I mentioned Gua Sha and Jade Roller in one of my previous articles and last night while doing my Gua Sha facial, I thought: I should devote my tomorrow's post on this little beauty stone.
When talking about gua sha, we talking scraping and pulling the skin. Scraping and pulling?? A bit horrifying, right?
If you've heard about those Gua Sha practice terms, you might be thinking 'Jeez, why would I do this to my face?
Keep reading to learn the benefits... And how to experience them yourself.
What is Gua Sha?
The name gua sha — pronounced gwahshah — comes from the Chinese
word for scraping. It may also be called skin scraping, spooning, or coining.
Gua sha is a traditional Chinese practice of using a massage tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain and tension. The treatment helps with stiffness, moves lymphatic fluids and allow the skin to function better.
The Jade Stone
Most Gua Sha tools are made of Jade stone. You can also find Gua Shas made of bian stone, rose quarts, buffalo horn and stainless.
When I was choosing mine Gua Shas (I got 2 heheh), I wanted something pretty that will last. I chose jade and rose quarts as both are crystals that enhance and balance your energy. Jade is in sophisticated green color while rose quarts is cute pink and very feminine.
The jade is naturally cool, toning for the skin and very durable. It is known to be very special in the Chinese culture - it is believed to heal and purify your energy fields. According to the eastern world it also offers healing properties such as helping the body to expel stones in the kidneys and spleen and recover afterwards.
Benefits of Gua Sha Facial
I'm in love with the Gua Sha and the list with its benefits is very very long but here are 3 of them:
1. Encourages Lymphatic Drainage
The most well-known benefit of using Gua Sha is that it helps to reduce
dark under-eye circles, puffiness from fatigue and inflammation in the face due to stagnation of the lymphatic system.
When performing the facial massage, you will push the fluids built up in the face out towards the lymph nodes.
This will encourage the lymphatic system’s natural detoxification process. Bye bye, puffy eyes!
I have noticed that it lifts and plumps the skin instantly. Awesome, isn't it!
2. Softens Tensed Facial Muscles & Prevents Sagging Skin
Your facial muscles (especially those in the brow area) store a lot of tension.
Massaging them with a Gua Sha tool can relieve that tension by running it along your brows and jawline.
The Gua Sha’s surface is super smooth and allows you to access into muscles and tissues with a gentle pressure.
Doing this regularly prevents skin sagging and improves the skin’s elasticity.
Not only will this look make your skin tighter and firmer but it will diminish fine lines in the long run.
3. Boosts blood flow & circulation
When performed on the face, the gentle pressure also promotes blood flow and circulation, which is a major contributor to brighter complexion and youthful look.
Better blood circulation helps with collagen production which in the long run can reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Gua Sha massage is so relaxing that it can put the body in a parasympathetic state, which is wonderful for anyone who has trouble falling asleep.
How to perform Gua Sha Facial
Clean your face Before you start
Apply your oil blend or serum before doing a Gua Sha treatment – it is a significant step to get those smooth motions right, and to prevent appearance of bruises. Plus the massage motions will help your skin 'drink' and absorb your skin care products.
You can split your face in half using your nose as the divider and work on one side at a time to make sure you are not missing anything.
It’s all about directionality
A rule of thumb is to always scrape gently and to do it only UPWARDS and OUTWARDS.
Moreover, you will never be wanting to scrape back and forth just because this can cause some unwanted pulling.
If it hurts, you’re doing it too hard. The pressure should be gentle, yet firm, enough to reduce swelling, but not enough to cause pain.
Start from the neck. Move to the chin. Continue with the cheeks.
Remember to work the Gua Sha only upwards and outwards.
When you reach the under-eye area be very gentle, light and slow.
Move to the brow area and the third eye (that's my favorite part). Finish with upper forehead. And repeat the second side of the face.
