There’s no denying that skincare and beauty practices have come a long way. Like most things, the self-care industry has benefited from recent technology and innovation. We can perform laser hair removal from the comfort of our couch. We use facemasks with infrared light to promote circulation and treat inflammation. We use microneedles and microcurrents. At the same time we’re testing out these new and fun devices and ingredients, we’re also simultaneously returning to tried-and-true beauty treatments. One of which is the gua sha.
Scroll through your Instagram or TikTok and it’s nearly impossible not to stumble across a skincare influencer or wellness guru using a gua sha. Recently, this small-but-mighty beauty tool has become a trendy sensation, and can be purchased almost anywhere. However, it’s important to understand not just how to properly use the gua sha, but also where it all began.
Originating in China and Southest Asia, the gua sha dates back to the Paleolithic Era - aka a whopping 2.58 million years ago! The fact it can still be found in bathroom vanities across the globe is testament to it’s skincare and wellness benefits. Back then, stones were used to rub parts of the body when people felt sick or sore to alleviate pain, inflammation and other symptoms. While you can purchase a gua sha out of almost any material today, the jade and rose quartz stones are the two most popular. Not only are they beautiful and effortlessly chic, but those two stones are widely believed to promote health and happiness, and have been used for centuries around the globe in healing and spiritual rituals.
Fast-forward to today and the gua sha is still being used as a massage technique, and the benefits are as impressive as its history. Among the many perks, using a gua sha relieves muscle tension and promotes healthy circulation and lymphatic drainage - all of which results in glowing skin and decreased bloat and puffiness. Hello, defined jawline and lifted cheekbones! Using a gua sha also reduces jaw pain and headaches, helps with allergies, and is even considered by some as a Botox alternative. But in order to reap these benefits, you have to know how to properly use a gua sha, otherwise you may cause more harm than good.
How To Use:
First and foremost, always make sure your skin is ready to be massaged. Use your favorite serum or facial oil to make sure there won’t be any friction. Our Luminous Brightening Elixir is perfect for this! Next, angle your gua sha at 45 degrees when gliding along the skin. It should be closer to laying flat on top of your face as opposed to standing up on your skin. Use your free hand to gently pull your skin in the opposite direction, then use your other hand to gently sweep your gua sha in an upwards and outwards motion. Never go in the opposite direction and never use a lot of force as this may cause bruising or pain. A pro tip: try out a gentle wiggle at the end of each stroke, which not only feels incredible but helps to reduce tension in areas that are full of tense muscles. Repeat as necessary (without exceeding 10 strokes per area), and listen to what feels good for you. Do less in areas that are more delicate than others. Find the speed that is most soothing. From personal experience, we recommend starting with the neck to begin the drainage process, then moving to your jawline, cheekbones, and ending with the forehead.
As relaxing as it is restorative and revitalizing, it’s no wonder the gua sha has been used all across the world for millions of years - and is still going strong today. Will you try it?