The Gua Sha tool (pronounced: gwah-shah) has seen a surge in popularity, largely thanks to an oversupply of de-puffing facial massage tutorials on TikTok, but these palm-sized stones have been in skincare practice for hundreds of years. Originally a body treatment performed by an acupuncturist, the traditional Chinese technique involves scraping the skin with a smooth-edged tool to reduce systemic inflammation and improve circulation. The stone (typically jade or quartz) has since been adapted for facial therapies, de-puffing the most exhausted of eye bags, boosting skin brightness, and chiselling out cheekbones you didn't even know existed. Here's why we love a Gua Sha facial massage and how these trending little facial tools are used.
4 Reasons To Use A Gua Sha Tool
1. Lymphatic Drainage: A Gua Sha massage promotes lymphatic drainage, helping to eliminate toxins and excess fluid buildup caused by interstitial fluid (fluid trapped under your skin that needs to be released by your lymph system). With regular use, the tool reduces puffiness and the appearance of dark circles.
2. Improved Circulation: Ever wonder how your skin has an effervescent glow after a facial? It's thanks to increased blood circulation naturally stimulated by massage. The scraping motion of a Gua Sha tool increases blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin's surface, resulting in a radiant, glowing complexion.
3. Facial Contouring: The scrapping motion of a Gua Sha stone relaxes facial muscles and reduces tension, helping to sculpt and define your facial contours for a natural facelift effect.
4. Increased Product Absorption: Using a Gua Sha tool can enhance the absorption of skincare products by improving circulation and aiding in their penetration into the skin.
How To Use Your Gua Sha Tool
Step 1: Starting with a clean face, apply a skincare product that gives some slip to your skin. A facial oil, like the Wild Rose Oil from Skwálwen Botanicals, or a natural facial serum like Moon Dew from Wyld will create a silky surface for the Gua Sha tool to glide over.
Step 2: Select a tool that hugs the contours of your face. The Aventurine Gua Sha from MIFA is hand carved with specific angles and the right thickness to perfectly adapt to your face. Hold the tool with the curved side facing up. Start at the base of your neck and gently scrape the Gua Sha tool in an upward motion toward your jawline. Repeat this motion 3-5 times on each side.
Step 3: Move to your jawline: Use upward strokes along your jawline, starting from the chin and moving towards your ears. Apply long and continuous strokes.
Step 4: Sculpt your cheeks: With gentle pressure, move the tool from the corner of your mouth to your ear, following your cheekbone.
Step 5: Focus on the eye area: Use the curved edge of the Gua Sha tool to gently scrape the under-eye area, moving from the inner corner to the outer corner. (Pssst. this is a great time to work in your natural eye cream.)
Step 6: Forehead and brow: Glide the tool horizontally across your forehead, starting from the center and moving outward. For the brow area, use upward strokes along the brow bone.
Step 7: Lips: Glide the Gua Sha stone over treated lips, back and forth several times for a plumping effect.
Step 8: Finish with your nose: use the curved edge of the Gua Sha stone to gently scrape along the sides of your nose, moving outward. Repeat this motion 3-5 times.
Step 9: Clean your tool: Clean your Gua Sha tool with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth after each use. Pat it dry before storing it in a cool, dry place. (These stones break easily if dropped - handle with care!) Finish the treatment with your regular natural skincare routine and hydrate - drink a glass of water to improve a clogged lymphatic system - and enjoy your new glow!
Photo credit MIFA
Incorporating a Gua Sha tool into your natural skincare routine is an easy DIY glow-up. When practiced regularly and done correctly, the practice promotes better circulation, facial contouring, and healthy lymphatic flow for tired or congested skin - for a fraction of the cost of an in-office facial. We are also big fans of anything encouraging better absorption of our skincare products. If you have questions about incorporating a Gua Sha tool into your skincare routine, reach out to your knowledgeable Green Kiss Educator.