Here is how you do it step-by-step:
(Starting with the right side)
- 1Neck: With the large inner curve towards the neck, work the tool upward towards your chin – 5-10x
- 2Under the chin: Use the large inner curve to sweep from the middle of the
soft under-chin (where a double chin would show up) out to the bottom of your earlobe. 5-6x
- 3Jawline: Using the small inward curved section, from the middle of the chin, under the lower lip, sweep out to the earlobe. 5-6x
- 4Cheeks: Using the small outward curved section, sweep from the corner of the nose out to the middle of the ear 5-6x. Switch to the big outward curved section and starting from the corner of the lips, sweep under the cheek bone towards the earlobe. 5-6x
- 5Under-eye: Be especially light and slow here. With the small outward
curved section of the tool, starting from the under-eye area, where "eye bags" would show up, sweep out towards the temple, all the way to the hairline - 5-6x
- 6Brow area: Using the small outward curved section, sweep from the inner
corner of the brow out to temple. Avoid any pressure on the eye or eyelid itself and stay on the brow bone. 5-6x
- 7Third eye (lower forehead): Use the large inner curve. Stroke from center
of eyebrows up to hairline. This one is especially relaxing for the nervous
system and great for insomnia and migraine, so do more strokes if it speaks to you! 5-10x
- 8Upper forehead: With the large inner curve, starting from the center of the
upper forehead, trace down the hairline, over the temple, then curve behind the ear, and down the side of the neck. 5-6x
- 9Repeat the whole routine on the left side!
The reason we start from the neck is to get all that drainage moving on.
By moving up towards the forehead, we make sure that the fluids don't get stuck, but instead flow through your body.
If we were to start on the forehead, all the fluids that we are releasing would have nowhere to go.
Where to buy your Gua Sha?
For the past few years there has been a huge demand for this tool - you can see gua sha tools selling everywhere from Amazon to your local health food stores. Unfortunately with the big interest comes the big doze of products with unknown origin and quality.
If you don't purchase your gua sha tool from trusted supplier, you risk to get a tool made of plastic or glass, colored with artificial colorants. In other words - you risk to get scammed.
As a huge fan of all facial tools (jade rollers, derma rollers, germanium rollers, ice rollers, etc.) and tester of all skin care trends, I have tried several different gua sha massage tools - made of various materials and shaped in various forms.
Here are my top 3 tools / sets of tools that I recommend:
I fall in love with the 3 massage tools in different shapes. Hand-polished and made of 100% Rose Quartz stone, those tools are superb quality. They are so smooth that they glide over the face like they were made for each and every contour.
The only downside of this set is that they still haven't added a manual with instructions to it.
This set is for those of us who can't decide between gorgeous pink and royal green. When I use my Esmee gua sha tools, I like to use both of them simultaneously on both left and right side of my face - t's so relaxing to get both sides of the face massaged at the same time. The tools are beautiful, long-lasting, nice size and easy to hold. The edges are smooth and it feels absolutely soothing and relieving gliding the tools across the skin.
Like its close relative, the jade roller, gua sha is a treatment used to relieve tension in the muscles and banish bloat. Therefore those two are often bundled and sold together.
Here is one of the best bundles of both jade roller and gua sha tool + a face mask applicator.
The tools come in a luxurious gift box (perfect present for Mother's Day by the way), accompanied by a how-to-use-it manual, which is great advantage.
You will notice the tools on the picture below have intense dark green color. This is due to the material they are made of - Green Aventurine Jade which is a jade used extensively for carving.
According to the company, the jade they use is certified with authentic Grade A Jade from Northeastern China (grade A refers to jade that is 100% natural, unprocessed and unaltered, only polished.)
Gua Sha isn't just the crystal beauty that takes over your Instagram feed, it is so much more. Celebrities swear by the spa-like tool and its powers.
Gua sha 'hugs' the curves of your face and neck to stimulate the lymphatic drainage, smoothen your skin and increase blood circulation. It can also make your products work better and instantly bring life to your skin.
I love it because it is so simple and easy to add to one's routine, and the same time so beneficial.
What excites you most about using a Gua Sha? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
Stay tuned and take skin care 🙂