Gua Sha facial recently made it to one of the most popular skincare recommendations on social media. But what lays behind the precisely polished jade stone scraping tools and the beautifully styled photos in dreamy bathrooms?
What is a Gua Sha facial?
You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the immediate healing effects of this routine. The facial rejuvenation technique involves gentle scraping on the facial area, the neck, and the decollete. The ‘Eastern botox facial’ takes place by using rollers and rounded edge tools of all shapes, usually made of jade stone or rose quartz. As the western nickname suggests, the massage supports collagen production which leads to a refreshed look in a natural way.
What are the benefits of the Gua Sha facial?
The gentle strokes applied by the gua sha tools highlight cheekbones you’ve never known existed. The facial relies on the natural responses of the skin which is good news for not only slow-minded people but everyone who does not support radical beauty intervention.
The strokes help to break up muscular tension caused by water retention. Which leads to reduced puffiness or inflammation. The benefits are not only temporary, over time and practice it has long-term results. This all-natural face lifting also promotes collagen production which fills and softens the fine lines and wrinkles, while boosting the skin’s elasticity.
The relieving tightness in the muscles lifts the skin, and contours the face while the stimulated circulation diminishes dark circles and leads to a healthier complexion. Beyond the statistical results also lays a deeper value in this nice massage as you spend quality time with yourself.
The origins of the Gua Sha facial
While the technique is especially beneficial for the face it can be used on the whole body. Gua Sha facial is based on an ancient Chinese healing technique, first referred to in a classical Chinese medical text from around 220 CE and it was fairly different from what we are more familiar with nowadays.
As opposed to the current facial, it was originally used for two conditions in a very rough way. It was widely practiced in case of heatstrokes and seasonal diseases like cold by any tool handy, such as a spoon. ‘Sha’ or ‘redness’ refers to the red marks that the pressure causes to encourage the skin to heal itself.
The technique of scraping the back of the neck and other sensitive spots until a red mark appeared was believed to refresh the body and help reduce toxins and therefore cure. The harsh pressure they applied, unlike the facial version, left dark marks on the body. The facial benefits were discovered later on and by mistake as they suddenly saw the wrinkles going away.
How to practice Gua Sha facial?
While professional Gua Sha lasts up to 20 minutes, for the home ritual a 5-minute session is recommended about 3 times a week. Apply gentle outward and upward strokes along your face with the Gua Sha stone that fits the curvature of the treated area.
Choose a shape that is also comfortable to grip so you can apply even strokes. While the material of the gua sha stone is not crucial the shape is. Choose your favorite gemstones or opt for the commonly used jade or rose quartz versions.
For the full experience, extra nutritions, hydration, and easier application combine the treatment with face oils or serums. Apply a few drops of your favorite products and start to gently apply the outward strokes to remove access fluids and toxins from your skin cells while nurturing.
Useful tips for your Gua Sha treatment
For an even more refreshing experience, keep the gua sha stones in the fridge to cool. Cold Gua Sha stones will help you wake up in the morning while the increased blood flow will reduce your dark circles.
It is also recommended to lay out a towel when you start the session to prevent breakage in case the fragile stone would slip out of your oily hands.
Cleaning doesn’t require anything special, wash them with soap and water, or sterilize them with alcohol. As the treatment supports circulation and reduces toxins, it is important that you are well-hydrated both before and after the treatment so the undesired elements can easily leave your body. Combine the session with other Eastern modalities, by reaching out to a professional such as acupuncture, as part of a larger facial.
What are the potential side effects?
The technique is all in all very harmless, you can feel free to test it and figure out the ways how it can best serve your needs. Make sure you only apply gentle pressure for not more than about 5 minutes so you don’t have to worry about leaving bruises or dark spots.
Avoid the treatment during your menses because the encouraging blood flow might affect your period too. Don’t apply the technique on areas of the skin suffering from sunburn, rashes, or acne.
Drink water before and after your session to make sure that your skin and organs are well-hydrated. Avoid hot showers directly after the session as heat has other effects on the skin that might reduce the benefits of Gua Sha. The same applies to exercising. Schedule your workout sessions on the days when you don’t practice Gua Sha, or try to create at least a couple of hours of break between the two activities.
If you ever dreamed of an all-natural anti-aging technique, Gua Sha is for you. Combine it with your beauty routine, facial oils, scents, hydration, and refresh your soul. Even if you’ve been successfully working from home you can still enjoy the benefits, of this affordable, traditional massage at home with both instant and long-term results.