Gua Sha: Facial Massage & Technique for Banging Cheek Bones
The Benefits and Side Effects of the DIY At-Home Facial
Late one night, when I couldn’t sleep, came across a series of YouTube videos and I quickly fell down an irresistible rabbit hole of tutorials that I could not tear my curious eyes away from. Gua Sha is a centuries-old technique that offers a multitude of health and wellness benefits, and now has become a cosmetic mainstay. I knew I instantly had to try it, and I think that you should too.
What Is a Gua Sha Facial?
If you’ve never seen one of these stones before, or if you have but never really understood what it was used for, then you currently might be thinking, “Uhhhh, Bruh… What is that?”
“Do I need that?”
“What does that rock do?”
Well… Let me explain.
Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese technique in which the skin is “scrapped” using a boomerang-shaped or rounded edge tool (usually made of jade stone or rose quartz) along the face and body. I purchased my Gua Sha stone ($30) online from Alder New York a few months ago, along with their Jade Roller ($40) and several of their skincare products.
I am going to note that Gua Sha is not supported by traditional or current medicine. Meaning, that you are not going to waltz into your doctors office and hear, “We need to Gua Sha the hell out of your body!”
Traditionally, Gua Sha is done on the neck and shoulders to help relieve muscle tension, usually resulting in dark bruising. I know, it sounds terrifying — and frankly, it looks a lot worse — but I promise you that it’s not, and this type of “bruising” doesn’t occur during a Gua Sha facial. In fact, the experience of a Gua Sha facial is far more gentle and extremely relaxing. I started using this tool because I noticed that when I wake up, I sometimes can get really puffy. Especially under my eyes. It’s super annoying!
The Benefits off a Gua Sha Facial
- Reduces Puffiness
- Increases Circulation
- Releases Muscular Tension
- Lifts Skin and Contours the Face
- Stimulates Collagen Production
A Gua Sha treatment promotes lymphatic drainage. So, what does this mean for your face? The practice is going to help reduce puffiness, stimulate collagen, increase circulation, release muscle tension, and lift your skin and help to naturally contour. Yes, your cheek and jaw bones are going to be… Snatched!
Over time, these affects are both temporary and long lasting. I mean, c’mon, you’re not giving yourself an actual face lift, here. That takes an experienced cosmetic surgeon, but it will give you a very noticeable boost! Especially, if you continue to use Gua Sha and make it apart of your regular skincare routine.
The good news? You can easily DIY a Gua Sha facial at home!
How To Prepare
Bonus Tip: I always put my Gua Sha stone and the Jade Roller in the fridge for about 5–10min prior to using it. Trust me, it feels so amazing!
So first, we have to prep our skin. You want to make sure that your skin is moisturized. You can use a serum, or a moisturizer, or a face oil. Today, I am using another product from Alder New York. Their Fortifying Face Oil ($40).
It hydrates and enriches your skin. It’s formulated with moisturizing and elasticity boosting organic jojoba oil, plant squalane, abyssinian oil, marula oil, and it’s lightly scented with essential oils, which helps to hydrate dry or dull skin.
I love this stuff because it kicks your dry skin in the ass! The bottle is also plastic with a glass dropper, so it’s perfect for travel.
What to Expect
This is one facial where you can get ready to totally and utterly chill the eff out. Simply apply your choice of oil, serum or moisturizer to your face to help the Gua Sha tool glide more smoothly across the skin. You don’t want to use the Gua Sha stone for more than 5 to 10 minutes.
Then, gently sweep the stone up your neck, working your way all the way up toward your hairline, focusing on the cheekbones and jaw; this helps drain fluid downward and promotes circulation. The key word is: “Gently”! you don’t need to apply much pressure, at all, in order to reap the benefits. Also, don’t go down! Always up, never down! We’re fighting gravity here.
Potential Side Effects
There really aren’t many. Your skin may look red afterwards, or bruise depending on the pressure. Remember, gentle pressure on the face. Gentle!
If you are going to Gua Sha your body, expect bruising. That’s normal. It goes away. Trust me. I personally kind of like it when I turn red, because it makes me feel like I haven’t been duped and that I’m actually accomplishing what I set out to do.
It’s not recommended if you have a rash, sunburns, if you are taking blood thinners, or if you get blood clots in general. Also, if you are a person who enjoys getting Botox, my research showed to wait at least three days after your Botox treatment because you could potentially spread the Botox into areas of your face that you don’t want it to be.
Bonus Tip: Make sure that you’re well-hydrated, both before and after; this will help to promote lymphatic drainage.
The more often you Gua Sha, the better, because the results will ultimately begin to last longer and longer. Gua Sha facials are an excellent way to score instant results, like glowing skin and a more contoured and defined face shape.
Disclaimer: I always try a product for at least 30 days prior to talking about that product. My justification is that I have to give the brand and the products that I am currently using a fair go.
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