Are you convinced about the benefits of facial massages? Have you been exploring the realms of jade rollers and how to use them? Then it’s time to introduce you to a new, on-trend skin care tool that’s been all over the web lately: gua sha.
Gua sha or crystal scraper
Gua sha (gwa-sha) finds its origin in ancient China. The term literally translates to ‘scraping’, already giving you an idea of what the technique is like. In traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha is often used on the body and in quite invasive ways – which explains the images of bruised body parts you’ll find on the internet when searching for gua sha. But for the face and in mainstream skin care, it is used very gently and will never cause any harm – on the contrary, it’ll boost your skin like never before.
There are a lot of different gua sha tools on the market right now, but the best thing is to look for a qualitative jade or rose quartz stone that has curved ends and one irregular side with a notch. A qualitative crystal gua sha stone is the most gentle to use on your face, and the notch will allow you to stimulate your facial muscles even further.
Just like jade rolling, cupping and massaging your face in general, gua sha has many benefits for your skin’s health and complexion. But unlike the more gentle face rolling or simply using your fingers, scraping causes friction. That stimulates the release of muscle tension and improves lymphatic drainage, or the removal of waste products in your skin. The result? Clear, bright and glowing skin. But also a face that looks more youthful and firm thanks to the manual facelift.
How to use gua sha for the face
Although it is said you can do gua sha every day, I would rather advise you to get your stone out two times a week and use your hands or a jade roller for a gentle facial massage on the other days of the week.
There are three important things to keep in mind when using gua sha at home:
- always use it flat on your skin;
- use light to medium pressure;
- and scrape very slowly and mindfully.
Give your gua sha stone some grip by applying a hydrating serum or a light oil on your skin before starting off.
The nice thing about gua sha, I find, is that there’s a lot of focus on the neck as well. Scraping the neck is actually always the beginning of your gua sha routine, because it starts stimulation and releases a lot of muscles that cause tension in your face as well.
You can start by placing the notch on your spine, laying the stone flat onto the skin and gently moving it upwards until you reach the bone at the back of your head. Give the stone a little wiggle when you get there for extra stimulation. Then use the flat side of the stone to do the same thing starting at your shoulders and your collar bone, going all the way up to the jaw line and giving it a wiggle there.
When using gua sha on your face, there are four areas you’re going to focus on: the jawline, the cheekbones, the eyebrows and the forehead. Use the notched end on the jawline and lay the stone flat, starting at your chin and gently scraping up to your ear – don’t forget to wiggle. Then use the flat end to scrape from your nose under the cheekbone and up to your ear, and then the same thing on top of the cheekbone as well. For the eyebrows, use the notched end again – this is such a lovely feeling. Then take the flat end to scrape from each brow and your third eye up to the hairline along your forehead.
Do every scraping motion around five times on each side of your face. When you’re done, use your fingers to gently slide from your forehead along the sides of your face all the way down to your neck. This will stimulate the lymphatic drainage of toxins and waste products from the skin.
When you’ve finished using your stone, don’t forget to clean it. You can gently rinse it with water and a little bit of soap, or you can use something like a colloidal silver disinfecting spray.
The best gua sha tool
My gua sha is a beautiful jade stone that I got from White Lotus Beauty, a company that offers all the essentials for facial massages. They’ve got scraping stones in all kinds of crystals, but also facial rollers, cupping tools and silk pillowcases for instance.
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