Gua sha, pronounced “gwa sah,” is a Chinese technique for holistic health and wellness. It involves using a flat, smooth tool, usually made of rock or metal, to scrape the skin. Gua sha was traditionally practiced on the whole body but has recently made an appearance in modern skin care routines for the face.
Facial gua sha uses a stone, usually jade or quartz, to scrape along the skin of the face lightly and gently. Facial gua sha should use light pressure to lift and smooth the skin. It is known to reduce puffiness by helping improve blood flow and moving fluid towards the lymph nodes. In addition, gua sha is known to help release tension that can cause headaches.
Gua sha requires the use of an oil or serum to glide the stone comfortably over the skin. For this, we recommend a mixture of carrier and essential oils. A carrier oil like rosehip oil will help the stone to slip easily while providing a lovely dose of micronutrients to the skin. If your skin is prone to breakouts, jojoba oil is a wonderful non-greasy carrier oil.
In addition to a carrier oil for slip, consider adding a blend of essential oils to mix. Many essential oils are known to reveal youthful looking skin and to detox the skin of toxins and blemishes. You can switch up with essential oils you choose based on how your skin is behaving that day. Lavender and frankincense can help soothe irritation and redness, while tea tree and eucalyptus invigorate the skin. For easy application, try an essential oil roller ball.
To use the gua sha stone on the face, apply a few drops of your chosen oil mixture to your skin. Press, don’t rub, the oil onto the skin. You want the oil to sit on top of your skin so that it can absorb while you’re using the stone. Keep your hand almost flat as you gently slide the stone across the skin, using upward strokes to lift the skin. Use your other hand to slowly stretch your skin taut as you glide the stone. Apply more oil as needed whenever you feel the stone tugging or pulling.