How To Use A Gua Sha Beauty Tool

By Carla Oates

Whether you’re a skincare aficionado or not, it’s likely that you’ve noticed the recent surge in the popularity of facial beauty tools including amethystrose quartz and jade rollers, Kansa wands and Gua Sha. You’ve probably even got one or two stashed in your beauty cabinet.

But if you’re yet to try the latter, we’re here to help convince you that a Gua Sha could be just the tool you need to sculpt your skin and transform your wellness routine for the better. With its roots in Chinese medicine, this massage technique has been around for thousands of years and boasts a number of beauty benefits including toning, brightening and firming the skin, improving circulation, blood flow and aiding lymphatic drainage, boosting collagen production, reducing puffiness and skin inflammation and improving the absorption of your topical formulas.

Sounds pretty great, right? Below we delve into everything you need to know about the Gua Sha and how to use one at home…

But First, What Exactly Is Gua Sha?

Also known as ‘jade scraping’, this centuries-old technique uses a smooth-edged tool to literally stroke and scrape the skin whilst applying gentle pressure. While in traditional Chinese medicine Gua Sha is used on the back, neck, buttocks, arms and legs—facial Gua Sha has become even more common due to its many beauty benefits. As pressure is applied and the tool slides over the contours of the face, it increases microcirculation which not only gives you glowy skin—but evidence also shows it is an effective pain relief tool, too.

How To Use A Gua Sha

The first step is to find a Gua Sha tool that resonates and feels good for you as there are now countless varieties on the market in various shapes, sizes and materials. But no matter the tool, for best results, the best way to use a Gua Sha is to apply even, medium pressure strokes to the skin in the direction that aids lymphatic flow as it’s this method which helps to stimulate lymphatic drainage and deliver that firm, glowy Gua Sha look. 

While there are countless social media tutorials and TikTok videos online these days, mastering the art of Gua Sha is actually fairly simple. Once you’ve got your tool at the ready, apply a few drops of your favourite facial oil or moisturiser to your face—then begin at the jawline, using the ‘love heart’ part of the tool to make firm, sweeping movements across the jaw from the chin, up towards the ear. Repeat several times before switching sides.

Then, using the longer side of the tool, massage the cheekbones beginning just above the mouth, sliding the tool upwards along each cheek contour. To smooth and depuff the eye area, sweep the Gua Sha underneath the eye from the inner corner, up and out towards your hairline. Follow by using the ‘love heart’ part of the Gua Sha on your eyebrows, starting at the bridge of your nose and sliding out towards the temples. 

And finally, use the long curved side of the tool to smooth and firm the forehead by pulling it up towards the top of the forehead from your eyebrows. The forehead facial muscles are some of the strongest, so you can definitely be firm in your approach here. Repeat several times and then enjoy your glowing skin!

The Benefits Of Gua Sha

As with any skincare routine, individual results can certainly vary, but proponents of this TCM practice report impressive benefits including:

  • Improved skin firmness and elasticity
  • Reduced breakouts
  • Decreased puffiness 
  • Increased skin hydration 
  • Improved brightness
  • Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduced skin inflammation and improvement in skin rashes and rosacea

How Often Should You Use A Gua Sha

The good thing about facial massage and Gua Sha is that you can do it as often as you like! Depending on your skin type and tolerance, begin by using your Gua Sha once a week, but increase the frequency as you start to become a pro at perfecting your complexion.

And don’t be tempted to reserve your Gua Sha for your face only! It’s a wonderful self-care tool and pain reliever, so if you’re holding tension in your neck and shoulders, you can also use it to gently sweep along the bridge of your shoulders, across your collarbone and up your neck. Pure heaven.

Image: Unsplash