Gua Sha 101

gua sha tools

Gua sha is different in comparison to other facial and body massage techniques in the sense that it does not use traditional, manual strokes. It uses a tool typically made from stone to tread deeper into the skin.

Thanks to this, the gua sha technique comes with various benefits, including congestion-relief and flawless-looking skin. This is why guasha is so commonly used in skin care as well, due to the ability of the tool to release the toxins from your body.

What Is Gua Sha Tool?

Gua sha tools are part of the traditional Chinese medicine and act as a “scraper” on the skin, making it feel nice and smooth. The tools are typically made from rose quartz, jade, crystalline, and other similar semi-precious stones. These stones were carved to have a firm and flat surface, with special angles/edges on the tool. The term translates from Chinese, meaning “scraping;” however, the technique and tool itself have nothing to do with the process of exfoliation.

What Is Gua Sha?

The Gua Sha massage originally comes from China, more precisely from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Especially in East Asia and Southeast Asia, massages are an essential part of medicine. "Gua" means "to scrape" or "to stroke" and "Sha" means "redness." Besides improving blood circulation and draining lymph nodes, this type of massage can rejuvenate your skin and make you age better.


Overall Benefits of Gua Sha

The Gua Sha tool is used for gentle stroking, pressing in one direction of the skin, and improving your blood circulation.

These tools are also very efficient in relieving the inflammation, both in the short-term and in the long term. The benefits are plenty, as aside from the improved blood flow, it can also encourage lymphatic drainage. A good rubbing with this kind of tool will not only make your skin feel smoother, but it will also flush out the toxins from your blood vessels. You will be healing from within.

How does the Gua Sha facial massage work?

First, we need to make sure our face is clean. Because we'll have to apply oil or face cream before the scraping, it's better to do this on a cleansed face so that we don't clog the pores. To further enhance the detox process, use sesame oil as it absorbs toxins from the skin.

During the next step, the scraper is pulled over the face's skin with light pressure, along the facial muscles and meridians, until slight reddening occurs. This redness indicates an improvement in blood flow, so don't worry if your face looks all flushed out. The pressure can also cause small bleeding in deeper layers of the skin (petechiae and ecchymosis) and bruises, so try and are very gentle during the first sessions.

You can start by using Gua Sha for about one minute at least twice or three times a week in terms of how much time to spend scrapping.

When performing the massage, every area of the face should be stroked 3-5 times. From the upper face to the cheek area, the strokes should go towards the hairline and the ears. All impurities from your face gather behind the back of your ears, so scraping in this direction will help facilitate a quicker detox.

Scrape your skin gently but firmly while using your fingers to pin the skin you want to the massage tool on. Use eye serum or cream to create a firming and lifting effect after performing the massage.

Due to the nature of the movements, the treatment is not suitable for acne or other facial injuries. When picking the right massage tool for performing this message, always choose one that has a rounded side so that it can adapt well to the face. Though Jade rollers are quite common, you can also use any Gua Sha flat tools as long as you use the softer edges.

Post-Gua Sha

Apart from promoting blood circulation and reducing puffiness and bags under the eyes, this massage can have a face sculpting effect if used in the long run. Apart from this, Gua Sha can release tension in the facial muscles, and strengthen the connective tissue around the face.

Immediately after the treatment, you should feel lighter and generally happier, but there are cases when fatigue can set in. Since the massage stimulates the metabolism and removes toxins from the body, it's indicated to drink plenty of water or unsweetened herbal tea after every massage.


after skincare routine

Does the Gua Sha massage hurt?

No, because only gentle pressure is used. The massage should feel comfortable and, in no case, painful. Apart from reddened skin, bruises, and possibly a slight feeling of sore muscles, no side effects are known.

In the end, if you want to firm up your skin, reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity, Gua Sha promises to deliver a beautiful complexion in a matter of minutes, and this technique can be your own secret weapon against aging.


Types of Gua Sha Scrapers

Gua sha tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes – and it might be difficult to narrow them down to a few “basics.” Each tool is made special by the manufacturer, in a shape that it can induce self-care.

In the end, for body scraping, you can find a variety of shapes – for example, comb shapes, “spatter” shapes, board shapes, rollers – and even hearts. They may look cute, but their smooth curves should help improve your skin complexion and beauty. What you need to consider, however, is the material:

  • Jade: Jade is one of the most common materials for gua sha tools. Since the jade stone is naturally cool, this type of tool is a natural remedy for a puffy face. It is also a good device if you need lifting, contouring, and skin clarity.
  • Rose QuartzRose quartz is calming, which is why it is the ideal choice for sensitive skin. For more benefits, it is best kept in the refrigerator.
  • Amethyst: Amethyst is not only effective, but it also has a great cooling effect. It can help release muscle tension and smooth your skin by eliminating tension and soothing inflammation.

There are various gua sha tools out there, all with different shapes, sizes, and materials. What matters is the Right Technique and ingredients such as oil to start as the base for the Gua Sha. This way, you should be able to reap every benefit such a device has to offer.