A gua sha is a deep facial massage tool that is made from jade stone. Jade stones are believed to have healing properties and is naturally cool to the touch.
In general, jade gua shas help reduce puffiness, improves circulation, and help your skin glow.
While gua sha as a practice has been around for centuries, it’s only recently become more popular here in the United States. Using a gua sha helps reduce jaw tension and puffiness and works well in conjunction with the more gentle jade rolling (we also offer a jade roller). Many users report that they are loving the results since incorporating gua sha into their daily routine.
What Is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a form of ancient Chinese medicine. In fact, the word means “scraping” in Mandarin. In practice, it means to use a specific tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin and muscles. This scraping is meant to relax the muscles, break up any tension or scar tissue, and increase blood flow under the skin.
It’s similar to a massage, but you can actually apply more pressure with the tool than you can with your hands (and your fingers won’t get sore and tired). The tool also makes it easier to massage your own face, neck and other body parts. Ultimately, we find that gua sha is a wonderful and easy way to practice self-care and reap some impressive benefits.
What Do You Use With A Gua Sha Tool?
You might be wondering if you actually need to use a moisturizer or massaging oil with a gua sha stone. And the answer is, yes!
Gua shas work best when you use some sort of moisturizer on your skin first. You want your skin to be somewhat “slippery” so the roller can move easily and not tug too much on your skin.
So the best types of liquids/products to use are:
- Face oil: You may use any organic and non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) oils to have the best “glide”. We highly recommend jojoba oil as our favorite option that suits most skin types.
- Serum: If you don’t like oil/it doesn’t work for your skin, you could also use a serum. You want something that is highly moisturizing – opting for a hyaluronic acid content typically. Our anti-aging solid primer serums would be great for this! An even lighter option would be our milk lotions, but these do not provide a lot of “slip”.
- Moisturizer: Your last option would be a moisturizer. We again, recommend that you use something super hydrating. So our tallow butters would be a perfect match for this.
There are numerous benefits of gua sha and applying gua sha to your face. Many have reported experiencing the following benefits from regular gua sha:
- Reduce puffiness: sometimes you wake up with extra water and your eyes might look puffy. Gua sha is perfect for this. The stone stays cool, so it reduces inflammation like ice.
- Lymphatic drainage: when you use the gua sha stone to apply pressure towards your lymph nodes (right by your ears), it helps drain your lymph. This can help reduce wrinkles, improve detoxification, and help with skin disorders.
- Reduce wrinkles: gua sha is also great for reducing wrinkles and fine lines in your face. It’s certainly not a cure-all, but the relaxing massage helps smooth out your skin.
- Helps with jaw tension: If you carry a lot of tension in your jaw, or clench your teeth at night, gua sha at night can help tremendously. Think of it as a deep tissue massage for your face! You’re digging into those facial muscles, loosening them up, and reducing tension.
In Chinese medicine, gua sha is also used to treat the common cold, reduce fevers and reduce overall inflammation in the body. If applied to joints and other muscle groups, it can also reduce pain.
If you’re new to gua sha, here are the simple steps to start incorporating this healthy practice in your daily life. (also check out our facial methods tab)
STEP ONE: Wash that beautiful face of yours (and sanitize/wipe off the gua sha)! You want a clean face before you use your gua sha.
STEP TWO: Moisturize! We like to use our tallow butters because it adds even more moisture, but if those don’t work for your skin, you can just use whatever moisturizer you like best.
STEP THREE: Rub it out!
How often should you use a gua sha?
You can use a gua sha every day. As long as you’re being gentle, you really can’t overuse it. There is no better time of day, just wherever it fits into your skincare routine. We personally like to use ours in the morning to reduce puffiness and wake the skin up, and then again at night while reading in bed because it is super relaxing.
Do gua shas actually work?
They do! You can search for before and after photos and you’ll see that the skin looks lifted, glows more, there’s less puff, and generally just looks healthier.
Should I keep my gua sha in the fridge?
You can keep a gua sha in the fridge, but it isn’t necessary. The jade stone itself is naturally quite cool and will work without being refrigerated. But if you want it extra cold, you can store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container or bag.
Do you put anything on a gua sha?
You don’t put anything directly on the gua sha. Instead, apply your moisturizer to a clean face, and then use the gua sha.
Can you use a gua sha on bare skin?
Again, it’s best not to use a gua sha on bare skin. It can pull and tug at your skin which we don’t want. By using an oil/serum/moisturizer, the stone will seamlessly glide across your skin and you’ll get the most benefits.
Which direction do you use a gua sha?
Always scrape upward first, and then down towards your lymph nodes. The upward movement will ensure your lifting at the same time as you’re moving the fluid out.
When to use jade roller vs gua sha?
Think of jade rollers and gua sha as interchangeable. They have a lot of the same benefits and are both easy to use. We recommend using whichever one you like best!
When washing the tool after use, use warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. You can also soak the the tool in a bowl of warm water and soap for a few minutes to give it an extra deep clean and help wash away and stubborn product buildup or dirt. **BE EXTRA CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK – THESE ARE VERY FRAGILE!**
Approximate Weight: 1.5 oz
Approximate Dimensions: 3.25″ x 2″ x 0.25″