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The Beauty Beat

What are Gua Sha Stones, and Do They Work?

You’ve likely seen gua sha stones all over Instagram and beauty websites. It seems too good to be true—running a stone over your face to get defined cheekbones and de-puffed eye bags?! Is this just another trend that will fade in a year or so, or is gua sha here to stay?

Gua Sha has actually been around for centuries in China, where the technique was used to scrape the skin with a smooth stone, antler, or coin to heal the skin through the redness that occurred (sha). The process was used over the entire body, but today it is primarily used on the face and neck.

We’ve answered all your questions about gua sha stones below!

What are Gua Sha Stones?

Gua sha stones are a tool used to relieve tension, sculpt skin, and increase circulation. They are traditionally made of jade or quartz, but plastic options are also available. They’re available in a variety of shapes, but usually they are somewhat tapered so there is a smaller edge that can be used near the eyes or nose.

jade roller vs Gua Sha

What’s the Difference between a Gua Sha Stone and a Jade Roller?

Gua sha stones and jade rollers are closely related! Both originated in China, and both are used to release tension in the face and prevent signs of aging. Jade rollers are gently rolled over the face, rather than “scraped” like stones. Many people chill their jade rollers and use them to de-puff their under eyes in the morning and wake up their face with increased circulation!

What are the Benefits of Gua Sha?

Many people cite that gua sha gives their skin structure a lifted appearance, with more defined cheekbones and de-puffed cheeks. Gentle use can also reduce under-eye bags. Users say that it relieves muscle tension and tight jaws, and makes their cheekbones and jawline appear more defined.

The technique can also promote lymphatic drainage, which can reduce facial puffiness and help remove fluid and toxins from your system. Some people say that it even serves as an alternative to injectables because of its ability to ease the tension that can cause fine lines or wrinkles.

Does Gua Sha Really Work?

The benefits of gua sha are not fully documented or proved, but people’s personal experiences with the facial treatment often speaks for itself! The results are often subtle, and they’re not permanent—but they are often noticeable to the individual. Some people have even said that it relieves their TMJ symptoms!


how gua sha stones work


(Image credit: Huda Beauty)

How do I Use a Gua Sha Stone?

Gua sha technique is extremely important to achieving the desired results. It seems simple enough, but you must achieve the proper movement, angle, and pressure to be effective. Incorrect use can, at the least, do nothing, but can at the most cause internal damage or bruising.

For optimal results, you should take a gua sha 101 class to understand the proper technique. Here are some good rules of thumb:

  • Keep the stone almost parallel to your face

  • Apply even pressure that’s not too hard

  • Apply a serum or moisturizer before to reduce friction

Which Gua Sha Stones are Best?

Most experts recommend finding one made of pure jade or rose quartz. Some people experience irritation from the synthetic plastic that cheaper gua sha stones are made of. The jade and quartz stones also hold cold or heat better, 

Who Shouldn’t Use Gua Sha Stones?

If you suffer from active acne, rosacea, eczema, or any kind of skin irritation, you should not use gua sha. Consult with your licensed dermatologist before trying at home. If you’re pregnant, consult with your doctor.

Meet the author

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

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