What is Gua Sha Facial?

Why this at-home facial good for your skin. Learn about gua sha massage benefits.

What is gua sha and how do you pronounce it?

Gua sha pronunciation: (gwah-shah) -  is the method of scraping, pressing, or stroking the skin to encourage healing, increase blood circulation, collagen production and bring a healthy glow to the skin. 

Picture of different gua sha stones. What is gua sha used for?

What does gua sha actually do?

A gua sha facial helsp firm up facial muscles, stimulate oxygen and blood flow, and help with cellular repair, regeneration and collagen production.

It was originally performed on the body (with much intensity) to help heal a variety of aliments.

gua sha neck massage

 But, do not worry!

Unlike a full and vigorous body massage, you can do an at-home Gua Sha facial without bruises just by using a lighter touch as described below.

This facial is based on ancient Chinese practice that involves using a rounded, thin, smooth stone with specific curves to hug the contours of the face comfortably.

Gua Sha facial benefits: what does gua sha do for your skin?

A gua sha facial massage helps stimulate circulation, flushes excess fluid, and relaxes tense facial muscles. In doing so, it provides a temporary lift to your whole face. 

It can also define your cheeks and help reduce puffiness around the eyes and lower jowls. This results in a more sculpted and toned face and amazingly healthy looking skin.

Some also believe the massaging action helps stimulate meridian lines, which activate the body’s natural healing process.

How to Gua Sha

How do you do gua sha on yourself?

Directions on how to use a gua sha will vary slightly depending on whom you ask. Basically, you start out with a clean face, apply a small amount of moisturizer or face oil. 

Then you begin by holding the gua sha tool at an angle parallel to your skin. Using medium pressure (make sure not to dig the edges too hard into your skin) scrape the device in one direction (outward) across your skin.

Do this all over your face, neck, and chest.

Gua Sha scraping - various techniques

Here are some different Gua Sha scraping techniques you add to your basic facial. 

Resistance - Some people like to create more resistance and tension by using the other hand to pull the skin taut. Place your fingers next to the tool’s edge at the starting point, then hold the skin while scraping the tool outward. Think of it like ironing a wrinkled shirt; you want to create a smooth surface.

Different Strokes - Others like to use a combination of short and long strokes, claiming this technique helps areas that need an extra lift.

Jiggle It – If you suffer from facial tension around the temples, give that area a little jiggle. At the end of a stroke, press the tool into the skin and give it a wiggle. I’ve tried this, and it helps with tension in jaw joint in front of the ears.

Learning the right tension and resistance for your skin type may take practice. Remember, you want to scrape the skin enough to increase blood flow, and stimulate underlying muscles and tissues. You do not want to create discomfort and bruising.

Best Gua Sha tools

Spoons and Coins – In ancient times (some women still use it today), the edges of spoons and even coins were used to scrape and rub the skin to increase blood flow. While not as comfortable and may cause bruising, if done correctly can be effective. 

Stones - Traditional tools were made from some type of semiprecious stones such as jade or crystal. These smooth stone tools are much safer and easier to use than spoons or coins. However, the jade gua sha seems to be the most popular one.

Electric Gua Sha – New! This tool is a combo of a gua sha, red light therapy with a heated, vibrating steel edge. The infrared heat and vibrating function helps increases micro-circulation more than the standard jade.

Check out the video below to see how it works or visit CFF Gua Sha for more information. Keep in mind, the woman in this video (Carolyn) is over 73 years young!!

Best cream or oil to use with Gua Sha treatment

Any cream or oil will do for most tools. But if you use the new heated, vibrating Gua Sha device mentioned above, keep in mind that the heat and vibrating motion will help activate and increase absorption of the topical cream or oil.

So make sure to choose a clean, organic, fragrance-free product.  I use pure CBD oil based cream moisturizer

Learn why certain CBD skincare products are superior to hemp oil products.

Gua Sha side effects

Side effects of a facial are minimal for most people. An increase in skin flushing and pinkish hue is the most you’ll see on healthy skin if you’re using a smooth tool with light pressure. 

However, if you’re too aggressive or using a spoon or coin, you might experience redness or bruising, especially around thinner skin like near the eyes and neck.

If you have rosacea or any inflammatory skin conditions, check with your dermatologist before using any Gua Sha facial tool. 



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What is gua sha: FAQ's

Got questions or comments? We'd love to post them. Just ask us here.

Q: How often should you gua sha your face?

A: You can do a gua sha facial massage every day if you wish. But for best results, you should aim for at least 3-4 times a week. It's so easy, you can do it while watching TV.

Q: How long does it take to see results from gua sha?

A: Depending on how tense your facial muscles are or how bloated your face is, some people see results after the first massage.

Carolyn Cleaves - from Carolyn's Facial Fitness, says she has seen a significant reduction in fine lines and crepey skin after using her electric gua sha daily for several months.

Her electric gua sha heats up and vibrates, so it helps distribute anti-aging creams better. You can see her before and after pictures here...

Q: Are you supposed to gua sha up or down?

A: If you are referring to the different gua sha techniques, it depends on what you're looking to do. If you want a basic facial massage, you would stroke your face in the directions listed above. 

If you have pain (like around the temples or jaw) you can use a jiggle movement. That's where you place the gua sha stone against the tight muscle and then jiggle it to release the tension. See the technique tips here.

Q: Is gua sha the same as scraping?

A: Gua sha is a tool or instrument used for massaging. Scraping is a type of massage.

For gua sha facial massage, you use your fingers to hold one part of your face taut, then you "scrape" the gua sha over the skin in the opposite direction. Sort of the way you would use a spoon to scrape the fruit out of a melon.

Q: Can a gua sha change your face?

A: Yes, gua sha can change the firmness and contours of your face if it's bloated and/or your facial muscles are tense.

When facial muscles are tense, they get tight and this can pull the skin down. Causing your face to look saggy and define all of those tiny lines and wrinkles.

A gua sha facial massage relaxes the muscles and reduces fluid build up so your face looks lifted, firmer and relaxed.

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