Gua Sha Ruined My Face

by Linda Robison

Why do some people think gua sha ruined their face? It's most likely due to side effects from common mistakes. Learn the simple do's and don'ts for best results.

"I think Gua sha ruined my face! It's slightly red/bruised in some areas. Will this go away?"

I've heard this concern before and like to help clear this misconception. 

Gua sha, a traditional Chinese healing technique, has gained popularity for its potential benefits in promoting circulation and skin health.

However, improper or aggressive use of gua sha tools can lead to side effects such as bruising, broken capillaries, or skin irritation.

These side effects, usually temporary, have caused some individuals to become concerned that gua sha may have had a negative impact on their facial appearance.

Woman looking in mirror after using gua sha.

But here's the deal: It's pretty safe, and very unlikely that gua sha will ruin your face. And when done right, can be good for your skin.

So, let's clear things up and learn how to do gua sha the right way to avoid any face-damaging misconceptions.

In this article, we'll explore how to properly use gua sha on your face and neck to harness its anti-aging advantages while avoiding common pitfalls that could lead to skin issues. 😊

What is gua sha and it's effects on the face

A woman using gua sha stone.

Gua sha is a traditional Chinese healing technique that involves scraping the skin with a smooth-edged tool to promote circulation and relieve tension.

When used on the face, it's believed to offer several potential benefits:

1. Improved Circulation: Increased blood flow may lead to a brighter complexion and healthier-looking skin. Remember, blood carries important nutrients that feed the skin.

2. Lymphatic Drainage: It may assist in lymphatic drainage, reducing puffiness and improving the appearance of under-eye bags, saggy double chin and jowls.

3Contouring: With consistent use, gua sha may help with facial contouring by promoting muscle tone and reducing the appearance of sagging.

4. Relaxation: It feels GREAT! The gentle massage action of gua sha can promote relaxation, potentially reducing facial muscle tension and stress-related skin issues.

5. Product Absorption: It's essential to use gua sha with a good, organic skincare product to enhance absorption, potentially making it more effective.

6. Natural Glow: By stimulating circulation and promoting skin health, gua sha may contribute to a natural, healthy glow.

The do's and don'ts of gua sha 

Picture of a gua sha stone.

Why do some people believe that gua sha has had a negative impact on their face? It's most likely due to temporary side effects from improper use.

Here are mistakes and improper techniques that can lead to adverse side effects:

  • Improper Lubrication: Avoid using sticky or tacky serums or oils, as they can create too much friction. Opt for a cream or oil that allows the tool to glide smoothly across your face.
  • Incorrect Angle: For optimal results, hold the tool at approximately a 45-degree angle to your face.
  • Excessive Pressure: Rather than pushing the tool against your face, focus on gentle gliding motions.

Does gua sha damage skin?

To put it simply: Used correctly, no.

To cause damage, you would have to employ some mistakes listed above. Or have serious skin conditions (like active acne, open sores, or skin infections).

In this case, the gua sha has the potential to cause the following issues:


Using it with excessive pressure or using a cheap gua sha tool with sharp edges can lead to bruising, leaving visible marks on the skin. Which usually go away within 24 hours.

Broken Capillaries:

Vigorous scraping may damage small blood vessels near the surface of the skin, resulting in broken capillaries or spider veins. This is more common with those who are prone to spider veins or are taking blood thinning medications.


Aggressive gua sha can cause irritation, redness, and inflammation, especially on sensitive or thin-skinned areas of the face.

Infection (this is pretty rare):

But if the tool is not properly cleaned before and after use, there's a risk of introducing bacteria, which could lead to infections.

Skin Damage (this is pretty rare):

Repeated or overly aggressive gua sha sessions can potentially disrupt the skin's natural barrier, leading to long-term damage, dryness, or increased sensitivity.

What you should know before you gua sha

Mature woman using gua shaHow to gua sha properly. Use two hands when using the gua sha.

Here are some simple tips to get the best results from your gua sha.

