Meet the ancient skincare practice that claims to improve the appearance of the skin by reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and eye bags and more!

But Does It Really Work?

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AUTHOR

Crystal Lorraine

CATEGORY

Holistic Beauty

POSTED ON

March 28, 2018

SOCIAL

The Beauty Is… Show

Gua Sha for SkinCare

D

uring your quest for natural and glowing skin (not to mention ward off fine lines and wrinkles for as long as possible), you may have noticed an array of odd-shaped crystals in the cosmetic stores and on your social media feeds, and are probably wondering what they’re all about.

This crystal is claimed to be the Jade stone of “eternal youth” and has been revered in Japanese and Chinese cultures for years to maintain a youthful appearance by performing a gua sha facial massage.

What Exactly Is Gua Sha?

This ancient practice is thought to promote the flow of “chi,” or energy, in the skin. The technique involves gently scraping a tool over the neck and face—(usually made out of jade, rose quartz, or mineral-rich stone, and come in a wide variety of shapes, each tailored to different areas and techniques)—in an upward sweeping motion.

But Does It Really Work?

Does scraping a crystal across your face really offer up age-defying results?

How Gua Sha works…

In theory, the pressure that’s applied to the skin via the gua sha tool causes a level of friction that improves circulation and increases blood flow to the area. The belief is that the uptick in blood flow can offer up plenty of skin-friendly positives, such as increased collagen production, along with reductions in puffiness, hyperpigmentation, and muscle tension.

Is it safe?

Gua Sha is somewhat of a lymphatic drainage technique. Lymphatic drainage is generally safe. However, check in with your healthcare provider first if you have:

  • a high risk of blood clots
  • congestive heart failure
  • an active lymphatic infection
  • swelling with no known cause

People with sensitive skin or clotting disorders may want to contact their physican, as gua sha can burst tiny capillaries (blood vessels) in the face.

Caution if you have active inflammation or dermatitis on the skin. For people with cystic and pustular acne, gua sha may exacerbate the issue. Gua sha also shouldn’t be performed if you have open sores or viral infections, like cold sores.

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How to use the gua sha facial technique 

First thing first, make sure the shape of your gua sha tool feels good in your hand. If you’re not comfortable holding it, attempting to glide it over your skin might prove to be the opposite of relaxing. Once you’ve chosen your go-to gua sha tool, it’s time to get that Glow!

Let’s Prep The Skin

Start by gently cleansing and moisturizing your face and neck, then use a facial oil or serum to coat the area. This will help the tool glide easily and prevent a ‘rug-burn’ type of injury to the skin.

Start at your neck and work your way up.

For optimal lymphatic drainage, it’s best to start at the neck area and move upwards. Hold your gua sha tool at a 15-degree angle (it should practically be flat against the skin), and using the fingers of your free hand as traction, gently glide the tool along the skin using sweeping, upward strokes. (“If it hurts, you’re applying too much pressure, It should feel relaxing.”) Repeat each motion three to five times for a meditative effect.

Move to your chin and jaw.

Start from the center of your chin and sweep the gua sha tool across your jawline until you reach your ear. Repeat three to five times on each side.

Treat the cheeks.

Starting at the crease beside your nose, sweep outwards across your cheek until you reach your ear. Repeat three to five times on each side.

Be gentle around your eyes.

The under-eye area is the most sensitive spot, it’s important to apply super-light pressure, gliding the gua sha tool from the inner corner of the eye to the temple. Repeat three to five times on each side, then repeat these steps in the same manner across your brow bone. Once you reach your forehead, sweep in an upwards motion from the eyebrows to the hairline. Repeat three to five times on each side.

Moisturize

Finish off your facial massage by applying a gentle facial moisturizer.

To start, you may perform gua sha on your face two to three times a week to assess for any skin irritation, swelling, and discomfort after application. If you’re in the clear, feel free to make facial gua sha a relaxing daily practice. 

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