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The Beauty Beat

The New Go-To: Gua Sha Stone Massage for Your Face

To better understand what a gua sha is and what it can do for you, follow this all-inclusive guide to learn all the need-to-know information about this new skincare trend.

When talking about Gua Sha, we’re talking about scraping and pulling the skin.
Scraping and pulling?? A bit horrifying, right?

If you’ve yet to learn what a gua sha stone massage can do for your facial skincare routine, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the latest go-to tool. To better understand what a gua sha is and what it can do for you, follow this all-inclusive guide to learn all the need-to-know information about this new skincare trend.

First, a gua sha stone massage involves a trained professional using a smooth tool after applying oil to the desired area and gently scraping against the skin. This tool is called a gua sha, which originated from a Chinese word that translates to "scraping." Although in many circles gua sha treatments seem to be just taking flight, this is not the case. The tool actually holds a long history in wellness practices dating back to East Asian Paleolithic age techniques. Its origins of “scraping” or “sanding” translate directly to what the tool has been known to accomplish during its long history as a skincare practice: using friction against the skin to clear internal heat and stagnation that helps to avoid a multitude of undesirable effects.

This stone massage is known to alleviate pain, tension and improve circulation in the treated areas. More than just a skincare best practice, gua shas could more accurately be considered an overall wellness enhancer.

Benefits of Gua Sha Stone Massages

The new hype surrounding the gua sha stone and its benefits is likely something you’ve seen on TikTok, as beauty influencers showcase the tool, the massage, and its benefits.

If you wonder whether it’s just another beauty trend that will go out of style as quickly as it became so popular, you might want to consider its long list of health benefits. They go far and beyond the general skin care regimen.

In addition to gua sha’s benefits for circulation, chronic pain, and tension, these stone massages are known to alleviate symptoms of Hepatitis B, migraine headaches, Tourette’s, perimenopausal syndrome, and more. Furthermore, gua sha stones can assist with pain endured due to overuse of computers, like back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. In even more substantial health benefits, gua sha stones and massages have also improved flexibility for committed users.

Back to the skincare benefits of a gua sha stone massage, it’s certainly not lacking here. Aside from improved circulation, this technique can reduce unwanted fine lines and wrinkles and encourage lymphatic drainage. A common misconception regarding gua shas is that it can directly create a more prominent jawline. Although that’s not something it can do, the stone’s ability to promote fluid drainage can create an illusion of a more pronounced jaw profile.

Adding a Gua Sha Stone to Your Routine

Whether you prefer to stick to your at-home skincare regimen or are looking to get a gua sha stone massage from a trained professional, adding this technique to your daily practice has never been easier.

Gua shas are available for purchase for at-home use, and it is not a complicated process to conduct on yourself.

How to perform Gua Sha Facial

Clean your face before you start.
Apply your oil blend or Thom Elzner Daily Serum before doing a Gua Sha treatment – it is a significant step to get those smooth motions right, and to prevent the appearance of bruises.

Plus the massage motions will help your skin 'drink' and absorb your skin care products. You can split your face in half using your nose as the divider and work on one side at a time to make sure you are not missing anything: It’s all about directionality.

A rule of thumb is to always scrape gently and to do it only UPWARDS and OUTWARDS (you will never want to scrape back and forth).

If it hurts, you’re doing it too hard. The pressure should be gentle, yet firm. Start from the neck. Move to the chin. Continue with the cheeks, the under-eye area, the brow area and the third eye (that's my favorite part).

Finish with upper forehead. And repeat the second side of the face.

The method step-by-step that you can even download and print:

Gua Sha massage technique

(Starting with the right side)

1. Neck: With the large inner curve towards the neck, work the tool upward towards your chin – 5x

2. Under the chin: Use the large inner curve to sweep from the middle of the soft under-chin out to the bottom of your earlobe - 5x

3. Jawline: Using the small inward curved section, from the middle of the chin, under the lower lip, sweep out to the earlobe - 5x

4. Cheeks: Using the small outward curved section, sweep from the corner of the nose out to the middle of the ear - 5x. Switch to the big outward curved section and starting from the corner of the lips, sweep under the cheek bone towards the earlobe - 5x

5. Under-eye: Be especially light and slow here. With the small outward curved section of the tool, starting from the under-eye area, where "eye bags" would show up, sweep out towards the temple, all the way to the hairline - 5x

6. Brow area: Using the small outward curved section, sweep from the inner corner of the brow out to the temples. Avoid any pressure on the eye or eyelid itself and stay on the brow bone - 5x

7. Third eye (lower forehead): Use the large inner curve. Stroke from center of eyebrows up to hairline. This one is especially relaxing for the nervous system and great for insomnia and migraine, so do more strokes if it speaks to you! 5-10x

8. Upper forehead: With the large inner curve, starting from the center of the upper forehead, trace down the hairline, over the temple, then curve behind the ear, and down the side of the neck - 5x

Repeat the whole routine on the left side and remember, always UPWARDS and OUTWARDS!

If you are looking for a licensed professional to get you started with facials that include gua sha stone massages, look no further than our fan-favorite Skin Spa Custom Facial.

Ultimately, gua sha stones are worth their current hype, and we encourage anyone seeking not only skincare benefits but wellness enhancements alike to test out this new go-to skincare trend.

Meet the author

Katie Werbowski
Director of Brand Strategy & Development at Skin Spa New York

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