A few minutes of therapeutic face massage goes a long way to soothing frazzled nerves. It’s also the key to healthier, glowier skin. Using a gua sha facial massage tool 2-3 times a week helps boost circulation, sculpt cheekbones and jawline, de-puff, ease muscle tension and knead out stress.
What is gua sha?
Roughly translating as ‘scraping’ in English, gua sha comes from the traditional East Asian healing technique of pressing and scraping the body. It’s not a gentle treatment–the pressure’s intentionally hard enough to leave angry-looking marks and bruises on the skin, and practitioners use a variety of tools including spoons, coins and knuckles. It’s been adapted for the face with a much lighter touch and smooth pieces of curved crystal, ceramic, stainless steel, or porcelain that are pulled over the skin without leaving redness.
The benefits of gua sha for your face
Here lies the magic. As the gua sha moves over the face in broad strokes it kick-starts the lymph system to flush out toxins, stimulates blood flow and collagen, and works deep into muscles to unknot tension. Studies show that gua sha increases microcirculation by 400%, a boost which delivers more oxygen and decreases inflammation. Even after one treatment skin looks brighter and lifted as this simple technique plumps, smooths away fine lines, reduces puffiness, chisels cheek bones and jawline, and reduces tension. Over time it promotes firmer, glowing, healthy skin. Not bad for a simple massage!
Should I keep my gua sha in the fridge?
Although crystals like rose quartz feel deliciously cooling and soothing straight from the fridge, the idea is to temporarily increase blood flow and warmth, so whatever tool you use is best left at room temperature.
How do you do gua sha yourself?
Start with freshly washed clean skin, then prep your face and neck with a swipe of hydrating Botanical Toner. While skin is still damp, warm 2-3 drops of replenishing and fatty acid-rich Nourishing Face Oil in the palm of your hand and gently press it over your face and neck.
Holding the gua sha almost flat against your skin, smooth it slowly and deliberately using light to medium pressure. Repeat every action 5 times on both sides of your face.
1. Gently stroke the flat edge of the tool from your collarbone up the neck to the jaw.
2. Most tools have a notch. Place the notch in the center of your chin and gently slide along the edge of your jawbone to your ear. Repeat on each side.
3. Stroke from the edge of the nostrils along cheekbones upwards towards the hairline.
4. Using the same action, run the tool from the edge of the nose this time under the cheekbones to the hairline.
5. Gently smooth under eyes up towards the temple. Repeat on each side.
6. Place the notch in the browbone and, keeping the tool flat, smooth out from your nose towards the hairline.
7. To smooth the forehead, stroke the flat edge of the tool over the eyebrows and upwards to the hairline.
How often should you gua sha?
Two or three times a week will help deliver those long term benefits and keep you glowing.
Are there any warnings about gua sha?
Don’t use if you’ve had any injectables such as Botox or fillers in the last 4 weeks, or on breakouts or irritated skin. After use, wash the gua sha tool with mild soap and water and dry thoroughly to prevent bacteria.