Gua sha is the latest and greatest skincare trend that dates back to ancient times. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), this age-old technique is having a decidedly modern moment, and enthusiasts regularly flood social media with both the practice and its stunning results. If you’re ready to take your men’s skincare routine to the next level, incorporating esthetic practices, such as gua sha facials, can help your skincare work better while enhancing your results.
Traditional gua sha providers use this technique to address various conditions of the body. It’s purported to offer many benefits when performed correctly, including increased blood circulation, reduced muscle tension, and pain relief. In addition to the health benefits of gua sha, it’s also a popular skincare practice and may improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while promoting lymphatic drainage. Many gua sha fans report smoother and more vibrant-looking skin with regular use. If you don’t know anything about gua sha or gua sha tools, no worries –– we’ll cover the basics here, plus what you should look for when shopping for a provider.
How Gua Sha Works
Gua sha is performed by scraping the skin with a massage tool to increase blood circulation. A gua sha provider first applies massage oil and then scrapes the skin with either short or long strokes to stimulate increased blood flow in the soft tissue.
The practice is also believed to stimulate stagnant energy in the body called Chi. TCM practitioners believe that poor energy flow in the body may contribute to inflammation. Gua sha can help promote healing and detoxification by boosting Chi and blood flow.
Skin Benefits of Gua Sha
Gua sha practitioners use the technique on various areas of the body depending on the health condition, but for skincare, gua sha can help contour and de-puff the face by removing fluid buildup. As a result, many users report a more vibrant and sculpted look to the face, and some even report fewer breakouts. Because gua sha works on the epidermis and dermal layers of the skin while boosting detoxification and lymphatic drainage, it may help clear blackheads, whiteheads, and various types of acne. However, gua sha isn’t recommended for active breakouts, and your provider can advise you on how to proceed using gua sha for acne management.
Gua Sha Tools
Gua sha tools are made of semi-precious stones, such as rose quartz or jade, that feature a contoured, firm, and flat surface that hugs the body and glides over skin. Gua sha tools come in varying shapes so that you can get a treatment customized to the specific contours of your face. Also, gua sha practitioners may use a gua sha tool made with different stones depending on your skin’s needs. Jade and amethyst may provide a cooling action during treatment, and rose quartz offers calming effects for irritated skin.
If you’ve never had a gua sha facial before, start with professional treatments to get familiar with the practice. Once you’re comfortable with the technique and you know which tool shape works best for you, you can start an at-home gua sha routine. It’s important to perfect your technique for best results and to properly support your skin. Your gua sha provider can guide you as to how to use your gua sha tool at home and how often. If you don’t feel comfortable trying gua sha at home, leave it to the pros. Either way, a perfected gua sha technique can deliver clearer, younger-looking, and more vibrant skin with consistent use.