  • Always use two hands. One to hold  the skin taut and the other to glide it across the skin. This helps prevent excess tugging and pulling
  • Use gentle, controlled pressure, especially on the delicate facial area
  • Ensure your tool is smooth, with no sharp edges
  • Avoid excessive repetition and allow your skin to recover between sessions
  • Clean the tool and your skin thoroughly before and after use to prevent infection

When should you not use the gua sha face tool?

Even though this face tool is very safe, you may wish to check with a professional before using if you fall into the following categories:

  • are in their first trimester of pregnancy
  • are on blood-thinning medication
  • bleed easily
  • have skin or vein issues
  • have rosacea, acne, or other skin conditions
  • recently had Botox, fillers, or cosmetic surgery

How to properly gua sha

How to properly gua sha. Instruction chart.

It's pretty simple, if you follow the diagram above.

Note: Always start with clean, moisturized skin.

Also, when you come across delicate or loose skin, use one hand to hold the skin taut and the other to move the gua sha across your face.

This is how I use it without any problems:

1. Begin at one end of your forehead. Use the large flat end of the tool and gently slide it upwards from your eyebrows toward your hairline. Move over and repeat this motion as you move across your forehead. Continue until you reach the opposite side.

2. For your eyebrows, utilize the small angled corner of the tool. Glide it across each eyebrow, repeating this process three times for each brow.

3. To address under-eye puffiness, place the small corner of the tool under the eye on the orbital bone. Gently glide it outward toward your hairline. Then, shift slightly downward and repeat the motion as shown in the diagram.

4. For your jawline, employ the V-shaped part of the tool. Starting from the center of your chin, slide it outward toward your ear. Repeat this process on both sides of your face. If you're experiencing more puffiness, you can perform this action multiple times.

5. With the V-shaped part of the stone, position it in the center of your chin and gently move it back and forth.

6. Finally, take the flat end of the stone and place it at the base of your neck. Lift your head up, towards the ceiling, and stroke upward along the entire neck area. Move over and do it aging until you've reached the other side of your neck.

New gua sha technique for face and neck

Carolyn's Gua Sha facial tool

I found a newer gua sha tool, that's safer because it has a smooth, stainless steel treatment plate. This allows it to glide more easily across the skin (no bruising) and it helps address the shape of your face and neck for total coverage.

The Best Part:

This gua sha has 8,000/min microcurrent vibration which feels wonderful. And it provides red light therapy (with 630nm+- wavelength). This gua sha has 4 working modes:

1 – Vibration + LED
2 – Heating + LED
3 – Heating + Vibration
4 – Heating + Vibration + LED

Visit the CFF for more information about this new tool!

How to use electric gua sha

Here is an instructional video for best results:

Here are the detail benefits of this gua sha over the tradition jade or stone facial tool. 

This tool is safe enough to use 5 days a week if you wish. The addition of light therapy helps lessen hyperpigmentation and smooth out papery skin.

And the vibration with microcurrent helps to rejuvenate the cells and penetrate products into the skin.

Gua sha movements for the face

The gua sha movements and technique for the face and neck are much different with this electric, heated, vibrating tool.

I feel it's a safer facial massage tool with a lower risk of causing bruising or irritation. The smooth steel head also offers greater versatility, allowing for a wider range of movements compared to a traditional gua sha stone.

Summary: Has gua sha ruined my face?

The likelihood of a gua sha face massage causing significant damage to your face is quite low. If you have healthy, normal skin and use the tool gently as instructed, there's a lot to gain in terms of achieving healthier skin.

FAQ: Gua sha ruined my face

Q: Can you gua sha too much?

A: Yes, it is possible to gua sha too much. Excessive or overly aggressive gua sha sessions can potentially lead to skin irritation, bruising, broken capillaries, or other adverse effects. It's essential allow your skin time to recover between sessions. If you're unsure about how often to perform gua sha check with the directions that came with your tool.

Q: Does gua sha make your face saggy?

A: No, just the opposite. This tool is supposed help relieve puffiness, which can help enhance your facial contours. 

Q: What are the negative effects of gua sha?

A: If used improperly and with too much pressure (see improper uses listed above), it can cause bruising, redness, broken capillaries, and irritation.

Q: Can you damage your skin with gua sha?

A: Aside from temporary side effects, this tool is not known to cause permanent skin damage.