Gua Sha: What It Is & How To Use It

Not to be confused with jade rollers, Gua Sha tools can contour, reduce puffiness and deeply massage your face by intensely massaging your skin to improve circulation. We spoke to leading celebrity facialist, Su-Man, to find out how to get the most from this beauty tool.

There Are Multiple Benefits

“Literally speaking, it means ‘to scrape away fever’, so think of it as a tool that’s used to bring inflammation or illness to the skin’s surface so the pain can be relieved. It’s not as simple as using a jade roller – it requires more of a technique so you can improve the blood flow, promoting skin metabolism, which in turn, ensures your complexion has adequate nutrients. Stroking over an area will bring blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to tissue that has previously been deprived. The blood then carries away built up toxins, like lactic acid, which brings instant glow and radiance to the top of your skin. It’s also been known to reduce headaches and jaw pain when used correctly.”

It Comes In Different Forms

“In order to reap the best results, you need to invest in the right stone. Pay attention to its smoothness and shape – this is what counts. Ignore the hype around other ‘benefits and claims’ that have been attributed by marketing. For instance, the type of crystal doesn’t matter – it won’t have a direct impact on the results. You want one that has a thicker and smoother texture for great results – this style is easier to manipulate for beginners, too.” 

Bear The Temperature In Mind

“Some of my clients love to put their gua sha in the fridge before using it for a more refreshing feel. However, you have to avoid using it too cold or too warm if you suffer from conditions like rosacea. This is because the extreme cold temperature can trigger a breakout and cause inflammation. If you don’t get rosacea, you can certainly give this fridge trick a try to help reduce puffiness and create a smoother glide.” 

The Technique Demands Practice

“When you use your gua sha, work on the fascia – this is the sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, that is beneath the skin that attaches, stabilises and separates muscles. Take it over your key pressure points to release tension and tightness. Take it in long, circular strokes, from the inner to outer areas of your face in upward motions. The only exception is your neck. When using your tool here, you need to activate the skin by stroking in downwards movements to avoid flaccid skin.” 

Repetition Is Key

“People are often afraid of causing damage to the skin’s tissue. To get it right, you need to take an approach known as a ‘working hand and a holding hand’. Don’t be afraid to repeat your movements in upward strokes – especially around the eyes and cheeks – towards the lymphatic glands, stimulating circulation and drainage.” 

Applying Your Products Beforehand Will Help

“Before you use your gua sha, always use plenty of skincare to avoid any damage or tugging. You don’t want an unwanted reaction simply because of friction. Use an oil or cream beforehand to give your skin with some slip. It will help your tool glide much better without overstimulating the tissue.” 

There’s No Limit On Usage

“The self-facial gua sha technique works when done properly and consistently over time. You won’t see results overnight, but in the long-run, you’ll reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and you’ll be able to sculpt in more definition. On top of this, thorough scraping will bring out the toxins in your body, increasing faster healing of the skin.”

For correct technique and top skincare tips, follow Su-Man on Instagram, or visit her website.

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