What is Gua Sha?



Now that jade rollers have reached peak social media saturation, there is another facial treatment I believe is even more effective. Let me introduce you to my new beauty find which is a Jade Gua Sha Sculpting tool. This lovely smooth edged pebble-like tool was designed to stimulate circulation while de-puffing, lifting and sculpting the face. Jade is a natural crystal known for it’s cooling, soothing and healing properties.   

So what is gua sha?

Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This ancient Chinese healing technique offers a unique way to better health, by helping issues such as chronic pain.

In gua sha, a therapist will apply massage oil onto your skin and then scrape your skin with short or long strokes to stimulate micro-circulation of the soft tissue which increases blood flow. Therapists use a pebble shaped, smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool.

How does it work?

Practitioners believe that the body can have stagnant energy, called chi, that causes inflammation and in turn, inflammation can be the underlying cause of several conditions that result in chronic pain. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this stagnant energy, reducing the inflammation and promoting healing.

Where on the body is Gua Sha done?

Gua sha is generally used on the neck, back, bottom, arms and legs and a more gentle treatment is used on the face. On the body, gua sha is intense like ‘cupping’ and can leave you with bruises. But on the face, a much more gentle technique is used.

What are gua sha’s benefits?

Similar to jade rolling, gua sha activates your face’s different meridians, but the results are far better. Gua sha gives a deeper massage which releases facial muscle tension and improves lymph drainage. When you increase the circulation, waste products are moved out of the skin which helps to get rid of blackheads or breakouts. You will see a reduction in hyperpigmentation too. Think of your skin as if it was made of glass and you have all this muddy waste beneath it. When you clear the waste, you will see a much brighter and lighter translucent glow shining through.

The first morning I used gua sha I had woke up with a headache. I did my gua sha facial and neck massage treatment and 20 minutes later – my headache was gone!  

I then decided on a second treatment, which you will see if you watch my video, to do just the left hand side of my face. Well, the difference between my left side and right side was amazing. My left side was visibly lifted and tighter (really!) and my thoughts are that regular use, say 3 times a week, would help with skin firmness.

How to use gua sha

I would recommend treating your face and neck with gua sha for 15 minutes, 3 times a week. Do up to 10 strokes on each section and remember only use light to medium pressure.

Should you use skincare products during gua sha?

Cleanse your face and neck gently, apply your eye cream and facial serum and then let that absorb for 5 minutes. Now apply a thin layer of facial oil to enable the stone to glide easily over your skin. Your skin will feel wonderful after treatment I guarantee!

Can everyone use gua sha?

If you have cosmetic injectables like fillers or Botox, this treatment isn’t for you. Botox is like making your skin unmovable and gua sha is working to stimulate it, so it makes no sense do opposite treatments. 

If you have an active acne breakout or have rosacea – the pressure from gua sha may aggravate these skin conditions.