How to use gua sha facial tool and its skin care benefits

Among all the viral beauty tricks, gua sha is a legitimate practice with a centuries-old history. Gua sha not only helps lift and firm the face, but also aids in lymphatic drainage and reduces inflammation. Originating in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), gua sha masks can be found all over TikTok and social media, thanks to its transformative powers. Its spread has also led to the smooth stones used to make gua sha a true beauty tool, to be found on store shelves. Sephora and Ulta.

Here, we refer to two Founder of Asian beauty brand and TCM experts on the tradition behind gua sha, its beauty benefits, and how to incorporate it into your own skin care routine.

Sandra Chiu, founder of Lanshin, acupuncturist, herbalist, and licensed master of science at TCM. “The practice involves using a gua sha instrument to stroke or ‘scrape’ tight, strained, or pathological areas of the body to break up and remove stagnant blood in those areas. This in turn improves the circulation of blood, fluid and gas (energy). It is used to treat pain, and even serious illnesses like cholera. Today, gua sha remains an important modality that TCM practitioners use to treat pain and boost immune function.”

“[It] Lin Chen, Founder and CEO of Pink Moon.

There is a difference between medical gua sha and facial gua sha. According to Chiu, “medical gua sha for the treatment of pain, illness, or visceral disorder should only be performed by a trained and licensed professional.” However, Facial gua sha uses a “slower pace and a much softer feel” and is safe for everyone to practice at home.

While there was learn To support the health benefits of gua sha, there is still research being done on facial gua sha. “There is a great deal of modern research and evidence showing the anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective effects of [medical] Chiu shared. “It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of painful conditions as well as acute and chronic organ disorders, including hepatitis in hepatitis.” As for facial gua sha, the expert notes that there is a scarcity of studies in the West; however, TCM universities in China have conducted studies that “prove the effectiveness of facial procedures in the treatment of conditions such as melasma and anti-aging problems”.

Facial steaming can help cleanse and sculpt the face, boost circulation, release tension, relieve headaches, and even aid in relieving congested and congested sinuses. Its most prominent beauty benefits have gone viral on TikTok, showing a transformation where people’s faces look more contoured and lifted.

Whether you are using the gua sha tool to sculpt your face or you want to relieve stress, having the right technique is important. Chen says the best way to learn is to get training from a licensed acupuncturist and TCM doctor (“Look for ‘L.Ac.’ behind their name, or a Ph. ), which indicates that the acupuncturist received a doctorate) degree in Chinese Medicine. ”) or view online tutorials by experts. Lanshin has some useful instructions on its website and social networks. TikTok can also be a great resource for how-to videos, with TCM experts like Dr. Laurel Liu and Yina’s foundersAcupuncturists Angela Chau Gray and Dr. Ervina Wu, share their techniques.

Chen recommends doing 5 minutes of gua sha on your face twice daily or at least once daily for best results. Incorporating gua sha into your morning and/or evening skincare routine is an easy way to make it a consistent routine. According to Chen, applying a gua sha mask in the morning can help “reduce puffiness in the cheeks and under the eyes,” while gua sha in the evening “helps relax and sleep better.”

When you’re ready to pick your gua sha gear, here are some expert-approved guidelines for practicing gua sha.

  • Start with a clean face. You can incorporate gua sha into your skin care routine by doing it right after cleansing in the morning or at night.
  • Prepare your skin. “Before doing gua sha, you need to make sure to prepare your skin with something emollient like face oil or one nourishing oil,” said Chen. Chiu agrees, saying a facial oil is optimal for providing “softness”. You want your skin to be smooth so that the gua sha tool can glide easily without tugging.
  • Hold the tool flat. Using the thin edge of the tool, as if perpendicular to the face, is a common mistake when performing gua sha. Instead, “Hold the stone as flat and as close to the skin as possible, [at a] A 15-degree angle so you don’t create unnecessary friction or pull on your skin,” says Chen.
  • Start on the neck. You can start using this tool by lightly scraping each side of your neck. “On the neck, you can use swipes down and swipes up,” advises Chiu. “However, you should do all the strokes up at once and all strokes down at once (don’t swipe up and down like you’re painting a wall).”
  • Use light pressure and go slowly. “Pressure varies depending on the area of ​​the face or neck, but I recommend light to moderate pressure, and always be gentle around the eyes,” says Chiu. “The face actually responds to a ‘less is more’ approach.” You also don’t want to rush to get your routine done. Taking your time will yield better results and less risk. bruising or pulling on the skin.
  • Outward. On faces, the general rule is to swipe from the center of the face outwards and upwards, using the flat body of the tool (not its thin edge).
  • Don’t practice on acne. If you have an active breakout, Chen says you can skip the face and just do gua sha on the neck and chest. “This will help increase circulation and reduce inflammation,” she says.
  • A little redness is normal. Your skin may be slightly pink or red during gua sha, which indicates blood is rushing to the surface of the skin. The small red spots are “hemorrhagic spots” and represent the release of toxic energy.

When looking for a gua sha applicator, experts recommend choosing one that matches the natural contours of your face. The device should be comfortable in your hand and on your face. They are often made from natural stones such as rose quartz and jade, which have natural cooling properties and are believed to have spiritual and healing properties in TCM. When purchasing a gua sha tool made from these, it’s important to look for authentic natural stones – glass is common – as they will last longer and be less likely to break. Shop from one Brand owned by Asians is another factor to consider, as gua sha is first and foremost a healthcare practice rooted in TCM and the community support from which it comes will help keep the traditions alive.

$60 at Yina

Yina Bian Stone Gua Sha

Created by TCM doctors, Yina’s gua sha instruments come in all shapes and sizes for use on the face and body. It is made from Bian Shi stone, which contains more than 30 minerals believed to have medicinal uses. According to the brand, “Mineralographic studies have shown that Bian produces far-infrared waves, ultrasonic pulses, and negative ions that strengthen and regenerate healthy human cells and DNA.”

Note: Prices above reflect retailer’s list price at the time of publication.

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