Gua Sha 101: Your Guide to a Sculpted, Glowing Face

Gua Sha

Ladies, there is this new skincare tool alert! You may have already come across your favourite celebrities, bloggers, and YouTubers using Gua Sha in their skincare regimen. But if you are wanting to know more about Gua Sha, the technique to use it, the right Gua Sha stone for you; read on and plunge in!

What Is a Gua Sha?

A Gua Sha is flat scraping tool, made of semi-precious stone, that is used for face massage. The Gua Sha has recently gone mainstream, however, it is an age-old practice. This face scraping technique of Gua Sha comes from a traditional Chinese healing practice. Gua implies ‘to stroke’ or ‘press’, and Sha means ‘redness’. As according to the early Gua Sha practitioners, the redness that shows up after scraping would spur on the healing process of skin. Nowadays, the Gua Sha is although less intense, it still gives you a well-sculpted face, boosts blood flow and collagen production, promotes face firming together with other significant results.

What Are The Benefits Of A Gua Sha?

1. Ease Facial Tension:

When the Gua Sha glides onto the skin, it creates a friction that helps break the adhesions established between the connective tissue of the muscles and the skin. This helps ease the muscle tension. For somebody who tends to hold tension in their brows or the jaws when stressed, the Gua Sha would establish a relaxation that helps keep the fine lines and wrinkles at bay (together with the jaw pain and headaches).

2. Lymphatic Drainage:

Lymphatic system is a part of body’s immune system that helps dispense the good nutrients and white blood cells throughout the body while it also filters the waste products like bacteria, excess water, and protein from the body via lymph fluids.

A slow lymphatic system leads to puffiness, swollen skin, acnes, fatigue, and other skin problems. Now that the only way to ship lymph fluids from one are of the face (also body) to another is the muscle movement, massages, respiration, and gravity; Gua Sha is the ideal way to boost the same.

With the growing age, the lymphatic drainage becomes compromised by factors like hormonal changes, lack of sleep, high blood pressure, and skin issues like eczema, acne, and allergies; leaving the skin complexion look a tad inflated.

The sweeping directional movements established via Gua Sha combined with the pressure used as the tool glides onto the skin, boosts the lymphatic drainage. This, in the process, helps reduce the puffiness and the under-eye bags.

3. Improved Skin’s Texture and Appearance:

With improved lymph drainage and circulation, there is fewer waste products sticking around the under the skin surface; hence, also translating the skin into a clearer and brighter appearance. Also, Gua Sha stimulates the blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and skin. And anything that stimulates blood flow and oxygen to the skin, it would also boost the collagen production. The increased collagen production may further be supportive in minimising fine lines and wrinkles, enhancing skin texture, improving skin elasticity, and perhaps in reducing breakouts and diminishing hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.

4. Amp Up the Efficacy of Skincare Products:

Gua Sha boosts the absorption of serums, creams, and facial oils by the pressing them deeper into the skin. Theoretically, a boost in circulation would simultaneously support the efficacy of your products a boost too.

5. Feels Good:

Gua Sha massage technique supports a good relaxation to the neck and facial muscles while it also boosts the circulation. A consistent practice of facial massages before bedtime might show up positive results on the overall look and feel of the face.

6. Deals with Cystic Acne:

There’s this common misconception around Gua Sha that it should not be done acne. Meanwhile, the Gua Sha tool provides a cooling effect to skin and helps reduce the flare-ups, inflammation, redness, and the acne size by shipping the congestion and improving the circulation. However, it is important to note that Gua Sha should never be done on broken skin, pustules, dermatitis, or active acnes

7. Fights Acne Scars:

The Gua Sha Massage Technique brings oxygen and fresh blood circulation to the skin surface. This circulation supports cell renewal process, hence, reducing the visibility of acne scars. For even more quick results, follow with Gua Sha technique after applying Vitamin C Serum or Kumkumadi Oil.

8. Reduces Puffiness:

Gua Sha draws out the lymph, fluids, and other toxins from the face. Hereby, it promotes skin firmness and the face shows up more chiselled.

