If you’re an East Asian skincare products and routines aficionado, gua sha is the next Asian skincare tool you might want to try ASAP.
Popularly referred to as the Botox of the East, this incredibly effective skin-sculpting tool has been rapidly taking over the world, one toned, glowing, and plump face at a time.
Unlike other skincare tools that tackle one task at a time, the God-sent device delivers noticeable results like radiant complexions, tauter and smoother skin, reduced puffiness, and improved blood flow.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, ahead is everything you need to know about this skincare treasure. From what it entails, its benefits, and how to make the most out of it.
What is Gua Sha?
While ‘gua sha’ or ‘jade scraping’ might sound like something from 2050, the sculpting technique actually dates back to an ancient healing practice known as ‘Gua Sha’ that was first referred to in the Shan Han Lun, a conventional East Asian and Chinese medicine text dated 220CE.
The literal meaning of ‘gua’ means ‘scrape’ and ‘sha ‘means ‘sand,’ which refers to the sandy dark spots that seem like light bruising on the skin that appear after a gua sha body treatment.
The traditional gua sha treatment or massage primarily involved treating muscle stiffness by applying pressure with a gua sha tool.
The after-effects don’t look appealing, as you might end up with some redness and bruising, but they also boost blood flow, get rid of stagnant toxins buildup, reduce inflammation, promote tissue drainage, and relax stiff muscles. It is probably one of the best massages you’ll ever have.
The modern gua sha treatment, which typically involves a facial massage, uses a smooth tool, a flat jade or rose quartz stone, to scrape your face and neck gently, leading to a radiant and glowing complexion and skin’s that is more toned.
What Are the Perks of Gua Sha?
While the modern-day gua sha process is less invasive than the traditional one, it still offers you incredible results. These include:
• Boosts collagen production
• Brightens complexion
• Diminished dark spots and whiteheads
• Helps in product penetration
• Ideal alternative to face-lift surgery when practiced regularly
• Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Reduces puffiness and inflammation
• Relieves jaw tension
• Sculpts facial muscles
• Stimulates blood circulation
• Tightens the skin
How to Use Gua Sha
Are you ready to use gua sha tools like a pro? It’s a pretty straightforward procedure. All you need to do is:
#01. Cleanse and Tone
You need to perform gua sha on clean skin. Therefore, choose your favorite cleanser, deep cleanse your skin, and then use a soothing and purifying toner.
Additionally, ensure your hands and the tools are clean – a drop of antibiotic and water is all you need.
#02. Use A Non-Comedogenic Facial Oil
Apply a significant amount of oil on your face, neck, and chest area. Oil, unlike cream or water-based products, help the tool glide smoothly. However, if you have dry skin, chances are you’ll have to reapply more throughout the process.
#03. Perform Gua Sha
Now, the exciting part.
Holding a gua sha tool at a 30 to 45° angle, gently scrape it across your face. As a rule, ensure every movement is upward and follows the lymphatic flow. Start with your neck, jawline, chin, and then around the mouth.
Afterward, gently glide the tool across your cheeks, under your eyes, across your brows, and from your forehead to the hairline. Slow strokes with the gentlest pressure are the most effective way to see incredible results.
Repeat every movement three to five times before moving onto the next part of your skin.
When you’re done massaging every inch of your face, complete your skincare routine, if need be.
How Often Should You Use Gua Sha Tools?
Experts recommend using them once a week, about three to five minutes every time. This depends on your skin type and tolerance for the treatment.
However, as you become more acquainted with the treatment, aestheticians say you should aim to use it at least twice or thrice a week. Any time of the day is suitable – work it into your nighttime routine or before applying makeup for that freshly contoured and radiant base.
When you get into the routine of performing gua sha on yourself, you’ll be more likely to achieve the best results.
What Are the Side Effects of Using Gua Sha Tools?
Gua Sha might not be ideal for individuals with skin conditions like eczema, rashes, sun damage, and blood coagulation issues.
Your skin might appear somewhat pink or red some minutes after the treatment (or bruised, based on the pressure and susceptibility to bruising), so don’t be alarmed about it. If the aesthetician puts too much pressure, let them know to prevent further bruising.
Other than that, if done correctly, gua sha is safe for all skin types. Like with other treatments, though, if you have any specific concerns, ensure to consult with a certified professional before trying it out.