A Beginner’s Guide To The Benefits Of Facial Gua Sha
We all heard of the jade roller, a very luxurious looking facial tool usually used to perform gentle face and neck massage. But have you heard of facial Gua She? I found this technique a few months ago when I was researching self facial lymphatic drainage massage techniques. It’s not exactly new and has been around for thousands of years; it is essentially a traditional Chinese ancient assisted form of massage.
Tested by Time
When it comes to skin care there are lots of different trends that come and go. Having lasted for over four centuries Gua She is here to stay! Amongst the noise of bubble face masks, activated charcoal scrubs, the best call is to take your face into your own hands, literally.
There are various types of tools used for this technique, the most popular one is the Gua Sha board, usually made of jade stone or rose quartz and can be easily found online. There are lots of different shapes and sizes out there but I personally love the classic petal shaped one. It’s not as intense and perfect for someone who is just discovering the art of facial Gua Sha.
Gua Sha is incredibly useful when it comes to improving the blood circulation, relieving muscular tension and facial lymphatic drainage if you feel a bit bloated. The result: brighte and glowing skin as well as reduced puffiness.
Slip and Slide
Make sure you are using a bit of facial oil to provide slip when using the tool. The technique itself is relatively easy. Hold the Gua Sha tool nearly flat against your face, at a shallow angle. Ensure you are using pulling motion rather than pushing. You need to move the tool from the centre of your face down towards your neck and your collarbone. Five to ten strokes are normally enough for one area at a time but feel free to do as many as you like.
Pick a Side
Picking one side of your face to start with will help with staying consistent. I usually start by stimulating right under my ear, using the small “wave” edge, just to activate the facial lymphatic system. Follow that by stroking your jawline, from the centre of your chin towards the bottom of your ear, gently pulling the tool, using the same edge, as the jawline will fit perfectly. Moving on to your lips, place the tool to the centre of your lips and pull gently towards your ear. Next up is the side of your nose, and massaging towards the outer part of your face. Make sure to be especially gentle around your eye, the skin here is very thin and delicate. Spend a good amount of time on your forehead, centre to the side of your face. We use muscles on our forehead so much to mimic our emotions and it can get very tense after a while. Finish it off by going down the side of your face, focusing in front of your ear, lymphatic tissue is concentrated there! Carry the strokes down your neck into your collarbone, where the lymphatic system drains back into the circulatory system. Repeat on the other side.
Close the session off by pressing Gua She tool flat against you “third eye” or the middle of your forehead. It feels amazingly calming. You can actually keep the tool with you and use it throughout your day, whenever you feel stressed or anxious, it’s very relaxing!
Using a jade roller at the end of the session feels incredible too; it’s a lot more gentle and if you keep it in your fridge, it will cool down your skin plus will further reduce any puffiness you might have left. Don’t forget to roll it right across your eyes. That’s right. You are welcome!
If not short for time, use the “wave” end of the tool to stimulate the acupuncture meridians running through your face. The main ones are under your ears, your jaw and side of your nose. Just cradle the tool into these points and gently wiggle it. Even If you only have three extra minutes in your morning skincare routine, you can just use shorter strokes and move faster.
Gua Sha is a wonderful self-care tool and amazingly you will see the result of this facial massage almost immediately. Your face will feel free of tension and the puffiness will go down. I absolutely love using this technique on long haul flights, when jet lagged or let's be honest when I am hungover and need a quick pick me up.
Be careful when using it on any skin with a severe case of acne or rosacea as well as sensitive skin. If you just had Botox or fillers done, using Gua She won’t be a great idea as it might move it around. There is obviously countless number of methods of using this incredible tool so do your research but don’t over think it, there is beauty in simplicity.
BTW our team at Bfrow went and tested the Gua Sha method at LA's first facial workout bar SKIN CAMP, watch this video to see what they thought about the experience!