Pronounced “Gwah-sha”, is one of the most effective Chinese massage techniques where a specialized heart-shaped tool is used by putting slight pressure against the skin to contour, sculpt, tone & heal the tired skin.
Gua sha boosts the slow blood circulation of your face & hence the skin looks radiant. It also has a firming and lifting effect on the skin.
It is said to depuff the swelled eyes by encouraging the flow of lymphatic flow. Fluid retention from large salt intake or interstitial fluid under the eyes can cause the eyes to look swollen in the morning. Light strokes of Gua sha is an easy & relaxing technique to combat those sleepy-looking eyes & get the day started on a fresh note.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a very ancient, centuries-old Chinese healing technique that uses jade or quartz as the stone for relieving all the resided tension on all body parts. especially people love using it to relieve facial stress. The name Gua sha where “Gua” means to scrape, while “sha” means sand, referring to some sand-like light bruising that comes after using Gua-sha. This bruising generally lasts only a few hours or sometimes a few days.
How many types of Gua sha tools are there?
Shapes & sizes
Gua sha stone is designed & comes in many shapes & sizes to accommodate different body & face parts.
The shapes can be a heart, moon or rectangular & the shape of the Gua sha tool affects the ease of holding the grip to use the tool. Also, the thickness of the Gua sha tool plays an important role in gripping & scrapping the skin. Go for the thickest or heaviest one.
A few tools can have smooth curves for firming and lifting facial skin, a few can have curvy edges to focus on facial muscles, Gua tools also come with combed sides to help stimulate the scalp and work on pressure points.
Jade- Jade stones are the more affordable ones. Although lower-grade jades can be less sturdy so look for heavy good quality jade stones for longer run. Jades are overall great for skin smoothening, lifting, reducing inflammation, & aiding calmness to the skin.
Rose quartz-They are beautiful pink-colored stones that are said to produce & give more collagen production & blood flow in the skin.
Stainless steel- So to cool the tool, people often keep their stones in the freezer but with tools made of steel, there’s no need to do that because they naturally offer an extra cooling effect. The best part is, they are the most durable & there’s no risk of breaking them while dropping them accidentally.
Bian Stone– Bian stones are said to have an energizing effect on the tired body & face. They have been said to contain 30 healing minerals for improving blood circulation, even for treating various soft tissue injuries, chronic lower back pain & a few skin issues like boils.
Black Nephrite Jade- It’s a very high-grade dense stone that comes in black or dark green color. It was used in ancient cultures as a “dream stone” to easily access the spiritual world. It is also said to dispel all the negative energies surrounding you & guard you against bad. The real black jades are cold to the touch & heavier than other stones. Using them as a Gua sha will improve your circulation, give your skin some positive energy, and will decrease puffiness.
Black Obsidian – It is a very dense, hard surface natural volcanic rock that has been heated by lava & then rapidly cooled. It comes in a jet-black color and is called a stone of clarity. It releases emotional, physical, and spiritual blockages and is said to detoxify & clear ancient traumas.
Black obsidian jade rollers are also very good for congested blemish-prone skin. It balances the skin tone and removes impurities & toxins from the skin making it very tight and firm.
How to perform Gua Sha?
For a Gua sha facial massage, grab your Gua sha, your favorite serum, moisturizer, facial oils, or a sheet mask to begin the relaxing experience. The roller will help the absorption of vital ingredients.
The best time to use a Gua sha tool can be any time you feel your skin is craving some relaxation but according to me, mornings are the times our eyes are the puffiest & Gua shas can be of great help to decrease puffiness.
The basic steps will include
- Clean your hands & Gua sha
- Wash your face
- Tone it with a neutral PH toner like Pure rose water
- Apply Facial oil/Serum/Sheet mask
- Now use Gua-sha
- Remove the excess oil in the end by using a facial tissue & applying moisturizer.
Performing the Gua-sha practice,
- Under eyes- Use the longest, narrowest & most elongated curve of your heart-shaped tool for the most delicate part of the face, your eyes. Place the Gua sha flat below the inner corner of your eye & very gently sweep outwards towards your hairline. Do it at least two times on each side.
- The Eyebrows- Eyebrows hold a lot of facial tension & are an important facial part to de-stress for relaxation. Place the curve of the love-heart jade in the middle of your eyebrows & the longer curve of the jade should be above the eyebrow. Following the shape of the eyebrow, sweep towards the hair line giving gentle pressure. Do it on both sides.
- The Forehead- Use the longest side of the Gua sha for the forehead. Starting with the top of the right eyebrow, pull the wide edge of the tool upwards to the top of your hairline & forehead. Do it on both sides.
- The Cheeks- Place the flat longest edge of the Gua sha on the left corner of the mouth & slowly drag the tool upwards following your cheekbones towards the hairline putting medium pressure. Do it on both sides of the cheeks.
- The Jaw-Jaws also hold tension resulting in TMJ sometimes. These relaxing stones can be a great help. Using the top part of the love-heart Gua sha, make sweeping motions on the jawline to the base of your ear. Repeat on both sides.
- The Neck- Place the inwardly curved side of the tool on your collarbone of each side and sweep up to the jawline giving upward strokes in a medium sharp pressing motion.
- The Throat- Use the upper love-heart side of the Gua sha. Start from the middle of the collarbone area and sweep upwards following the curve of the neck. Apply light pressure.
How to clean Gua-Sha tools?
Clean it every single time before using it to remove the accumulated bacteria & sometimes even bad smell from the built-up of oils & dirt.
You can use soap or your everyday cleanser to wash your tools. Massage it thoroughly & wash it off with warm water.
Gua Sha FAQs
Is Gua sha better than a Jade roller?
Gua sha allows targeting specific parts of the face in a much better & deeper way. They are also better with Lymphatic drainage than Jade rollers.
Who shouldn’t use the Gua-sha tool?
- It targets the blood vessels so people who take blood thinners should avoid Gua sha.
- If you have any facial Botox, injectables, or any surgery, wait for at least 4 weeks before using Gua- Sha.
How many times can I do Gua-sha?
You can do it easily 3-4 times if you get spare time 5 times in total.
This ancient Chinese practice involves stroking & sculpting the face & other body parts to keep your blood circulation & lymphatic drainage flowing resulting in radiant, firm skin.
It is completely safe to do it at home just keep the pressure light, especially around the eyes & if you’re on blood thinners, best to skip Gua sha’s.
Love ~ Beauty Stroll