If you're wondering what that pretty-looking tool that all skin enthusiast been scraping their face with is, you should read this article to the very end. We will break down all the details on this ancient Chinese beauty secret called Gua Sha. Who and how you can benefit from it, we got you all covered!
Gua Sha is defined as "Gua", which means "scraping", and "Sha" means sand or sharkskin. In short, it is a technique to scrap a part of the body to improve one's health. This technique originated in China and has been used as a healing technique all over Asia for years. Back in the day, people used any tools with smooth round edges and did this Gua sha to alleviate several conditions from flu, bronchitis, and even musculoskeletal problems.
Due to its remarkable healing properties on many of our body parts, people started to discover their benefits for the face as well. Of course, the technique used on facial skin is slightly different due to the different nature of our facial skin physiology, but their benefit is just as astonishing. Before we talk about the technique, let's talk about all its benefits!
Gua Sha benefits for skin?
1. Relieve muscle tension
If you're very expressive, you can relate to this! Each day we make thousands of movement on our facial muscle. Just like any other part of our body's muscle, they can get tired and tense at times.The pressure from Gua Sha can help relieve the tension especially on the area that worked most like the smile line area, between the brows and temple.
2. Promote lymphatic drainage
If you're wondering why our face gets so puffy in the morning, it is caused by fluid accumulation due to lack of circulation at night while we are lying flat. This is when pressure and movement from Gua Sha help promote fluid back to the circulating system and depuff our face! Goodbye to puffy face
3. Improve microcirculation on our skin
The pressure from Gua Sha has been shown to improve microcirculation on our skin surface. As we all know, our skin acquires their nutrients through our blood. Increased circulation also means more nutrients supply from the blood to our skin! You would've probably noticed that your skin looks its best after exercise. Improvement in blood circulation is the reason for it, and now Gua Sha can give you the same healthy-glow
Enough with the benefits, I bet you are now excited to know the how-to. Before we can even get started, we should first decide on the right tool. The tools that can be used for Gua Sha may vary from rose quartz, jade to even a plastic-made scraper. And this is when it can get a little tricky. The various price points of the tools might raise a big question mark in your mind. It looks physically just the same, but why are they priced very differently.
A non-porous, naturally cool crystal recognised by its natural pink hue. Their cool nature can help to reduce skin temperature (which is heavenly, especially in the summer). Among the other options, rose quartz is the most expensive one but have some major plus points to consider. The reason behind their high price points is: Rose Quartz is harder and requires more labour to carve and shape. However, their crystalline structure of rose quartz, it can produce a smoother, shinier, almost mirror-like surface. When you’re considering on getting one as a long-term investment, we suggest you to opt for the rose quartz because they can last you the longest among the other options. Moreover, who can resist their pretty color?
Glosome Rose Quartz Gua Sha
Jade is the one that has been used initially since ancient times. This precious cool stone has similar properties to Rose Quartz. However, they are softer and is easier to shape. Although it provides just the same amount of benefit as rose quartz,jade tends to shatter a lot easier than rose quartz, therefore, it is usually cheaper than rose quartz.
This is the one you can probably find in your nearby £1 store. The manufacturer usually produces them in the shape and colour of any other original rose quartz and jade, but they are a lot lighter! The plastic scraper is the cheapest out of all, but it also comes with some disadvantages. First, they don't have any cooling properties. If you want to distinguish between fake and genuine rose quartz/jade, you can judge them based on their temperature. Rose quartz and jade can retain temperature lower than room temperature. Second, you should be careful while using the plastic scraper since it may have a sharp edge on it that can scratch your skin.
Librarian tip: We highly suggest you pick from either rose quartz or jade due to their longevity and smoother surface. Consider this as an investment for your skin ;)
How to prepare your skin for a Gua Sha:
When you have picked your tools of choice, let’s learn how to get right into the process:
1. Use Gua Sha on cleansed face and in conjunction with products that allow some slip on your skin. For example face oils or over a drenched sheet mask.
Librarian tip Be generous with your face oils and use a fresh newly applied mask. Once your facial oil is absorbed or the sheet mask dries out, you may feel the tools are tugging your skin. When this happens, you should reconsider re-applying the oil or stop doing it to prevent skin tugging.
2. Use them in outward and upward motions! Gravity has done enough for our skin and causes the sagging of our skin and we don’t want to add that by pulling our skin down with Gua Sha. Make sure always to use this in outward or upward movements!
3. You can use them from your forehead down to the décolletage area. For wide surface areas, you can use the wide flat surface of the tools and use the smaller tip for the small edge of your face. Make sure to be more gentle for the area around the eye and use them in an outward circular motion focusing on the space between the brows. Use a maximum of 5-7 passes on each area to prevent excessive redness..
4. For additional benefit, you can apply gentle static pressure on several acupressureareas using the smaller tip of your Gua Sha tools. Acupressure points are located around the temple, between the brows, the edge of our nose, and along the jawline area. This technique, just like Gua Sha, is also a great way to improve lymphatic drainage and circulation.
5. You may feel increased of warmth and a decent amount of redness on your skin. When you experience any pain or excessive redness, it means that you’ve been overdoing it.
Librarian tip: You can also use this on another part of your body—any areas that are prone to soreness. Make sure to apply oils or body lotion to allow some slip while you're scraping them with your Gua Sha tool.
You can incorporate Gua Sha into your daily skincare routine. Depending on your primary concern, you can do it either day or night. If you have an issue with a puffy face, you can use them in the morning. But if you are dealing with tense facial muscles, you can use them at night. You can even use it while you're watching your favourite show or reading your favourite book!
However, there are some conditions where the use of Gua Sha should be restricted:
1.Right after Botox or Fillers
Avoid Gua Sha on the first 14 days after botox, and DO NOT use them when you have filler injections. Pressure from Gua Sha may cause unwanted dislocation of the injectable on your face.
2. Active acne / pimple
Avoid using this, especially over your active acne. Pressure from Gua Sha may cause unwanted pressure and irritation to the active inflammation and cause even more trouble. Therefore, avoid the affected area or avoid using them at all when you're breaking out.
3. Irritated skin (sunburn, rash)
Just like when you have acne. Using Gua Sha over your irritated skin may cause even more irritation and redness. Focus on soothing products and you can do more Gua Sha once your skin has recovered.
Takeaway: Gua Sha is a simple yet inexpensive alternative for your daily self-care dose. This Ancient-Chinese scraping technique has been proven beneficial for our body in many ways. It also benefits our skin by improving lymphatic drainage, relieving tense muscle, and improving blood circulation. This is why a great Gua Sha tool can be an excellent investment for better skin days ahead!
- By Claudia Christin (@Funskincare)