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Move over crystal rollers, there’s a new tool in town! Totally kidding, I could never part with my crystal roller but it does now share part of my skincare routine with a new friend, my gua sha tool. Now that we’re all spending a little more time at home, it’s the perfect time to think about adding gua sha as a step to your skincare routine!
What Is Gua Sha?
If you don’t know, Gua Sha (pronounced gwahshah) is a technique that traces back to traditional Eastern medicine. It aims to move energy around the body using a gua sha tool (pictured below) As the gua sha tool “scrapes” the skin, it applies pressure which helps alleviate muscle pain & tension. I found this free Kindle book on Amazon (if you have the Kindle Unlimited plan) that goes into more facial gua sha details if you’re interested! I’ll also link the paperback version in the “Shop The Post” slider below!
What Are The Benefits?
Some benefits of gua sha used across the body include reduced inflammation & chronic pain relief. It’s also been noted to improve circulation and increase blood flow. Some people even say it helps with headaches and reduces their neck pain.
I personally love that gua sha stimulates your lymphatic system, riding your body of toxins. I normally use mine on my face for benefits like smoothing wrinkles, firming up skin, reducing under eye circles or puffiness and helping skin congestion.
What Are The Side Effects?
Gua sha should not be painful! Repeat after me, gua sha should not hurt! Because you’re “scraping” or gliding the tool across your skin, you may become a little flushed. I also always like to remind people that when you’re doing gua sha on your face it should be much more gentle (think like your crystal roller or ice globes) that if you were performing elsewhere on the body.
Types of Gua Sha Tools
Gua Sha tools come in a variety of different materials and different shapes. Some shapes are best for delicate under the eye areas, others for faces, and others for overall body use. I personally only use one tool since 99% of the time I’m only doing gua sha on my face.
When selecting your gua sha tool, you may want to reference the properties of different stones or crystals to help your decision or you can just pick one that matches your aesthetic or looks pleasing to you!
Jade is said to help gain insight, encourage creativity, heal, and insure a long life. Rose Quartz is said to inspire the love of beauty, in oneself and others. Black Obsidian is also another popular choice and is said to help shield you from negativity while drawing out stress and mental tension.
Important Gua Sha Reminders
- Use gentle pressure when performing gua sha on the face. Firm pressure should only be used for body treatments.
- The main benefit of facial gua sha is moving stagnant lymph so movements begin with upward motions and then eventually end up pushing lymph through our lymphatic ducts (located in between each collarbone). The only time you’ll use downward movements is when you’re pushing the buildup through the lymph ducts.
- You should start with three to five sweeps on each area of your face. You can perform up to ten sweeps on the forehead area.
- Make sure your face (and hands!) are recently cleaned and ready. #washyourhands
- Remember to ease up and skip gua sha on areas that include cystic acne, pimples, pen sores/lesions, or rosacea.
How To Gua Sha
- Apply facial oil covering your face and neck.
- Start with either a cool gua sha tool (I love keeping mine in the fridge for additional inflammation benefits) but you can also slightly warm in your hands for a little more of a relaxing/self-care vibe.
- Start by sweeping the gua sha tool from in between your eyebrows (above your nose) up to your hairline.
- Next you’ll sweep from the center of the forehead to your temples.
- Then move on to gently sweeping in between your eyebrows and eyelids.
- Next, sweep from the outer corners of your eyes to your hairline.
- Starting at the sides of your nose and moving gently up to your temple, ultimately finishing at the hairline, sweep underneath your eyes (the same area you’d find under eye bags).
- Then, sweep down the bridge of your nose.
- Sweep again from the sides of the nose out to your temple but move slightly down to your cheeks as a starting point.
- Next, complete the same sweeping motion above your mouth up towards the middle of where your ears meet your face.
- Then, you’ll repeat the process but under your mouth. You’ll sweep from the middle of your face (under your lower lip) up to right above where your earlobe meets your face.
- Next move to your chin. You’ll sweep from the middle out to right where your earlobe meets your face.
- Then follow your jawline, sweeping again from the middle of your face out to the earlobe.
- Now you’ll begin your downward sweeps, sweeping from the earlobes down to your lymph ducts (remember they’re located in the middle of your collarbones).
- Finish by moving up to the forehead (up by your hairline) with downward sweeping motions all the way down to your lymph ducts. Then repeat the movement but begin at your temples and sweep down to the ducts.
Do you have a gua sha tool? What differences are you seeing? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer! I’m also thinking about filming a gua sha tutorial for IGTV soon! Would you be interested?
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