Everyone in the health, wellness, and skincare world seems to be talking about gua sha these days. But gua sha is not a new technique, so why is it suddenly receiving so much attention?
What Is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medicine tool and treatment that glides over the the skin, leading to various cosmetic benefits. In a 2020 interview by writer Meng Jin for Vogue, New York-based traditional Chinese medicine guru and acupuncturist Ping Zhang said, “Gua sha was originally used for two conditions: the abrupt, immediate, sudden collapse of the body from heatstroke; and seasonal diseases, like a cold virus.”
Jin also spoke with holistic esthetician Cecily Braden, who added, “The facial benefits of gua sha were discovered by mistake.”
What Are the Benefits of Gua Sha?
We now know gua sha as a “secret” to preventing signs of aging. It’s said to drain the lymphatic system, reduce puffiness and inflammation, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Individuals all over the internet are learning how to use gua sha for self-care and beauty benefits.
So, does it really work? I had to find out for myself. Every day for one week, I performed the same gua sha routine. Let’s look into how and what I did, what the results were, and what I learned.
How Do You Gua Sha?
My favorite resources for learning how to gua sha were @allyoucanface and @lanshin_skin on TikTok. Both go in-depth in explaining the proper techniques to avoid injury and achieve the best results. All You Can Face does a fantastic job demonstrating what movements should be done in a short amount of time.
Lanshin shares tips and tricks while answering all your burning questions like, “Do you scrape up or down the neck,” “How much facial pressure to apply,” and “How to relieve jaw tension.”
The most helpful tips I learned when doing my gua sha routine were:
- Never scrape/glide on a dry face; always prep with moisturizer or, more preferably, face oil.
- Always apply light pressure. You don’t want to bruise the skin or cause unnecessary discomfort. This is critical.
- Hold your gua sha at an angle as you glide, so the tool is almost flat to the skin; avoid holding the tool upright.
My Gua Sha Results
Is one week enough time to notice actual results? It’s not. I did notice an immediate, yet subtle difference in my face each day I finished my gua sha routine. My cheeks have seemed to slim down slightly, and my eyebrows are somewhat higher. If I performed this routine every day for a month, three months, or a year, the results would likely be more drastic.
Day 1: Before vs. After
Day 7: Before vs. After
Final Results: Day 1 vs. Day 7
Gua sha is relaxing and soothing, and I will definitely continue with this routine. If you are interested in gua sha, I recommend consulting with a skincare professional since everyone can have a different experience.