The Gua Sha tool. A frequent resident in many skincare lover's beauty cabinets for years, and more recently, a huge trend amongst Tik Toker's (Lizzo included) for its near unbelievable facial sculpting results. Before it was introduced as a beauty essential by retail giants, it was used as an ancient Chinese medicine modality for centuries, and still is today. At its core, it was an ancient scraping technique used with whatever could be found on hand (bone, spoons, coins), to treat things like heatstroke and seasonal illnesses. Now, with its adoption into the western beauty industry, it is used, predominantly with smooth, flat, curved crystals to increase blood flow in the face, iron out tense muscles, encourage lymphatic drainage, and reduce puffiness. Before you order a Gua Sha tool for yourself, below is a guide to its uses, and our favourite tools to shop.
What is Gua Sha?
Traditionally used to promote energy and blood flow for people who were facing illnesses and heat stroke, Gua Sha has historically been used on the whole body, where the skin is scraped until it turns red. Since being adopted and marketed by the beauty industry, Gua Sha has taken on a more face-focussed identity, and is most commonly used over the face with gentle pressure and long strokes which, with frequent daily use, can result in better circulation, lymphatic drainage, the alleviation of muscle tension, and in some circumstances, the decreasing of fine lines and wrinkles.
Is it safe?
While we wouldn't recommend doing a DIY body Gua Sha session alone, the facial Gua Sha can be perfectly safe. Just be conscious to start gently and check with a practitioner if your skin is hyper sensitive or delicate.
How does Gua Sha work?
Most of the time it is recommended to lubricate the delicate skin on your face with an oil or serum before working with Gua Sha. Once you are oiled up, hold the tool at 45 degrees and apply gentle-medium pressure to the skin, pulling upwards and outwards from the centre of the face. For the kind of results you've seen online, you'll need to be doing this once a day for anywhere between two-five minutes.
Does Gua Sha really work?
As with any beauty treatment, it can be hard to decipher what is worth the effort and spend when there are so many options on offer. Thankfully, there are no negative side effects to Gua Sha if used properly, and there have been studies to claim that microcirculation can in fact be improved with frequent use.