Although facial massage tools have been around for centuries, they have recently increased in popularity. As a result, these natural massage tools have become the buzz among beauty and skincare lovers.
Gua Sha is among the most widely known facial massage tools endorsed by many dermatologists, skincare enthusiasts, beauty bloggers, celebrities, and spa technicians. It has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine or TCM for hundreds of years due to its incredible restoring, detoxifying, sculpting, and brightening properties.
More than ever, skincare devotees are using a facial gua sha to massage their faces and reaping its miraculous skin benefits. If you’re not well-versed with gua sha, let’s have an in-depth look at what gua sha is and why it has taken the skincare and beauty world by storm!
The History of Gua Sha Tools
“’Gua’ means scrape, and ‘Sha’ means sand,” says Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon, a board-certified dermatologist.¹ Gua sha originated from an ancient Chinese technique of healing or repairing.
Initially, the professionals performed the procedure to induce redness on the skin to accelerate the skin’s healing process. Then, the procedure was performed to promote energy flow believed to keep you feeling your best.
What is a Gua Sha Facial Tool?
As mentioned above, gua sha is an ancient Chinese technique that involves “scraping" the skin with slow strokes to encourage better lymphatic drainage, relax stressed or stiff muscles, and accelerate blood flow. The massage may initially lead to redness or bruising, which subsides in no time, leaving the skin healthier, suppler, and brighter.
Various types of semi-precious stones in different shapes are used to perform gua sha massage. The gliding motions yield many skin benefits, helping to reduce and treat various skin issues, like puffiness, wrinkles, discoloration, fine lines, dark circles, and inflammation.
Benefits of Gua Sha Facial Tool
Improves Blood Circulation - Gently massaging your skin with a gua sha tool helps to enhance the flow of blood to the treated areas of the skin.
When your skin receives better blood circulation, it’s getting a higher supply of oxygen and micronutrients, which can be beneficial in treating and preventing numerous skin problems. Conversely, a reduced blood supply means lower levels of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause premature skin sagging, hyperpigmentation, and dullness, to name a few.
Accelerates Lymphatic Drainage - Suppose you’ve struggled to combat puffiness or bloating on your face, especially around your eyes. In that case, you might be familiar that it can be caused due to the accumulation of extra water and toxins under the skin.
Slow lymphatic drainage can lead to swelling, acne breakouts, tired skin, and redness. The good news is that a gua sha facial tool can help to flush out these lymphatic wastes by promoting a healthier lymphatic system. So, if your primary concern is swelling due to fluid build-up, you are a good candidate for gua sha facial massage.
Reduces Wrinkles and Fine Lines - Pesky wrinkles and fine lines are a problem for some of us. While there isn’t a shortage of creams, serums, and lotions to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, a gua sha facial tool is one of the safest and most effective ways of fighting these annoying skin woes.
Regular massage with a gua sha facial tool can help to keep the skin in its youthful shape and help reverse the signs of aging. In addition, gua sha has been used to help minimize the appearance of a double chin. You can be your natural facelift treatment, whether done at home or in-office by an expert. So, if the well-sculpted and lifted facial skin is your skin goal, go for it today!
Relieves Muscle Tension - The muscles of our face and neck are easily susceptible to tension. Applying pressure on your skin with a gua sha facial tool helps to untangle the knotted areas on the face and neck. As a result, the built-up muscle tension is released, allowing the muscles to do their job better. This can be useful in relieving headaches and TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorder.²
Eliminates Dullness and Dark Circles - As discussed above, gentle massage with a gua sha facial tool can aid in ramping up the flow of oxygen and nutrient-packed fresh blood to the skin. As a result, it can help fight skin discoloration and dark spots.
Moreover, gua sha massage can boost the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, which also improves the skin tone, assisting in reducing dark under-eye circles and dull or uneven skin tone.
Better Absorption of Products - Using a gua sha facial tool after applying your skincare products can help to improve their effectiveness by allowing the ingredients to seep deeper and faster into the skin.
Gliding it all over the skin can yield better results for your facial serums, face oils, moisturizers, eye creams, facial masks, and night creams. When your skin receives those nourishing, hydrating, and moisturizing compounds to a deeper level, it looks plumper, brighter, and well-hydrated.
