Gua Sha skincare is a traditional Chinese healing technique that involves dragging a smooth-edged massage tool on your skin to improve blood circulation. This ancient therapy offers a unique approach to better skin care and overall health, by relieving bodyache and relaxing sore muscles.
Gua Sha therapy is often recommended alongside other treatments like acupuncture, heat therapy and various massages.
History of the Gua Sha tool
The origin of the tool dates back to the Paleolithic Age. It is believed that when people fell sick or went into a coma, physicians used stones or household materials, such as coins or tins, to massage the patient’s body parts. This helped alleviate some illnesses.
Gua Sha massage was widely popular in ancient China as a folk therapy. During the era of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the procedure was scientifically computed into major medical records. Although the actual concept of Gua Sha is much older, its first computed record dates back to about 700 years.
This ancient Chinese practice is all about ‘chi’, known as ‘prana’ in Ayurveda. As per Chinese philosophy, an energy flows through our bodies known as ‘chi’. To ensure good health and skin, we must let good chi flow freely, creating a balanced mind and body.
Choosing Gua Sha tools
The Gua Sha tool acts like a facial roller that can define our facial contours like the jawline, cheekbones and under-eye area. To achieve optimal results, you need Gua Shas of different lengths and those that have various curves and angles along their edges. This helps you apply the perfect amount of pressure to stimulate blood circulation, yielding a sculpted face with optimal use.
What are the benefits of using a Gua Sha?
A Gua Sha massage comes with a host of benefits, the primary being lymphatic drainage. It promotes muscle movement, which relieves built-up tension to reduce puffiness, fatigue, acne and other skin concerns.
The facial tool can also heal flare-ups, redness and acne by removing lymphatic congestion and improving blood circulation in your face. This, in turn, helps to renew cells, thereby reducing the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines or dark spots. Improved blood circulation brightens skin complexion and eliminates puffiness.
How to use a Gua Sha tool?
Cleanse your face and apply facial oil, serum or a moisturiser of your choice. Your skin should be slippery so that the tool can easily glide across your face, causing no irritation.
The curved portion of the tool should hug the curves of your face, and the flat portion should be angled to partially rest on your skin. Starting at the base of the neck, drag the wider concave side of the tool towards your jaw. Repeat the motion a few times before you move to the other side of your neck. Remember not to put too much pressure on your skin. The motions should be gentle and smooth.
Next, from the centre of your cheek, scrape downwards to the bottom of your ear. Repeat this a few times and follow the same pattern on the other side as well. Now, start from the side of your nose and drag the Gau Sha along the cheekbones towards the top of your ear. Continue the process for the rest of your face. Once you have massaged your entire face, wipe the Gua Sha with a clean cloth or towel.
Here are some of the best Gua Sha tools that you must try
Hero & featured image credit: Courtesy Skylar Kang
Try the Jade Gua Sha from Ras Luxury Oils to relax your facial muscles and define the contours of your face. Jade is known for its calming properties that reduces puffiness, promotes blood circulation and brightens skin tone. Don’t forget to cleanse your face and apply an organic face mist or oil before scraping it with the Gua Sha.
Image credit: Courtesy Ras Luxury Oils
Troubled by premature ageing? Well, not to worry anymore! Gift yourself the Rose Quartz Gua Sha Stone Teardrop from Dromen & Co. and rejuvenate your dull skin. Known as a ‘healer of the heart’, rose quartz is one of the best beautifying crystals. Scrape your skin with it to get rid of wrinkles, scars and sagging skin.
Image credit: Courtesy Dromen & Co.
Ease muscle tension to get healthier-looking skin with this Gua Sha plate by Decorte. The carefully handcrafted plate is made from porcelain with an easy-to-hold edge. The product is sourced from Mizunami City in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, which is known for its long history in pottery.
Image credit: Courtesy Decorte
Say goodbye to your morning puffy face by massaging it with this heart-shaped rose quartz Gua Sha from Kora Organics. The stones exude a soothing vibe and stimulate blood circulation to bring out your skin’s natural flow. For best results, apply a light moisturiser or facial oil before scraping your face with the Gua Sha.
Image credit: Courtesy Kora Organics
Let your skin imbibe the healing energy of copper as you scrape your face with this Kansa Gua Sha from Just Herbs. The alkaline properties of Kansa or bronze help balance the pH level of your skin. It also keeps your skin hydrated to boost natural radiance.
