No doubt you’ve seen beauty connoisseurs and skincare brands praising the benefits of the Gua Sha, and you probably wondered what exactly it is and if it’s more wellness, self-care marketing hype you’re about to buy into ;) Well, we’re here to answer your questions and explain what exactly a Gua Sha is and how to give yourself the relaxing treatment at home.
The word Gua Sha (pronounced gwah-shah) roughly translates to 'scrape' and is part of traditional Chinese medicine. The practice of Gua Sha was traditionally used as a body treatment for two reasons; heat-stroke or seasonal sicknesses such as a cold. The motion of scraping stimulates blood flow around tired or injured muscle areas and encourages cell repair, regeneration and healing – which is still practised today. The benefits of facial Gua Sha were discovered much later and over the years the beauty industry has caught on and adapted the method, in a much gentler way.
Facial Gua Sha benefits
All you need is light, sweeping strokes of your Gua Sha to stimulate lymphatic flow and drainage. This releases excess fluids in your face and neck, which will 'depuff' so to speak. Some of the other results include:
• Stimulating circulation
• Helping to produce collagen
• Soften fine lines and minimise wrinkles
• Decrease inflammation
• Brighten complexion
• Sculpting facial muscles
• Releases tightness - Stop. If you find yourself unnecessarily clenching your jaw as you read this, a Gua Sha facial treatment will see to that!
HOW TO PICK YOUR GUA SHA
Gua Sha comes in many shapes and sizes, with alternative edges and creases that fit differently onto the contours of your face, and each will provide a unique facial experience. Find one with varying contours on the edges, with this you will learn which sides are most comfortable to hold and to use on different areas of your face. Practice makes perfect after all.
How To Use Your Gua Sha
This method can be used as often as daily but is effective with 2 - 3 treatments per week.
First of all, begin with clean, dry skin. Apply a decent amount of facial oil or serum to your face, neck and décolletage. Massage across the face and neck using the below technique repeating each stroke five times, slowly, with gentle pressure.
Neck - Place the flat side of the board flush against the base of the back of your neck, and stroke it upward along your spine to your hairline. Then stroke upward on either side of your spine, from the top of each shoulder to the hairline.
Shoulder - Position the flat side of the board on the top of the shoulder, and stroke it upward to where your jaw meets your ear. Repeat on the other side.
Throat - Place the curved notch of the board where your collarbones meet, using light pressure drag it up the midline of the throat up to (but not over) your chin. Repeat on each side of the throat. This will help drain the toxins from the lymph nodes on either side of your neck.
With each of the following steps, as you reach your hairline with your tool – massage the area gently with a wiggle.
Jawline - Gently sweep from the chin along the jawline in an upward motion towards the ears and massage.
Cheeks - With the flat side of your Gua Sha, gently press from the centre of the face and work outwards towards the ears (be careful and extremely gentle near the eye area).
Brow - Gently sweep across the brow line starting from the centre and working outwards, massage at the hairline.
Forehead - From your brow upward, gently sweep in an upward motion and when you reach the hairline, massage with a wiggle. This helps open the eye as well as address fine lines.
We always recommend being gentle and using light pressure to avoid any bruising on the face, and remember to hydrate following your at-home treatment.