It's trending right now, but the ancient Chinese medical skin treatment is not new. In fact Gua Sha, pronounced gwa sha, has its origins in the Paleolithic Age. People used hands and stones to alleviate illnesses.
While it feels just as lovely as it sounds, the benefits actually extend way past relaxation and lessened tension—it’s linked to clearer skin, fewer wrinkles and a more sculpted appearance. Here's an in-depth look into what this Eastern "facelift" is all about.
A little history
Gua sha is an ancient medical procedure from China and Southeast Asia. This treatment was conducted on the body by a close family member. They would vigorously scrape the skin with a buffalo horn or antler. Over time this evolved into using gentler instruments like porcelain soup spoons and jade stones.
These instruments are used on the skin in upward strokes to relax stiff muscles and promote tissue drainage. The massager uses both short and long strokes on the arms, back, legs, and buttocks to boost blood flow.
WHY IS GUA SHA IMPORTANT?
According to eastern medicine, sluggish energy in the body may cause inflammation, which leads to various chronic pain conditions. Scraping the skin is believed to undo this weak energy, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, release toxins, boost the immune system, and encourage healing.
The immediate results last for days. However, for more deep-rooted conditions, you need regular sessions.
What's facial gua sha?
Facial gua sha is a gentler version of the treatment and is done on the face.
BENEFITS OF GUA SHA FACIAL
Some of the top benefits of this treatment include:
- Gives you radiance
- Creates a plumping effect
- Rejuvenates the face
- Temporarily reduces puffiness
- Gives you a revived look
- Releases facial tension
- Reduces the appearance of dark under-eye circles
- Promotes an even skin tone
- Lightens your look
- Helps tighten and firm your look
- Calms the skin
- Alleviates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Gua sha Vs. jade roller
Please note: the gua sha technique is different from that of the jade roller. A gua sha gives you more flexibility than a roller. The benefits you achieve depend on your speed, pressure, direction, and which edge you select.
This method also effectively drains the lymph nodes leading to the overall radiant appearance of your skin.
One of the best things about gua sha is that you can do it yourself. It saves you money and time and you can do it anywhere. However, be cautious when performing this facial gua sha to avoid injuring the skin.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT STONE
There's a flood of tools in the market, but choose a stone that sits comfortably in your hand. Alternatively, buy them in different sizes and keep them on hand. You can have one with a smaller curve for use around the eye area, and another V-shaped one to contour your jawline.
PREP YOUR SKIN
Before starting, clean and prime your face with a serum or lotion. Doing this ensures that your tool glides smoothly across your face.
Facial skin is delicate, especially near the eyes where the skin is thinner. Always start with light pressure until you're comfortable with the technique.
Make sure your tool is parallel to your face always to avoid bruising yourself.
KEEP YOUR SKIN TAUT
Hold the area you're working on using your free hand and keep it taut. Manipulating your tool will be a breeze.
Work with upward strokes to further enhance the lifting effect.
TWICE A WEEK
We recommend that you do facial gua sha two to three times a week to enjoy the best results.
AVOID IT IF
If you have inflamed or bruised skin, avoid this facial until the skin heals.
DIY gua sha
Here's how to properly do gua sha at home:
- Starting with your third eye chakra (space between the eyebrows), make a straight stroke up to the hairline.
- Sweep from the center of the forehead and out towards the temples.
- Scrape underneath your eyebrow using the curved part of the tool, right on the brow bone.
- Use light pressure to slowly stroke the under eye area. Start from the side of your nose, going up towards your temple.
- Then go from the side of your nose, across the cheek up to the middle of your ear.
- Repeat this motion, this time starting at the corner of your mouth.
- From the middle of your chin, roll under your lower lip towards the earlobe.
- Sweep under the jaw up to the bottom of your ear.
- Lastly, scrape from your jaw and earlobe to the middle of your collarbone. This is the only downward motion you'll make- it flushes your lymph system. Move from the center of your forehead to your temple, down to your ear until you reach the triangular area at the base of your neck. Do this several times.
- Do all nine steps a minimum of three times and a maximum of ten, then move on to the other side.
Enjoy radiant skin!
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team