Image credit: Courtesy Just Herbs
Check out this uniquely crafted Gua Sha with a 3D design from Skinduzed. The custom Gua Sha comes with a special hooked edge and ridges that perfectly hug the facial contours to give you more defined features. You can also use this Gua Sha on your body. With regular use, you can get a naturally dewy complexion.
Image credit: Courtesy Myntra
Want to get a visibly toned jawline? Odacite’s blue sodalite Gua Sha is crafted to make your skin more radiant while perfectly defining your features. The massage will also reduce the appearance of dark circles, wrinkles, fine lines and dullness.
Image credit: Courtesy Odacite
Jazz up your self-care routine by giving your face a gentle scraping with this Gua Sha spoon from Mount Lai. Made from rose quartz, the Gua Sha generates positive energy that revives your skin and mind. Additionally, it serves multiple purposes, from uplifting your cheekbones to releasing muscle tension through acupressure points.
Image credit: Courtesy Mount Lai
Amethyst is known for its many skincare benefits like removing dead cells, moisturising skin and brightening the complexion. You can now get these benefits from Zobha’s Amethyst Gua Sha. Gently scrape your skin with the tool and improve the elasticity, firmness and overall health of your skin.
Image credit: Courtesy Zobha
Treat your face with a gentle massage using the Kitsch Stainless Steel Gua Sha Tool. The Gua Sha helps relieve tension and improve blood circulation to boost your skin’s brightness and health. Made from 100 percent stainless steel, this tool is non-porous and prevents bacteria build-up, ensuring your skin’s safety.
Image credit: Courtesy Beautybay
With this new addition to your beauty routine, you can get clear skin and enhanced facial features like never before. The healing vibrations of the aventurine Gua Sha from Psychic Sisters leaves a calming effect on your skin, body and mind. However, remember to cleanse your face before scraping it with the Gua Sha.
Image credit: Courtesy Psychic Sisters
Let all the tension in your face muscles melt away with the use of this Gua Sha sculptor from Osea. Crafted with a mix of jade stone and resin, this Gua Sha removes dead cells and makes your skin’s texture smoother. It also combats signs of premature ageing like wrinkles, dark spots and crow’s feet.
Image credit: Courtesy Osea
With the butterfly-shaped Gua Sha crafted by Rosado, you’ll feel that grainy texture of sand underneath your skin. It gently buffs away protrusions like blackheads and dead skin to bring out your skin’s natural radiance. It also helps your skin absorb facial oils and serums easily and evenly.
Image credit: Courtesy Rosado
Here’s the perfect tool to get rid of dark circles, puffiness and eye bags. Say hello to Daivik’s Moringa Mushroom Shaped Gua Sha Stone! The best thing about the tool is that it eliminates toxins from your skin that can cause acne or other skin blemishes. It also releases muscle tension or stress, allowing your skin to breathe.
Image credit: Courtesy Daivik Moringa
SKINDUZED Gold-Tone Body Sculpting Metal Gua Sha
Skinduzed comes up with yet another sculpting tool to add to your skincare routine. The gold-toned metal Gua Sha is made from stainless steel and is super easy to clean. Show your skin some love with a gentle massage and help your facial muscles relax after a long, tiring day.
Image credit: Courtesy Myntra
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Question: Who should use Gua Sha?
Answer: Gua Shas can be used for general skin care. However, can also be recommended for people who suffer from muscle ache, back pain and tendon strain. Health practitioners also claim that Gua Sha can improve your immunity and alleviate inflammation. However, Gua Sha scraping must be avoided by those who have had a recent surgery or injury.
If you have any of the above-mentioned concerns, it is a good practice to consult a general physician or a dermatologist before using a Gau Sha.
Question: How often should you use Gua Sha?
Answer: Two or three times a week of Gua Sha massage is considered good for the skin.
Question: Are there any side effects of Gua Sha?
Answer: Unless you scrape your skin roughly, Gua Shas would not hurt your skin or leave bruises.
Question: What are the precautions to be taken while using Gua Sha?
Answer: Never roll a Gua Sha over broken skin as it might increase the chance of infections. Additionally, you must cleanse your face and the Gua Sha before a massage. Residues or dirt on the Gua Sha might affect your skin adversely and cause rashes or other allergic reactions.