Have you experimented with the home-care treatment of gua sha yet? It’s become one of my favorite rituals every day after recently purchasing a gua sha tool during a Sephora haul. It feels like a special treat for both my skin and my mind that I won’t be dropping any time soon.
I did a lot of research on gua sha before I bought my own. Turns out: there’s a lot of history behind this practice. I’m assuming others are still a bit confused (as I was) about the what, how, and why of gua sha so I thought I’d share my learnings here.
What is Gua Sha?
First things first: let’s look at what the eff “gua sha” actually is. Gua sha is an ancient Chinese ritual that has made it’s way into med spas and the homes of beauty-lovers around the globe. Though the process was originally used more for medical reasons such as relief from heat stroke or seasonal colds, practitioners began noticing the benefits of massage on wrinkles, facial toning, and mental wellness.
Today, facial massage is used as a treatment for lymphatic drainage; through scraping the face, circulation is improved. AKA that puffy look that nobody loves can say buh-bye.
Another difference from ancient practice to modern day is the tools that are used for gua sha. Originally, anything from knuckles to coins or spoons was used with pressure to release these tensions and “bad energies” from the body. Today, most commonly for at-home practices, you’ll find tools made of jade, rose quarts, or amethyst with curves and combs in the stones.
Why Should You Use Gua Sha?
Although I’ve only done gua sha at home, it’s easy to find a professional to perform a treatment in a medical spa or retreat. Professionals are trained on exactly how to use the tool and customize treatment based on each individual’s needs. Because honestly, there are just so many benefits beyond vanity metrics.
Gua sha can be used for relief from medical ailments such as migraines, neck pain, and even Hepatitis B. Because it is used to reduce inflammation, it can also help to treat ailments that cause chronic pain.
Estheticians use the massage technique to increase blood circulation, relieve tension, and provide lymphatic drainage to get rid of bloat in the face. Speaking from personal experience, it can get rid of that unwanted puffiness and help to pull the tension out of your jaws.
When Should You Do It?
Gua sha can be used anywhere from once a week to daily. Daily practice will be the most beneficial if your goal is to diminish wrinkles. Personally, I prefer to use my tool in the morning with my AM routine so that facial bloat is reduced throughout the day. You should use your tool and facial massage for at least a minute to see results.
Step-by-Step: How to Use It
Now that we understand the benefits and a bit of history, the only thing left to go over is the process.
First and foremost, gua sha should never be used on dry skin as it can cause bruising from the pressure. The point here is to make your face look better, not worse so let’s skip the bruising, k? Instead, use your tool with water or a facial oil. Personally, I use mine with a facial oil. Most recently I’ve been using it with a rose and squalane oil from Biossance.
When using your gua sha, put light pressure on your skin. If you realize that you want more pressure, you can always work your way up. Use repetitive, outward strokes. You can find all kinds of facial maps to tell you what direction to use your tool such as this one. Start with the forehead, moving next to the cheeks, and ending with the chin/neck area. Over all, it should take a few minutes to complete your at-home ritual.
I’ve been loving the benefits of my gua sha and have felt tension relief after daily use. I’m looking forward to continuing this at-home ritual and even visiting a professional. I hope that you’ll join me in this daily practice. x