9. Bid Adieu to Dark Circles and Dull Complexion:

An improved lymphatic drainage and blood circulation leads to diminishing dark circles and supports a radiant skin with youthful glow.

10. Smoothens Fine Lines and Wrinkles:

The Gua Sha Massage technique eases the stiff facial muscles and tissues, thus smoothening out the signs of ageing.

11. Contours & Sculpts Jawline and Cheekbones:

A consistent practice of scraping Gua Sha on the face in correct manner leads to a defined jawline and cheekbones. In due course, the face begins to look well-contoured and sculpted.

Is Gua Sha Safe?

Studies suggests that Gua Sha technique applied on body can significantly improve the blood circulation. Therefore, it stands to the reason that the facial Gua Sha, which is however less intense, would lead similar skin benefits to the face. It is a science-backed fact that anything that improves circulation is favourable to the skin. Hence, the facial Gua Sha, when done correctly, is a safe measure that is worth giving a whirl.

However, it is suggested to proceed cautiously or even so postpone entirely with active acnes, inflammations, or dermatitis on the skin. “People with cystic acne and pustular acne should refrain from using Gua Sha because it may aggravate the issue,” says Neisha Arora, Certified Face Yoga Instructor. The frictional component of acne would perhaps be triggered with further breakouts when persistently rubbed and massaged. Also, it is advisable to not perform Gua Sha on skin issues like Open Sores and viral infections like Cold Sores.

If you have a sensitive skin or may be the clotting disorders, you may want to refrain from adopting this technique for it can burst the tiny capillaries in the face. There also stands a probability of rosacea flare-ups if one has the skin condition and regularly does the Gua Sha scraping. The rubbing and scraping via Gua Sha can lead to unnecessary irritation or inflammation of the skin.

How To Find the Right Gua Sha for your Face?

Gua Sha comes in various shapes and different stones, each holding its distinct benefits and uses. We have curated a list of common Gua Sha shapes and the gemstone along with their benefits and uses to aid you in finding your right Gua Sha!

Gua Sha tools are usually made from rose quartz, jade, or mineral-rich stone. They come in a wide array of shapes, each tailored to address different areas and techniques.

The concave side is ideal for the face curvatures like cheekbones, says Neisha Arora. Convex sides are for forehead smoothening and neck. The notched-edges are reserved to fit in the contours of chin, lips, jaws, eye area, and brow bone. The pointed edge is used for the acupressure points. The jagged edged Gua Sha’s are crafted with an idea to target fine lines and wrinkles.

Based on the Gemstone or Crystal:

Rose Quartz:

The pretty Rose Quartz Gua Sha in the shade of pink is associated with emotions, love, and compassion. The rose quartz Gua Sha’s are best suited for smoothening out the fine lines and wrinkles, and to get rid of toxins and negativity in the body. It is calming and tranquilising that works magical in opening the heart chakra, thus, promoting the feeling of self-love, self-acceptance, and establishes harmony and trust in relationships. The crystal emits soothing vibrations that eventually works as a powerful tool to relieve tension that builds up on the face. The Rose Quartz is thought to reverse the negative effects matured skin such wrinkles and fine lines. It is best for acne-prone and matured skin.

Black Obsidian:

Black Obsidian is a gemstone with most powerful elements of fire, earth, and water. It clears out the negative thoughts and emotions residing in the body, making the skin feel rejuvenated. Black Obsidians also play a critical role in repairing, healing, and strengthening the tissues over a due course of time.

Jade:

The existing imbalances are brought to rest by the Jade crystal. It helps reduce puffiness and promotes a good lymphatic drainage. Jade is calming and tranquilizing. This crystal opens heart chakra and draws in purity of soul and unconditional love within. It is best for contouring, sculpting, lifting, working out the firm muscles. The jade keeps from negativity and promotes positivity.

Black Onyx:

Black Onyx crystal works to ground your body, mind, and soul. It promotes mental and emotional healing, flushes out anger and negative emotions. Since Black Onyx has a grounding energy, it works like a magical tonic for the nerves.

