When it comes to skincare tool, Gua Sha stones are allllll the rage these days! Yes, you know, that stone in a heart shape that is often used in the contours of your face. 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 eye area every morning. Yes, I’m sold!
What is the Gua Sha technique?
Traditional Gua Sha is a Chinese ancient healing technique that boosts energy flow, or stimulates chi, around the body. Gua Sha literally means “to scrape away illness.”
An important thing to be aware of, when used correctly and with much force by skilled traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, 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— with good reason not something you want to try on your own!
In the comforts of your home and without much training, incorporating a regular use of Gua Sha techniques with very light pressure on the surface of the skin in long repetitive strokes can have so many health benefits! For best results, use 2 to 3 times a week.
The benefits of Gua Sha and what it does
Our external skin is a map of what is going on inside the body—our skin is one of our body’s brilliant ways of signaling for help!
Of the main benefits of Gua Sha is it 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, yoga and dry brushing are all fabulous ways to get your lymph flow system moving throughout your whole body. 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.
In addition, one of the other many benefits of Gua Sha includes improving skin tone and decreasing fine lines and wrinkles. 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 the 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 muscle tension! Very impressive results, if you ask me.
Personally, I love the instant refresh and relaxation Gua Sha brings! It always helps relieve neck tension and awakens me in the morning.
Gus Sha: the perfect self-care ritual
I love this ritual because it is beautiful, calming, and holistic, everything a ritual should be right?!
The slow, repetitive strokes of Gua Sha shift 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—no amount of supplements will solve a stressed state, the body must shift into relaxation. 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!
And it has the added benefit of being a small tool that you can take anywhere.
Some women love doing it at night because it is so relaxing, but find what works for you!
Benefits of Gua Sha 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!
Gua Sha techniques
Done is better than perfect—so do NOT be overwhelmed by the technique! Start small and just do it…The best way is finding 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!
- downward motions boost detox and drainage
- upward motions boost lifting of the skin and facial muscle tissue
- the lymphatic system and fascia (tissue right below the skin) needs very very light touch to stimulate. Use a “barely there” point of pressure.
Here’s the basic gua sha facial technique step by step guide:
Always use very light, long and repetitive strokes—series of 3-5 or more. Gentle pressure is enough. You don’t need much pressure!
- Wash your face and apply your serum and moisturizer of choice.
- 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 the 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!
Don’t be overwhelmed by the technique
If the massage 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 refreshing, holistic ritual into my day.
If you have never used a facial tool to get a facial massage, 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 circulation flowing and decrease puffiness.
Gua sha stones are not the only specialized tool that you can use in your self-care routine. A Jade roller is tool used with firm pressure used to massage the skin. If you are wondering about the difference between a facial roller and Gua Sha this post from Primally Pure explains the differences between Jade Stone Rollers vs Gua Sha Stone.
So tell me, have you tried Gua Sha? Share your experience! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