As time and technology progresses, we have more and more skincare tools to choose from. While its great to experiment with new skincare innovations, don’t dismiss the tried-and-true practices of the past!
Gua sha is an ancient Chinese skincare technique that uses a smooth, flat stone to massage the skin to promote restoration. It targets the jawline and double chin, promoting greater elasticity and firmness. In addition, this massage can improve the health and appearance of skin
Recently becoming a viral topic on TikTok, numerous people have started implementing gua sha into their skincare routines. With gua sha stones fairly affordable and the process so simple, it’s no wonder many have hopped on the bandwagon!
You might wonder, “How does rubbing a stone on my skin help me?” Although, not a conventional skincare practice found in spas, still, its growing popularity and testimonials continue to put it at the forefront of effective skincare techniques.
Traditional Chinese medicine has made its mark on the world for over 3,000 years. When you think of Chinese medicine, acupuncture or cupping may come to mind.
It’s not known when gua sha was originally created, but it has been speculated to derive from “scraping” particular parts of the body with stones throughout the Paleolithic Age. This was done as an act of therapeutic healing. Its purpose was to relieve disease or disorder within the body, rather than solely a method to improve the appearance of skin.
Later, gua sha made its debut during the Qing dynasty by Gua Zhizhen, a Chinese politician and banker. He wrote a detailed discussion regarding best tools, methods, treatments, and more.
The hustle and bustle of life resulted in this massage shared with countries beyond China. People desired to learn these healing skills before traveling in hopes they were prepared to address any health issues that may arise.
Those in traditional Chinese medicine still practice it today. In fact, it has been adopted by various skin care practitioners and consumers!
Smooths out fine lines and wrinkles
The repetitive motion of massaging the skin causes fine lines and wrinkles to appear less defined and noticeable. Another study revealed that it improved fine lines, wrinkles, firmness, skin texture, and boosted subjects' self-esteem.
Research showed that using a facial massage roller for five consecutive weeks greatly upped blood flow in the skin. An increase in blood flow yields healthier and smoother skin. So, trade your fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful look!
Stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage
Speaking of blood flow, because gua sha stimulates blood circulation, this better transports the nutrients our skin cells need for optimal functioning. Therefore, the more nutrients our skin receives, the healthier it will be.
Have you ever received a lymphatic drainage massage? You can practically feel the release of toxins in your body! Gua sha is a wonderful practice that induces lymphatic drainage within the face, causing a decrease in skin puffiness and firmer face shape.
Helps shape facial features
The main benefit of gua sha advertised in the media is its transformative ability to help sculpt your facial features. Believe it or not, the regular, long-term use of a gua sha tool can alter your facial features to appear firmer, younger, and toned. In addition, it tightens your jawline and helps minimize the double chin or turkey neck. Just do a quick Google search of those who have posted their before and after photos!
Minimizes acne marks
While you should never perform gua sha on active acne, you’ve got the green light regarding acne marks. Because acne marks can be as stubborn as a mule, countless people are thankful to have found this tool! The increase in blood flow to the skin helps restore itself, which aids with the minimization of visible acne scarring.
What Tool Should l Use?
Due to its rise in popularity, many tool types are on the market. Some tools are made of wood and natural stone, but there is no clinical difference between the two. So long as you keep your gua sha tool clean, the type you use is up to your preference!
Those into crystals will be hyped to know they can find gua sha tools made of rose quartz, jade, amethyst, black obsidian, and more! In addition, the energetic properties of these crystals can have other positive effects on the mind, body, and spirit.
Depending on your skin care needs, there are different shapes of tools to pick from! Each tool shape has a specific purpose, such as offering a better grip on the skin.
Popular shaped gua sha tools include:
Do It Yourself!
All you need to perform gua sha is a clean tool and facial oil, moisturizer, or serum. Before going in with the facial massage, hydrate the skin and apply moveable product for the gua sha tool to work with.
Once moisturized, its time to bring the tool to your skin at a flat angle and gently massage your face and neck. The more the practice, the more you will get the hang of it. While it may not feel natural at first, you’ll find a massage routine that works best for you with time.
Always remember to rinse your tool with a gentle soap or facial cleanser, and follow this by disinfecting it with isopropyl alcohol spray. Allow dry time and then store in a safe spot. If you want a cooling effect for your next use, store it in the fridge!
Those who recently had surgery, take blood thinners, or have clotting disorders are not advised to receive a gua sha treatment.
Gua sha may not be for everyone, but its prominence in history continues to add value to our skincare routines!
Written by Sara Katharine Creamer ~Licensed Esthetician