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Your complete guide to at-home Gua Sha

RUSSH Magazine Beauty Isabella Schimid

Never heard of using a Gua Sha? It is a traditional form of Chinese medicine whereby a tool is scrapped along the skin in order to boost circulation, aid in lymphatic drainage and improve skin conditions. You may have noticed the Gua Sha becoming more popular. Increasingly offered as part of spa treatments and in the beauty routines of those in the know.

And so here, we asked director of ONDA Beauty Nicole Manning all you need to know on the what, how, and why of Gua Sha.

Why should someone use a Gua Sha in their beauty routine?

This beauty treatment has been used across Asia for thousands of years. It’s renowned for its unique ability to increase circulation under the skin, bringing in nutrients and boosting collagen.

So, rather than applying a cream or serum to improve your skin from the outside, you’re activating your body to nourish your skin in a more deep and meaningful way.

In fact, this self-massage technique has been shown in studies to boost circulation by 400%. It stimulates the dermis to support collagen production, manipulating areas of tension to relax facial muscles, exponentially increases blood and lymphatic flow. All this leads to a brighter, healthier, more radiant complexion.


What are the benefits of a Gua Sha?

Over the years we have been consistently reminded of the benefits of Gua Sha for the face and body. Our modern world has proven to become increasingly more detrimental to our health and wellbeing so introducing daily rituals to promote our body’s natural detoxification process is paramount. When beneficial techniques are applied results are shown in the relief of muscular tension, reduction of puffiness and dark circles, blood circulation and oxygenation is increased, aid in lymphatic flow is evident and connective tissue that hugs the muscles that often interfere with circulation are broken down. These are results you will see from accumulative use, immediate results from the stimulation often can often appear in an all over glow and plumpness that is enough to want to keep you doing it over and over! 

Benefits include;

  • Its ability to promote natural healing
  • Removes tension in muscles of the face
  • Boost blood circulation
  • Aid lymphatic drainage
  • Helps break up fascia (connective tissue that hugs muscles and can interfere with circulation)
  • Opens sinuses
  • Plumps skin to give a radiant glow


Is it just for the face? Or can it be used on the body?

You can use a Gua Sha on the face, body and scalp. The different tools come in different shapes and textures but are mostly applied to the skin in similar ways. Because of the benefits of relieving muscular pain and tension and increasing circulation it is fantastic to use over areas of the body that often feel tight or sore after periods of stress or heavier forms of exercise. The benefits of using a comb Gua Sha tool are also seemingly beneficial to promote a healthy scalp and stimulate hair growth, this tool can also be used simultaneously on the body.  

We recommend using your favourite mist and facial oil underneath your tools to ensure easy glide across the skin and boost hydration levels in the dermis. When using your tool the skin will naturally warm (increase circulation) when this happens product absorption increases and you will get the most out of your active skincare. 


How does one use a Gua Sha?

The method generally used to increase circulation and blood flow is known as press and stoke. Applying the tool to each area of the face and body, sweeping in an outwards motion about 10 times in the same direction will bring nutrients and boost collagen and elastin production.

It's important to apply a medium amount of pressure, this will vary between different skin types and medical conditions. Before you try Gua Sha for the first time, be sure to become familiar with your tool and understand what to expect - go easy to start with and watch how your skin responds. Below is a little indication of where you should start and areas of the face for you to work on.  

Gua Sha face map guide

Does the material of the Gua Sha matter?

There are many tools being made these days, at ONDA we stock and use in treatment Katie Brindles incredible tools. 

Rose quartz is packed full of minerals, including silicium, magnesium, iron, sodium and oxygen. This, alongside its stacked molecular structure, helps it effectively retain heat and cold – perfect for combating the signs of premature ageing and inflammatory skin conditions. According to Chinese Medicine, Rose Quartz engages with your heart energy, which enhances fire energy.

The morning is the optimal time of day to use the Beauty Restorer Rose Quartz, working with the body’s natural energy patterns for the rest of the day. It has an amazing ability to reduce inflammation and support the renewal of skin cells.

Jade is known for its balancing effects and its ability to cool, so it helps de-puff features while clearing inflammation, helping to balance and protect the body's Qi. Using a Jade Gua Sha tool also allows you to work deeper into the muscles and fascia for deeper tension release. The treatment removes any build-up of lactic acid and encourages lymphatic drainage. You can also use the tips of the tool to activate acupressure points which can also relieve tension build up. 

Before bed is a great time to use the Jade tool, because of its restorative properties and deep tension relief. Having a good sleep will play a role in your body's natural metabolism process so ensuring we can assist this process in any way is ultimately going to help improve our mental health and wellbeing.