiple connecting flights, enduring hours of hiking, experiencing my first off-roading adventure in the new 2020 Subaru Outback, drinking lots and lots of wine, and canoeing down a river in ridiculously cold fog, I would have anticipated my skin to be stressed TF out from dehydration and adrenaline. However, I found the oil, the wand's antibacterial properties, and the overall process of intentionality to be a winning combination. Not to mention, a great de-stressor after long days. I guarantee I'll be carrying with with me on every trip from now on.
My only regret is that I didn't try using it while on the plane. Next time, my friends. Next time.
While I didn't notice any earth-shattering changes in the general appearance of my skin, within a week's time I did find my skin to look slightly more "plump" and glowy. While I continued to have a couple of breakouts, they were generally minimal and (while it could be my imagination) it did feel like using the wand helped clear up acne a little faster. One unexpected benefit I noticed was that regular use seemed to add definition around my cheekbones and jawline.
The weirdest part? When my 30 days were complete, I returned to my lazy ways and stopped using the wand daily. It wasn't intentional, but I fell out of habit. Within days, I got an ear infection in both ears. Not cute, I know. While there's no way to know for sure, it did make me wonder if it was a in reaction to suddenly ending a daily lymphatic massage. According to Sharma, the wand "promotes detoxification" — so I suppose it's possible? I can confirm, at the very least, that returning to daily use definitely helped release tension and pain I felt during recovery.
While I might not use the wand every day (have I mentioned I'm lazy?), I do plan to keep using it super regularly, primarily because it's so relaxing. After all, the most important part of a skin care routine is adopting a system that makes you feel good — and this makes me feel absolutely royal.