Enhance your beauty routine with gua sha facial massage. This technique, which uses a simple stone tool, can help improve your skin’s appearance and your mood.
In my twenties, I became super diligent about my skin care routine. I made sure to cleanse, tone, and moisturize with serums and/or creams morning and night. I regularly applied fruit enzyme peels and manuka honey masks. Every now and then, I’d get an organic facial.
Now in my thirties, my skin care regimen often gets put on the back burner. Even though I know I should be using eye cream daily and gently exfoliating my face every few days, it doesn’t always happen. While I’d love to whip up a fresh homemade skin care mask every week, those have become more of a treat.
These days, I’m focusing on home-cooked meals, a clean and tidy home, and most importantly, my children. But a few months ago, I decided to start trying to make more time for skin care again. When I do, I feel so much better.
And when I use a gua sha tool, my skin looks and feels so much better.
These smooth stone tools are used to gently massage and sculpt the face. Facial gua sha is a modern-day beauty treatment derived from traditional Chinese medicine.
Gua sha tools are commonly crafted from jade, but they can be found in amethyst and clear quartz, among other crystals. My favorite gua sha tools are carved from rose quartz.
Rose Quartz Skin Care Benefits
Although I don’t believe rose quartz has magical properties, this natural stone is incredibly cool to the touch. This cooling quality can do wonders for puffy skin, and it provides a nice balance to the warming gua sha massage.
In my opinion, rose quartz is smoother on the skin than genuine jade. I find it to be more soothing and it seems to glide more gently.
Additionally, I appreciate that rose quartz gua sha tools are made from a beautiful, natural material. Rose quartz facial sculptors are so much prettier than plastic ones. Not to mention, there are no batteries or charging cords required.
Benefits of Gua Sha Facial Massage
It’s an excellent way to relax and enjoy a restful moment.
Gua sha facial massage can help relieve muscle tension. Personally, this technique helps me relieve tension that I tend to hold in my jaw, and it relaxes the brow area. (You may be surprised where you feel knots of tension.)
Facial gua sha can also help relieve sinus congestion as well as headaches.
Gua sha boosts circulation (research backs this up), which delivers oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the skin. It’s not unusual for skin to look a little rosy afterwards.
Gua sha facial massage is intended to promote lymphatic drainage. In this way, it is similar to dry body brushing.
A cooling stone, such as rose quartz, can reduce puffiness.
As you might have guessed, facial gua sha also can improve the skin’s appearance. Immediately after a gua sha facial massage, my skin looks more contoured (albeit temporarily). Consistent use can lead to more noticeable results.
Tips for Gua Sha Facial Massage
Use a tool made from natural stone with a variety of contours. Different edges will work better for different areas, so flip the tool accordingly, based on the curvatures of your face.
Always use clean tools and hands.
Do not use a gua sha tool on dry, bare skin. Skin should be hydrated, ideally with oil. (Although, hydrating your skin from the inside out is important.) A facial oil or serum will help the tool glide easier.
Use both hands; one to hold the tool and the other to hold your skin for support.
Hold the tool relatively flat, not at a 90 degree angle.
Be gentle and use soft, slow strokes in one direction (not back and forth). At the end of each stroke, you can wiggle the tool slightly.
Be firm, but don’t apply too much pressure. You don’t want to tug or pull the skin harshly.
It should feel relaxing, not painful.
Repeat the strokes a few times, but don’t overdo it. Less is more.
The stone may be slippery from the oil, so handle with care.
Store your gua sha tool at room temperature. (Crystal rollers, which we’ll touch on later, can be kept in the fridge or freezer.)
At-Home Gua Sha Facial
Cleanse your face and apply a mist or hydrating toner followed by a serum or facial oil.
Begin at the décolletage (the décolleté area is the upper chest), and sweep outwards towards the lymph nodes under the arms.
Then move to the neck and shoulders. I start at the back of the neck and work around. Downward strokes are said to promote lymphatic drainage, while upward strokes may promote lifting and firming. I do a mix of both.
Sweep up and down the jawline.
Continue massaging up the face, moving outwards from the center. Massage the cheekbones, out to the ears.
Be extra gentle on the delicate skin around the eyes.
Move on to the bridge of the nose, the brows, forehead, and hairline.
Return to the neck area to finish.
How often should you gua sha?
You may want to begin with doing gua sha once a week and build up from there, depending on how your skin reacts. If your skin can tolerate daily gua sha massage, go for it.
Do it when it works for you. As a busy mom, I get it — it’s not always easy or realistic to do a full on gua sha facial massage every day.
If you are experiencing a skin irritation, such as a rash or sunburn, hold off on the gua sha facial massage until the skin is healed.
What’s the difference between gua sha and face rolling?
Both gua sha and face rolling commonly use gemstone tools. Both techniques are purported to improve lymphatic drainage and boost blood flow. Furthermore, they can both help reduce puffiness and encourage the absorption of skin care products.
Face rolling is gentler. It does not sculpt and contour the way gua sha can, but it’s simpler and quicker. Plus, it’s a nifty way to apply sheet masks.
Face rollers and gua sha tools can be used in tandem. If I have the time, I like to start with the roller and finish with gua sha.
Have you tried gua sha facial massage? Let me know in the comments.