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's people used any tools with smooth round edges and do this Gua sha to alleviate several conditions from flu, bronchitis to even musculoskeletal problems.
Due to it’s tremendous healing properties on many of our body parts, people start to discover their benefit 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 their benefits!
Gua Sha benefits for skin?
1. Relieve muscle tension
If you’re very expressive, you can totally 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, as well as 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 is looking at it’s best after you exercise. Improvement in blood circulations are 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 get 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.
Rose Quartznon-porous cool crystal that inherent various minerals. Their cool nature can help to reduce skin temperature (which is heavenly especially for the summer). Among the other options, rose quartz is the most expensive one but have some major plus point to consider. The reason behind their high price points are: Rose Quartz is harder and require more labor to carve and shaped. 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 originally used since ancient time. This precious cool stone has similar properties to Rose Quartz. However, they are softer and more easily to shaped. 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 color of any other original rose quartz and jade, but they are a lot lighter! The plastic-scrapper 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 real rose quartz/jade, you can judge them based on their temperature. Rose quartz and jade can retain temperature lower than the room temperature. Second, you should be careful while picking on the plastic-scrapper since they 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 sheet mask dries out, you may feel your skin is being tugged by the tools. 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 to always use this in one outward or upward movement!
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 area between the brows.Use at maximum 5-7 passes on each area to prevent excessive redness.
4. For additional benefit, you can apply agentle static pressure on several acupressureareas using the smaller tip of your Gua Sha tools. Acupressure points are located around the temple, in 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 it on another part of your body. Any part in specific 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 to your daily skincare routine. You can do it either day or night depending on your major concern. 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 favorite show or reading your favorite 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’re having fillers injection. 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 causeunwanted 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’re having 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 to be beneficial for our body in so many ways and so does our skin. From improving lymphatic drainage, relieving tense muscle and even improving blood circulation. This is why a great Gua Sha tools can be a great investment for a better skin day ahead!
- By Claudia Christin (@Funskincare)