What is Gua Sha Facial?

What is Gua Sha and why is this at-home facial so good for your skin.

Gua Sha (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. 

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

Gua Sha Body 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

The massaging action helps stimulate meridian lines which activate the body’s natural healing process. It also helps relax tense facial muscles, reduce inflammation, depuff and flush toxins, resulting in a more sculpted and toned face and amazingly healthy-looking skin.

How to Gua Sha

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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