Calms Acne and Inflammation - This face tool can help reduce acne breakouts and skin inflammation by moving congestion and boosting microcirculation.
Since one of the key factors behind acne is clogged pores due to oil, dirt, bacteria, and other pollutants, massaging the skin can help prevent the problem and keep your pores clean. It can also soothe discomfort and redness on the skin. However, do not use the tool on damaged skin or pustules.
How to Choose a Gua Sha Facial Tool
You’ll come across various types and shapes of facial gua sha, each having different use and properties. Here are some common shapes and materials to help make the process easier for you:
Based on Materials - You can choose from Rose Quartz, Jade, and Amethyst. Rose quartz is a pink stone known to be related to love, compassion, and other positive emotions. It’s ideal for reducing the signs of aging (like fine lines and wrinkles), flushing out toxic wastes, and getting rid of negative energy from the body.
Jade helps restore balance and eliminate puffiness by encouraging lymphatic drainage. Amethyst is negatively charged and helps draw out negative energy and stress from the body by producing negative ions. In addition, it tightens the skin and soothes inflammation.
Based on Shapes - Gua Sha facial tools are available in the cleft, pointed convex edge, concave side, double-curved side, and teeth edge shapes.
The cleft-shaped tool is smaller and superficially suitable for use on the jaw. The pointed convex edge-shaped tool is best suited to be used around the eyebrows. The concave side facial tool is best on larger body areas, like the neck and shoulders. Double-curved side is great for boosting blood circulation and can be used under the eyes and cheeks. The teeth edge gua sha tool can be used on the forehead, cheeks, and temples.
How to Use Gua Sha On Face
- You can put your facial gua sha in the refrigerator a few hours before the use for additional soothing and cooling action.
- Start by making sure your skin is well-cleansed. Apply facial oil, serum, or any moisturizer that suits your skin to avoid irritation or tugging.
- Start with massaging from the base of your neck. Glide the tool upward on one side of the neck and move it toward your jawline. Repeat a few times and do the same on the other side of the neck.
- Now, start sweeping from the middle of your chin toward your jawline. Move in the direction of the bottom of your ears. Repeat a few times and move on to the other side.
- Next, to massage the cheeks, sweep from the center of the face with the flatter curve of the gua sha tool. Do this in horizontal lines, covering the area thoroughly.
- Use the facial gua sha to gently massage the under-eye area. Move the facial tool toward the temples.
- Finally, gently sweep your forehead with the facial gua sha, pulling it upward to your hairline.
- At the end of the treatment, follow your regular skincare regimen and apply your skincare products in the usual order.
We love using Sundree’s RYSE+SHYNE hydrating facial serum whenever we gua sha. This hyaluronic acid and vitamin-c packed facial serum has a beautiful texture and, when applied to the skin, helps the gua sha easily glide on the skin, enhancing your gua sha massage.
Gua sha seems to be popping everywhere these days. However, this facial massage tool is based on centuries-old techniques to keep the skin youthful, radiant, and healthy. A facial gua sha has long been a skincare staple in many skincare routines.
Some skin benefits that can be reaped by massaging the face with gua sha include restoring the skin’s firmness, eliminating excess fluids and toxins, improving microcirculation, boosting cell turnover, and calming inflammation.³ It’s essential to follow proper guidelines while massaging your face with a gua sha facial tool and avoid tugging or pulling the skin.
- Bakkilam Blake. (2019). ‘Everything You Need to Know About Gua Sha Benefits’, Good Housekeeping, Accessed May 5, 2022. Available at: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/a28985005/what-is-gua-sha/
- Frisbee, Evan. (2021). ‘Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ), WebMD, Accessed May 5, 2022. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders-tmd
- Madormo, Carrie. (2021). ‘Causes and Treatments for Skin Inflammation’, VeryWellHealth, Accessed May 6 , 2022), Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/skin-inflammation-5095859#:~:text=Skin%20inflammation%20is%20a%20sign,an%20autoimmune%20condition%20like%20psoriasis
Tina Engeo. "Gua Sha For Beginners - Follow Along Tutorial", YouTube. 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aw-fJF59Q4