*By Elizabeth Hollensbee*
The Gua Sha (pronounced gwah-shah), a tool used in traditional chinese medicine, has gained major attention recently all over the Internet.
While recently rising in popularity, the practice of Gua Sha is hundreds of years old, first being used to treat heat stroke and the common cold.
If, like myself, you’ve found yourself on gua sha TikTok, captivated by before and after reveals after use, here is everything you need to know about the viral skin-care trend.
The tool resembles a flat piece of marble or stone you might find in nature, but with the right technique, the gua sha can help drain the lymphatic system, decreasing the appearance of puffiness and boosting circulation around the face and neck.
Not only can the Gua Sha provide a more sculpted look, especially around the cheekbone and jaw area, but it also offers a few minutes of relaxation and mindfulness.
By following the rhythmic motions of the treatment, fans of the routine find tranquility in self-care, expelling not just lymphatic drainage but also the tension that we hold in so much of our face.
To practice gua sha is to release worry and practice a few minutes of meditative self-care. The best part about this self-care? It only takes five minutes.
The most important rule: Never apply the gua sha technique on dry skin. Apply water, moisturizer, or a face oil to prepare the skin and to avoid any scraping or discomfort.
A step by step guide on how to gua sha:
- Apply water, moisturizer, or facial oil to the face and neck. Ensure that the face is fully damp and reapply to any spots that may be dry.
- Hold the gua sha flat to the surface of your skin, applying gentle pressure, with the curved side gliding across the neck, jawline, and forehead. The strokes should follow in the same direction with each pass, but never back and forth. Repeat each motion three to five times in each target area of the face.
- Move to the eye and brow area, still holding the tool flat to the skin to release any tension or puffiness. Under the eyes, follow the natural “U” shape with the tool, still repeating three to five times. Near the brows, utilize parallel strokes with the brow bone. Between the brows, use upward strokes. This step can be useful in relieving much of the tension stored here as a product of anxiety or stress.
- Finally, draw down the neck, draining all the fluid you have worked to release from the top of the face to the bottom of the chin. I like to divide my neck in thirds, applying three to five strokes on each segment of the neck.
- After completing the gua sha method, continue with your usual skin-care routine. Best results will occur if you gua sha twice a day, once in the morning, and once at night. Always remember to clean your tool with hot water and soap before each use to avoid spreading any bacteria on the skin.
Here are some Gua Sha tools if you are thinking about purchasing one:
Face oils to pair with your Gua Sha: