If you’re looking to improve your skincare routine, reduce puffiness and acne scars then learn how to use a gua sha stone.
Why? Because this ancient beauty tool will give you a youthful glow and leave you with the most fabulous contoured cheekbones. Plus, it will greatly enhance your skin’s ability to absorb your skincare products and keep those expensive serums from being wasted.
I’ll teach you how to correctly use a gua sha stone to get a glowing complexion and smooth out fine lines. We’ll cover everything you need to get the best results:
- What is a gua sha?
- The benefits of gua sha
- How to choose your gua sha tool
- How to use the gua sha on your face
- How often should you use gua sha tools?
- Cautions and considerations
What is gua sha?
The gua sha treatment may appear new in the world of beauty and skincare. But gua sha has been used by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners for thousands of years and has been called the ‘botox of the Far East’ due to its firming and smoothing benefits.
Also called a scraper in TCM, the gua sha tool is a flat semi-precious stone that is used to massage the face and upper body.
Gua means to stroke or press, and sha refers to the redness seen on your skin following the treatment.
The benefits of gua sha
There are so many beauty perks from using this facial tool. If you use it regularly and in the right way, you will notice these amazing benefits:
Your skin will have improved blood circulation. This will give you a glowing complexion and reduce dark circles around your eyes. Plus it will improve the efficacy of your skincare regime.
A slow working lymph system can cause puffiness in your face and swollen-looking skin. Massaging your face regularly with a jade scraper promotes lymphatic drainage. This will remove excess fluid from your face, giving you tighter, healthier skin.
Moving lymph also helps detoxify your skin and restore its natural balance.
Softens fine lines and wrinkles
It will relax the muscles and tissue in your face, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
Gua sha is great for people who clench their jaw or furrow their brow.
It also works to realign the facial skin with the muscles underneath, decreasing the appearance of saggy skin and increasing facial expression.
You may have acne scars on your face. Using gua sha regularly will promote blood circulation, forcing fresh blood to the surface of your skin and renewing the skin cells. This may help heal skin and make scarring less visible.
Contours and sculpts
If you scrape or massage your skin in the right way it will lead to defined cheekbones and jawline. You’ll be able to spend less time contouring with makeup.
How to choose your gua sha tool
The key things to look at when choosing your facial gua sha tool are the material it’s made from and choosing the right shape for your needs. Each gua sha tool has a distinct use and benefits.
The most popular semi-precious stones used are Jade, Rose Quartz, Bian stone, and Amethyst.
- Nephrite Jade is a green stone that gives you balance, promoting lymphatic drainage and reducing puffiness in the skin.
- Rose Quartz is a pink stone that’s associated with love and compassion. It’s best for smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines and removing toxins and negativity from the body.
- Bian Stone is a dark stone that has the elements of fire, earth, and water, so it’s a powerful material. This strengthens the muscles in your face and leaves the skin feeling rejuvenated and pure. One of our favorite gua sha tools is made from Bian Stone.
- Amethyst is a purple stone that reduces stress and negativity. It also helps to tighten the pores of your skin.
The shape of your facial tool will work and stimulate specific areas, and they come in a variety of heart, moon, and rectangle shapes. Each curve on the gua sha face tools is shaped to match the curve of your bone structure in your face and upper body.
Avoid gua sha tools that are made from resin, plastic, dyed stone, or any porous material.
How to use the gua sha tool on your face
To get the best results, you need to make sure that you’re using your face tool correctly.
You can put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before using it to give a little extra coolness and soothe your skin.
Step 1: cleanse the tool, your hands, and face
Before you start, you will need to make sure that the gua sha tool is clean. Wash the face tool thoroughly with soap and water before use. The last thing you need is to transfer dirt or bacteria to your face.
Your hands and face also need to be clean before starting.
Step 2: apply serum, facial oil, or a moisturizer
Before starting the treatment, you need to apply a serum, face oil, or moisturizer.
This will help the movement over your skin and prevent irritation. It will also enhance your skin’s ability to absorb product as the increased circulation pulls nutrients deeper into the dermis.
One of our favorite serums to use during gua sha is The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum.
Step 3: perform gua sha
Before performing gua sha techniques, check out the curves of your tool. The curved side needs to be held towards your face at a 30 to a 45-degree angle, and all movements should be upwards, following the lymphatic flow.
Section your neck into four areas and use your tool to scrape each section up from your collarbone to your jawline. This is a gentle movement, but as you reach your jawline you need to add a little pressure, with a short pressing motion.
Jawline and chin
Glide your tool from the center of your chin along your jawline out toward the earlobe. This will help to contour your jawline. If you have a heart-shaped face tool with a cleft, use this side to shape your jaw.
Using the longest side of your face tool, start at your nose, just above your mouth, and drag it along your cheekbone. Follow the contours of your cheekbone using a medium pressure up to your hairline.
You need to use gentle pressure when working around the eyes. Start at the inner corner of the under-eye area and glide the tool upwards toward the hairline.
Work on your forehead in three sections and scrape the tool from your eyebrows to the top of your forehead.
Step 4: finish your skincare routine
If you have product remaining on your skin following the treatment, you can massage this into your skin or remove it with a damp cloth. Then complete your regular skincare routine.
Gua sha before and after photos
To see what an incredible effect gua sha can have on fine lines and wrinkles check out these unretouched before and after photos. Here you can really see how much softer the model’s crow feet appear after a short guasha treatment.
How often should you use gua sha tools?
It’s recommended you do gua sha at least twice a week to see results. But for the best outcome, you can do the treatment three to four times a week.
The whole face only takes around five minutes to complete using the gua sha face tool. It can be done first thing in the morning to reduce puffiness or last thing at night to relax the muscles before sleeping.
Cautions and considerations
This treatment is considered safe for use on all skin types, but as with most beauty treatments, you need to be mindful.
You may see some discoloration on your skin or light bruising following the treatment. You can also feel sore or tender once you’ve finished the process. This is perfectly normal but if the discoloration and tenderness persist, consult your doctor.
This treatment shouldn’t be done if you’re taking blood thinners. If you’re in doubt, talk to your doctor or dermatologist.
Key takeaways on gua sha
This ancient Chinese tradition is so much more than a fad. It offers your skin great benefits and will have your face glowing.
By choosing the right semi-precious stone, with suitable curves, your face will have a whole new lease of life.
Be careful when applying pressure to your skin, as you don’t want to press too hard on certain areas like under your eyes. It’s normal to feel pressure, but you must never feel any pain when doing gua sha.
Using a product on your skin before treatment will prevent damage to the skin and will make gliding easier. The skin absorbs the product better during the treatment, so it’s an all-around win.
The pretty-looking stones can make a world of difference to your skincare routine. Check out the amazing results here!
gua sha for acne scars
Gua sha helps to move the congestion and improve circulation to the surface, which reduces flare-ups faster. Gua sha also helps the appearance of acne by reducing redness, size, and scarring of breakouts. Basically, it can help prevent and heal acneic skin, rather than allowing acne to sit there and try to heal itself.
Does gua sha help scars?
Gua Sha is perfect for completely healed but less than 6-month-old scars, including C-sections, etc. The massage motion of Gua Sha supports breaking down fibers of scar tissue over time, thereby minimising the ropy appearance typically observed with scar tissue.
How long does it take to see results from gua sha?
After my first 60-minute treatment, my neck looked longer and thinner, and my jawline cut a sharper silhouette — for two months. While gua sha’s benefits haven’t been clinically studied, practitioners say patients often notice skin looks smoother and more lifted after one session.