Having been steadily inundated with the traditional Chinese medicine treatment Gua Sha all over my feed, I finally decided to go for it and purchased a Gua Sha tool. The only problem: I had no idea how the heck to use it! I’m still loyal to my trusty jade roller, but Gua Sha is supposed to be all the rage, and honestly before researching what all the noise was about, the tool basically sat in my cabinet collecting dust. In all honesty, what brought me to finally purchase it was the fact it is made out of crystals. Attracted by the crystal oddly-shaped tool, I wanted this natural facelift people were claiming came with using it.
Gua Sha Facial Tool
It’s funny how we have come to a crossroads in beauty (and in all aspects, really) returning us to the roots and basics. Have we officially reached our beauty ingenuity climax? Some say that Gua Sha dates back even further than acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine. The technique basically scrapes the skin to intentionally create therapeutic bruising. Today’s practice may differ from the original form – I am not saying we need to bruise our faces here, it is a bit gentler – but can still have some of the same benefits.
Give Yourself a Gua Sha Massage
The Gua Sha tool is used to massage your face, leaving your skin with a brighter and healthier look. Gua Sha helps fix dryness, aging, and even breakouts. It also promotes blood circulation, boosting blood to the skin and natural drainage of the lymph nodes by moving lymphatic fluids. Studies have shown that the increase in blood circulation improves natural hydration and glow. Also, it supports your skin’s ability to purge the dirt and sebum that leads to your breakouts. By releasing muscle tension while contouring the jawline, Gua Sha users have reported alleviated headaches and neck pains.
So why are we retaining so much fluid, even in our face? While each case may be different; inflammation may be the major culprit. Lack of movement or too much salt can also be to blame. And the biggest contributor is likely a poor diet, especially with excess in sugar and lack of movement for optimal circulation, leaving stagnant blockage of fluids and toxins.
How to Use a Gua Sha
Ok so let’s get to the good stuff, how do you actually use this tool. We are always scraping (again no bruising or even blood) in an upward motion. Gua Sha tools may be shaped differently, but the more indented part should be used for areas such as the jawline and cheekbone. The larger, rounder parts can be used for the neck, cheek, and forehead. Start with your neck and move upwards towards your forehead, always in an upward and outward motion. Repeat the upward motion about ten times across your whole face.
As you start at the neck and move upward, you are ensuring that the drainage is unblocked for when you get to your forehead. Once releasing the fluids in your forehead, the rest needs to be free so it has somewhere to go. The same goes for your eyes: your neck and jaw tissues need to be freed up for your excess fluid in your eyes to travel.
Try using your tool after applying serum or moisturizer to help it seep into your skin. Unlike your jade roller, you should not store the tool in your fridge or freezer, because when the tool is cold it can constrict the blood vessels, and the point of Gua Sha is to bring blood to the surface.
Recently people have asked me if I was pregnant because according to popular opinion, I am glowing. Truth is, wish I was pregnant, but it’s just the Gua Sha glow.
This article originally published October 2018.