Benefits of a Gua Sha Facial

Benefits of a Gua Sha Facial

A gua sha facial is similar to a jade roller but more intense and offers more benefits like reducing puffiness, improving lymphatic drainage, and increasing circulation. Lam suggests using a natural facial oil to prep the skin and help the stone glide easily over the face.

Gua sha should not be done on those with rashes, sunburns or blood clotting issues. The friction can also cause mild bruising in some people.

1. Reduces puffiness

Gua sha works to flush the lymph nodes in your neck, which are a common cause of puffiness.1 This drains the excess fluid that can cause puffy under eyes and a tired appearance.

Gua Sha can also be used to tone the neck and help reduce the drooping of the chin that occurs with age.1 To do this, lightly dampen your face with a light oil (the best facial oils for gua sha are jojoba, argan, or yarrow), then gently glide the gua sha across your skin with slow strokes.

Some gua sha tools, like those made with rose quartz or nephrite jade, carry healing energy, so consider choosing these for your practice. According to Brindle, the crystalline stones are considered to be balancing and soothing for many skin types, and some believe they have antimicrobial properties.

However, gua sha can be painful when done incorrectly or with too much pressure. To avoid this, Brindle recommends easing into the technique. Try a few gentle, short strokes at first and then slowly work up to more vigorous motions.

2. Reduces fine lines

Gua sha releases stiff muscles and tissues to smoothen out fine lines, revealing a more youthful glow. It also helps define a slimmer jawline and cheekbones gua sha facial when used consistently in the correct manner. The resulting improved blood circulation also reduces dark circles and gives your skin a plump look.

“Some people are a little nervous about using gua sha because it looks like it’s tugging at the face and promoting wrinkles, but that doesn’t happen if you use the tool properly,” says Marina Peredo of Skinfluence. She recommends gently scraping the rounded or curved part of the tool across your well-moisturized neck and shoulders, moving the tool upwards towards the center of your neck, and then doing the same thing on the other side.

However, if you have recently had injected fillers or neuromodulators, it’s best to skip facial gua sha until you get the OK from your doctor so you don’t accidentally move the results. Using the tool too soon after these procedures can result in asymmetry, areas of swelling or drooping that take longer to fade, or even more serious complications.

3. Reduces acne

While it won’t completely clear up your skin overnight, facial gua sha can be an effective treatment for acne scars over time. It’s best to practice the technique consistently if you want to see results, though. “If you’re using the tool on your face, try to do it twice a week,” says Han. “That’s the ideal frequency for boosting your collagen production.”

She recommends looking for a stone that has antimicrobial properties, like nephrite jade or amethyst, which also have healing and protective properties. She also notes that rose quartz is a natural calming stone that can be helpful for sensitive faces and anyone with reactive skin.

Once your skin is properly hydrated, use the tool in long strokes on the larger planes of the face. Move the tool over the jawline, chin, and ears. Then, skin brush sweep gently around the eyes and temples. Lastly, move the tool down the neck to just above the collarbone. Repeat the motions a few times on each side of the face.

4. Increases circulation

Gua sha is known for improving lymphatic drainage, reducing puffiness, and firming skin. However, despite being a beauty staple for ancient Chinese princesses, it’s important to note that it can’t permanently sculpt your face. “Gua sha is great for addressing fluid retention, and in some cases it can create a slight change to your face shape but it doesn’t address the structural changes of aging like loss of collagen, elasticity, and bone restoration,” says Dr. Wafaa El Mouhebb, a cosmetic dermatology physician and esthetician.

It can, however, help alleviate chronic pain by working on the neck and jawline. McCrae notes that if your migraines are tension-based, tending to those muscles can be a game-changer. But don’t try a home-based gua sha treatment without checking in with your practitioner. They’ll let you know if the technique is safe for you if you’re pregnant, on blood thinners, or have sensitive skin. They’ll also recommend which stones to use. For example, nephrite jade is antimicrobial and has cooling properties, while amethyst is naturally calming. Start with the wider, concave side of your gua sha tool and gently scrape along the back of your well-moisturized neck, towards your ear. Repeat on the other side of your neck.

5. Reduces inflammation

A gua sha facial is thought to stimulate the lymphatic system and decrease accumulated fluid in the face tissues—and, as a result, reduce puffiness. “If you’re constantly bloated from salty foods and not drinking enough water, a light massage with this type of tool can help you feel better,” McCrae says.

The scraping action of a gua sha stone also helps to clear the skin and reduce redness. This happens because the gua sha technique enhances microcirculation, causing more rapid substance exchange between blood, lymphatic fluid, and the infiltrated immune active cells of the inflamed skin tissue. The study’s authors note that this reduces local concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the treated skin tissue, and leads to reduced inflammation and a healthy glow.

Before you get started, spritz your face with a facial mist and apply a face oil or serum to help the gua sha tool glide across the skin without irritation. The curved part of the gua sha tool should hug the curves of your cheeks and nose, while the flat part should rest on the skin. Glide the tool from the outer corner of your earlobe to your jawline, then down toward the chin. Repeat the process a few times on each side of your face.