Whether you’ve spotted them on beauty influencers’ social media channels, in the visual displays of your favorite beauty departments, or in a friend’s bathroom, gua sha seems to be the beauty accessory du jour. But what exactly is gua sha, and how can it benefit your skin?
Below we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about this time-honored beauty tool, from what it does to your skin to how you can easily incorporate it into your routine.
What Is Gua Sha?
It’s a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves gently scraping the skin in order to free the body from toxins. Its name literally translates to scraping sand (gua = to scrape, sha = sand), since the tiny spots that appear on the skin, or petechiae, resemble grains of sand.
Typically performed with a small tool made from gemstones, gua sha is said to have a number of health benefits that unveil a radiant glow.
How Gua Sha Benefits Your Skin
- Improves circulation. The scraping practice stimulates blood flow, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This helps create a bright and healthy complexion.
- Promotes a youthful appearance. Regular gua sha practice can be considered an anti-aging treatment, since it makes the skin feel tighter and more toned. It promotes collagen production, relaxes muscles, lifts sagging skin, and reduces the appearances of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Reduces swelling and puffiness. Gua sha is said to aid in lymphatic drainage, which helps combat under-eye bags and general puffiness.
- Enhances product absorption. The massaging action of gua sha can help products penetrate more deeply into the skin, offering better overall results.
Gua sha is also believed to help the body by relieving symptoms of common illnesses like the cold and flu, as well as reducing inflammation.
How To Incorporate Gua Sha Into Your Skincare Routine
Interested in trying this wonder practice? Here’s how you can make it a staple part of your skincare routine.
First, you’ll need to choose the right tool. There are many gua sha tools in varying shapes and materials on the market. While it’s believed that gemstones have different properties (for example, jade is considered a balancing stone and amethyst is considered a calming stone), many practitioners recommend prioritizing shape over material. You’ll want to find a tool with a nice mix of curves and edges; heart shaped gua sha tools are very popular for this reason.
Once you’ve found your ideal gua sha tool, you can begin your practice!
- Cleanse. Start with clean, hydrated skin. Cleanse your face thoroughly and remove all traces of makeup.
- Hydrate. Next, apply a facial oil or serum (we recommend our Malachite Renewal Serum, Rhodolite Firming Serum, or Crystal Moist Serum). This will ensure a smooth glide and prevent excessive pulling at the skin.
- Scrape. Learning proper gua sha techniques is imperative. Keep the stone as flat and as close to the skin as possible, and apply a steady but gentle level of pressure. Scraping too hard can lead to soreness, bruising, or discoloration. Start from the center of your face and work outward, stroking along your jawline, cheekbones, and forehead. You may want to reach out to a qualified gua sha practitioner to perfect your technique.
- Rinse. Once your practice is done, clean your stone with warm water and mild soap to prevent the buildup of oils and bacteria.
How Often Can You Use Gua Sha?
It’s easy to become addicted to this relaxing skincare practice! Consistency is key when it comes to gua sha, but you also don’t want to overstimulate your skin. The frequency of your practice will depend on your skin type. A few times a week will be sufficient if your skin suffers from sensitivities, while those with normal or oily skin can use gua sha daily.
Soothing, aesthetically pleasing, and effective - gua sha is a skincare ritual that has it all. Will you be incorporating it into your routine?