The Benefits of Gua Sha: How to Use It and the Difference I Noticed



Carolina showing gua sha techniques in the mirror.

Gua Sha stones are allllll the rage these days! Per usual, I was skeptical but wow the benefits of gua sha are incredible! With consistent use the wrinkles on my forehead are pretty much gone and it quickly calms my puffy face and eyes every morning. Yes, I’m sold!


What is the Gua Sha Technique?

Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese healing technique that boosts energy flow, or stimulates chi, around the body. Gua Sha literally means “to scrape away illness.” 

When used correctly and with much force by a skilled Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner it can break down scar tissue and create healing bruises—this is said to draw out the toxins or heat and start the healing process—not something you want to try on your own!

But incorporating Gua Sha techniques into your morning or evening routine with very light pressure in long repetitive strokes can have so many benefits!

Caroline performing a lymphatic drainage massage to her face with a gua sha stone.

Gua Sha benefits and what it does

The skin is a map of what is going on inside the body—the outside, superficial results is our skin’s brilliant way signaling us for help!

Gua Sha at its core boosts lymphatic drainage—our lymphatic system is our body’s natural cleansing system. Our lymph system has no “pump” unlike our cardiovascular system has a heart, so it relies on manual stimulation to boost flow. Walking, stretching and yoga are all fabulous ways to get your lymph system moving throughout your body and Gua Sha helps stimulate your lymph system in your face, neck and shoulders, where we have a high concentration of lymph nodes.

Gua Sha has the unique ability to open up pathways of communication and blood flow — clearing congestion + blockages, promoting drainage of excess fluid + cellular waste and supporting the delivery of blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the cells!

Stagnation and congestion can often result in skin blemishes, acne, fine lines and sagging skin. Gua Sha boosts blood flow and performs a lymphatic drainage massage so that the congested skin can clear.  This repetitive moment also boosts collagen production and delivery of nutrients to the cells, leaving your skin energized and youthful.

The upward motion of Gua Sha also helps lift and strengthen muscles which tones the skin, decreases fine lines and wrinkles and gives you a youthful glow. This is often why Gua Sha is referred to as ‘nature’s botox’—all same results with zero harm!

And the results are visible—de-puffing, decreasing fine lines and wrinkles, boosting blood flow and brightening skin tone, helping clear blemishes and relaxing tense neck and jaw muscles!

Caroline's favorite gua sha stone by her bedside.

The perfect self care ritual

I love this ritual because it is beautiful and calming, everything a ritual should be right?!

The slow, repetitive strokes of Gua Sha shifts our body into parasympathetic or relaxed mode, which calms the stress hormones and cortisol response. Not only can stress lead to adrenal fatigue and inflammation but also quickens the aging process of our face!

When the body enters a relaxed state, the body can begin to heal and balance overall! Just one of many reasons why Gua Sha is THE perfect holistic ritual!

I love (even crave) this little ritual daily. I prefer to do it in the morning as I know that is when I can make it happen—I often even multi task and walk around the house with it on more hectic days. Gua Sha gives me a few minutes of calm and focus to start my day!

Some love doing it at night because it is so relaxing, but find what works for you!


Gua Sha benefits I noticed after a month of consistent use

No joke, the wrinkles on my forehead are pretty much gone! It was a slow transformation with about a month of consistent daily use but wow, my skin feels so youthful and “plump!”

I also deal with bad neck and jaw tension which often results in a migraine. I’ve found myself clenching my jaw less and at the first sign of a migraine or neck tension, I grab my Equilibria CBD relief cream and Gua Sha stone!

I’ve also noticed a sense of calm—especially as a mom, I try to keep our mornings as calm as possible as I know that sets up our entire family’s mood and momentum going into the day. My sweet little 2 year old daughter always says “mama face” and hands it to me. Heart melting!

Caroline using gua sha techniques on her forehead.

Gua Sha techniques

Done is better than perfect—so do NOT be overwhelmed by the technique! Start small and just do it…find what works for you!

Primally Pure’s stone, the one I use and love, comes with a fabulous graphic showing you exactly how to do it!

Remember, typically….

  • downward motions boost detox and drainage
  • upward motions boost lifting of the skin and facial muscles

Here’s the basic gua sha technique:

Always use very light, long and repetitive strokes—series of 3-5 or more. You don’t need much pressure!

Here’s a quick video tutorial too!

  • Clean your face and apply your serum and moisturizer. 
  • Start with your neck and shoulders. Using the long angle, start at the top of your neck and move down to your shoulder (you can apply more pressure here than the face if desired). Going in series of 3-5s, move from the back of your neck and shoulders towards the middle and then repeat the process on the other side.
  • Next move upward to your face—I prefer to do one side first than the next but you can also move upwards alternating sides if desired. 
  • Use the small indented section on your chin, this fits perfectly on your chin bone. Then flip to the long angle and move upward in 2-3 sections towards your eyes.
  • Flip to the teeth side of the stone and sweep under your eyes from your nose outward.
  • Use the small indent ridge to go over your brow area.
  • Then use the long edge to pull up on your forehead, 
  • Finally sweep from the middle of your forehead outwards in 2 sections, lower forehead and upper forhead.
  • Repeat the process on the other side of your face.

If you ever are feeling a bit tense or even tired, go grab your stone and get your blood flowing!

Caroline performing a lymphatic drainage massage on her face with her gua sha stone.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the technique 

If the technique of Gua Sha seems overwhelming, don’t worry or let it deter you from trying. Know that I am far from a professional—just a girl like you sharing how I incorporate this little ritual into my day.

If you have never used a facial tool, you might start with ridged roller—I love these and still use it often! If you put it in the freezer for a few minutes it feels so good and really helps get your blood flowing and decrease puffiness.

If you are wondering about the difference between a facial roller and Gua Sha this post from Primally Pure explains the differences between Jade Rollers vs Gua Sha Stone.

So tell me, have you tried Gua Sha? Share your experience! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼


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