Amethyst:

The amethyst crystal has a negative charge that gets you rid of negativity and stress by producing negative ions. It opens the Ajna Chakra (third eye) – the power of intuition. It inspires your intuitive mind and, it also calms the irritated skin. Also, Amethyst works by cooling down the body and tighten the pores. They are best balancing the inflamed complexions and to soothe the breakouts.

Clear Quartz:

The clear Quartz crystal helps in establishing clarity, concentration, focus and attention. It flushes out the tension and stress in the body and soothes the anxiety. Clear Quartz encourages improved lymphatic drainage, flushes out the toxins, and reduces puffiness of the face.

Lapiz Lazuli :

Lapiz Lazuli is a deep blue crystal with golden lines. The crystal is associated with royalty and wisdom, strength and courage, intellect and truth. Lapiz Lazuli boosts immune system, releases stress, purifies blood pressure, lowers blood pressure, soothes the areas of inflammation. The crystal alleviates insomnia and vertigo, and helps overcome depression.

Lapiz Lazuli balances thyroid, heals throat and vocal cords, cleanses organs, thymus, and bone marrow. Also, it establishes benefits to the respiratory and nervous system.

Black Tourmaline:

Black Tourmaline helps cleanse, purify, and transform dense energy into lighter vibrations. This crystal ground the spiritual energy, clears and establishes a balance in all the chakras. They render positive vibes and aura, removes blockages, disperse negative energies. Tourmaline attracts inspiration, tolerance, compassion, and prosperity. Also, it wards off against psychic attacks, ill-wishing, radiations, and negative energies of all kinds. Regardless of the circumstances, the tourmaline encourages positive attitude and stimulates practical creativity.

Based on shapes:

Concave Side:

The concave side of the Gua Sha is ideally used on wider areas of face and body such as the neck, shoulder, and spine.

Double Curved Side:

The double curve shaped Gua Sha promotes blood circulation under the cheeks, cheekbones, and eye areas.

Cleft:

Cleft or the divot is the smaller edge of Gua Sha that serves best usage specifically to the jaw.

Teeth Edge:

The teeth edged Gua Sha’s stimulates fine lines and wrinkles. They are used from the chin to the cheeks, temples, and forehead.

Pointed Convex Edge:

The pointed convex edge of Gua Sha forms the ideal usage on the brows.

What to Apply Before Proceeding with Gua Sha Technique?

If you are doing Gua Sha during daytime, you should apply oil-based serum because it is lightweight. However, if your skin is more comfortable with face oil, or a moisturiser, you can absolutely go for the same. During bedtime, using face oils can be the best bet. Make sure you never do Gua Sha on bare skin. The friction caused otherwise can lead to irritation and rashes.

How Often Should Gua Sha be Used?

To help maintain the results, it is advisable to practice Gua Sha at least thrice a week. Gua Sha can either be done during morning hours to help reduce the puffiness, or during bedtime to ease and relax the facial muscles.

How to Clean and Store Gua Sha?

Cleaning your skincare tools is of utmost importance. If your Gua Sha’s are dirty, they can lead to several skin problems like acne, breakouts, greasiness, and more. To ensure proper hygiene of your tool, we encourage you to wash your Gua Sha with warm water and facial cleanser or gentle hand soap. Wipe off the tool gently using a clean, soft towel. Refrain from using hot water and handle your tool with care. Gua Sha’s are crafted using semi-precious gemstones. They are fragile. If washed with hot water or if dropped, the crystals of the semi-precious gemstone of your Gua Sha can get damaged, thus altering the results. Before storing the Gua Sha in its box, make sure the tool is completely dry. Gua Sha’s can also be stored in refrigerators (or makeup fridge) for added cooling effects.

Summary:

Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese practice yet mainstream skincare trend that is more than a mere fad. The results drawn by these magical crystals are overwhelming. Start your Gua Sha journey without further ado! To practice Gua Sha under certified instructors, join Ati Svelte at just ₹599/-

Recommended Read: 5 Face Yoga Poses for Beginners

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