As time and technology progresses, we have more and more skin care tools to choose from. While its great to experiment with new skin care innovations, don’t dismiss the tried-and-true practices of the past!
Gua sha is an ancient Chinese skin care technique that uses a smooth, flat stone to massage the skin with the aim of promoting restoration. It targets the jawline and double chin, promoting greater elasticity and firmness. It has been referred to as “scraping therapy,” gua sha has been shown to improve the health and appearance of your skin for thousands of years.
Recently becoming a viral topic on TikTok, numerous people have implemented gua sha into their skin care routines. With gua sha stones being fairly affordable and the process being so simple, it’s no wonder so many have hopped on the bandwagon!
You might be thinking, “How does rubbing a stone on my skin help me?” It may not be a conventional skin care practice found in spas, but its growing popularity and testimonials continue to put gua sha at the forefront of effective skin care techniques.
History of Gua Sha
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. Another common practice used in traditional Chinese medicine is gua sha.
It’s not known when gua sha was originally created, but it has been speculated to derive from the practice of “scraping” particular parts of the body with stones throughout the Paleolithic Age. This was done as a an act of therapeutic healing. Gua sha was thought of as a method to relieve disease or disorder within the body, rather than solely a method to improve the appearance of skin.
Later, gua sha really made its debut during the Qing dynasty by Gua Zhizhen, a Chinese politician and banker. He wrote a detailed discussion regarding gua sha tools, methods, treatments, and more.
The hustle and bustle of life then resulted in gua sha being shared with countries beyond China. People desired to learn gua sha skills prior to traveling in hopes they were prepared to address any health issues that may arise.
Today, gua sha is still widely practiced in traditional Chinese medicine, and has been adopted by various skin care practitioners and consumers!
Benefits of Gua Sha
Smooths out fine lines & wrinkles.
The repetitive motion of massaging the skin causes fine lines and wrinkles to appear less defined and noticeable. Another study revealed that gua sha improved fine lines and wrinkles, firmness, skin texture, and boosted subjects self-esteem.
Research showed that using a facial massage roller, like a gua sha tool, for five consecutive weeks greatly upped blood flow in the skin. An increase in blood flow yields healthier and smoother skin. Trade your fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful look!
Stimulates blood circulation & lymphatic drainage.
Speaking of blood flow, because gua sha does stimulate blood circulation, this better transports the nutrients needed by our skin cells for optimal functioning. 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, but the regular, long-term use of a gua sha tool can alter your facial features to appear firmer, younger, and toned. Tightens your jawline and helps minimize the double chin or turkey neck. Just do a quick Google search of those have posted their gua sha before and after photos!
Minimizes acne marks.
While you should never perform gua sha on active acne, you’ve got the green light when it comes to acne marks. Because acne marks can be a stubborn as a mule, countless people are thankful to have found gua sha! The increase in blood flow to the skin helps better restore itself, which aids with the minimization of visible acne scarring.
What Type of Gua Sha Tool Should l Use?
Due to the rise in popularity of gua sha, there are a plethora of tool types on the market. There are gua sha tools 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 quarts, jade, amethyst, black obsidian, and more! The energetic properties of these crystals have been said to have other positive effects on mind, body, and spirit.
Depending on your skin care needs, there are different shapes of gua sha 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
How To Perform Gua Sha?
The only thing you need to perform gua sha is a clean gua sha tool and facial oil or moisturizer or serum. Before going in with the facial massage, be sure to hydrate the skin and apply moveable product for the gua sha tool to work with.
Once moisturized, its time to bring the gua sha 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, with time you’ll find a massage routine that works best for you.
Always remember to rinse your gua sha tool with 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 next use, feel free to store it in the fridge!
Gua sha should not be a painful experience, and should not be overdone. It’s okay to be performed multiple times a week, but should only be done for a few minutes at a time.
Those who had 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 skin care routines!
Written by Sara Katharine Creamer