The gemstone roller craze is in full effect! Holistic skin care professionals use them, they’re hot on social media and users love the results, but there’s another ancient beauty treatment that’s on the rise in mainstream American beauty, called Gua Sha. You may have seen beauty enthusiasts rubbing jade or gemstones on their faces and thought, what the heck is she doing? I’m going to give you all the juicy details about this highly beneficial beauty tool.
What is Gua Sha
Gua Sha is an ancient healing technique used traditionally in Chinese or Thai cultures to clear stagnation of the channel system below the skin, using uni-directional press-stroking on the skin’s surface(or one direction scraping of the skin). Opening these pathways and clearing accumulation of toxins in this manner has a direct affect on the health and healing power of skin. The technique is a gentle but firm press-stroking massage at specific points along the face which help to promote lymphatic drainage and break up stagnation and toxin accumulation.
The traditional Gua Sha tool is a flat gemstone usually made from jade, with curved or spiked edges designed for different techniques and movements on various areas of the face. Gua Sha tools or boards may also be made from Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Bain, Tiger’s Eye or other gemstones and come in various sizes and shapes.
Gua Sha can be used on the entire body, but we will be talking about gentle Facial Gua Sha, including the neck.
Benefits of Facial Gua Sha
With the correct massage technique and regular practice, Gua Sha can help to:
- Break up Blood Stagnation
- Promote Lymphatic Drainage
- Free up Toxin Accumulation
- Increase Life force energy that runs throughout the body
- Unbind and untangle fascia which has been bound by tension
- Unwind the tissue, creating space for the optimal flow of blood, oxygen, lymph & nutrients.
- Helps soften the facial expressions, ultimately repatterning the way our skin ages.
- Relax facial tension which helps tissue settle into a natural place, allowing efficient function.
- Promotes flow of nutrients and stimulation of connective tissue to feed the skin
- Tones the muscles
- Relieves stress, allowing the body to rejuvenate and restore vitality
- Breaks up tension within the layers of muscles and connective tissue that often creates adhesions which impede blood and nerve supply.
- Aids in the absorption of topical skin care products.
- Promotes healing to various skin issues such as puffiness, dark circles, blemishes, lines & sensitivity, redness and tension.
Gua Sha vs. Gemstone Rolling
You may be asking yourself, why would I use Gua Sha over a Jade Roller?
Jade Rollers are a more convenient and user-friendly choice. Nearly anyone can quickly learn how to use a jade roller and easily go through a routine in a matter of minutes. Many love the way their face and skin look and feel with jade rolling. The benefits are real!
Gua Sha takes a bit more skill, care and time… however it’s believed that gua sha delves deeper, to really relieve heavy set tension, break up adhesions, and get things moving. Because it is a slow and longer ritual, it also has a meditative and metaphysical aspect that many incorporate, which can really deepen your relaxation and connection with your body.
Ultimately, it’s a personal preference and many people love using both! Professional estheticians certainly make use of both tools.
Types of Gua Sha Gemstones and their metaphysical properties
Jade – Abundance/Longevity/Beauty
Jade is considered a symbol of beauty, grace, abundance, good fortune and longevity in Chinese society. Known as the stone of eternal youth, it is a go-to gemstone for facial treatments. The Jade meaning is associated with its powerful ability to reduce tension in the facial muscles, which makes it an excellent beauty aid for smoothing out wrinkles.
Bonus: Jade is known to be a transmitter of far infared rays, which are beneficial for anti-aging and wrinkle treatment!
Rose Quartz – Love/Romance/Compassion
Rose Quartz is commonly referred to as the "Love Stone" for it's strong vibrations of unconditional love, tenderness, joy warmth and healing. This beautiful pink crystal has a powerful energy that resonates within both the heart chakra and the higher heart chakra the area related to compassion.
Rose quartz is packed full of minerals, including silicium, magnesium, iron, sodium and oxygen. It has an amazing ability to reduce inflammation and support the renewal of skin cells plus heals and rejuvenates.
Amethyst – Positivity/Harmony/Intuition
Amethyst is a protective stone. It is linked to the crown chakra, therefore helpful in purifying the mind and clearing negative thoughts. This includes the negativity of stress and anxiety, making it an appropriate meditation stone. Amethyst is also associated with abundance; therefore relieving stress while promoting prosperity and facilitating intuition and communication. Amethyst crystals help bring inner spiritual harmony on many different levels. Additionally, Amethyst has benefits for reducing redness and inflammation in the skin, which is great for acne prone or sensitive skin.
Tiger’s Eye – Power/Ambition/Positivity
Tiger's Eye is the ultimate power crystal, known to balance negative emotions like fear, anxiety and self-loathing. Often referred to as a spiritual compass which can help guide you towards the light, harnessing your inner powers and ambitions.
Tiger's eye resonates with the solar plexus chakra, related to personal power, will and mental abilities. It also helps spark creative drive and motivation to succeed on your own terms.
Shapes of Gua Sha Tools
Gua Sha boards are made to hug the shape of the face, hence why most have several different edges to accommodate the different angles and intracrasies of an individuals unique face.
- Comb Edge – Sweeping upward and outward motions on lines and wrinkles for detangling tension, especially the extreme tension we carry in eyes and brow and reducing mimic lines(or eleven lines). Stimulate the skin’s natural healing power.
- Rounded Tip – Under Eye Area for feather-light de-puffing and lymphatic drainage.
- Curved Edge – Perfect for the cheek area and upper brow.
- Small Curved Edge or Flat Edge – Center forehead area to smooth lines and tension.
- Camel Humps – Great for hitting the pressure points of the brow to take tension away.
- Large Notch – For back of neck up to base of skull, front of neck up to chin, conturing the jaw line.
How to use your facial gua sha board
Tips before getting started:
- Take your time, working with slow and steady movements to achieve full benefits.
- Using your free hand, always support the skin in fleshy areas like neck, cheeks and around eyes, as not to overstretch skin.
- Be sure to first apply a hydration mist and serum or oil to create some slip so your Gua Sha board can glide smoothly along skin without tugging.
- Always use the Gua Sha tool in an upward and outward motion on the face, working against gravity.
- When the concern is puffiness, work on the area below the issue. For example, for puffy eyes, use gua sha under the puffy area such as cheek bones to unclog pathways and promote lymphatic drainage.
- Gua Sha should not be practiced on skin which received any sort of injections such as botox within the past 3 months, open wounds, cysts, active breakout, inflamed or irritated skin. Please consult a health care provider prior to using gua sha for other concerns.
- Pressure should be light to medium on face except for under eye area where touch should be feather-light pressure.
VIDEO TUTORIAL COMING SOON!
Begin with clean skin.
Apply a hydration mist such as our Vital Botanic Hydrating Mist followed by a serum or face oil by warming between both hands, then pressing into skin or massaging in an upward/outward motion.
Continue in the order below.
Back of Neck – Notched Edge
Using one of the notched edges, place the gua sha tool at the base of your neck, holding as flat as possible against your skin. Pull the tool upward with light to medium pressure until the tool hits bone at the back of your skull. Give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more more.
Shoulder/Side of Neck – Flat Surface and Curved Edge
Using the Flat or gradually curved edge of your tool, place the surface of your tool at the end of your shoulder, just before the collar bone meets the shoulder. Keeping the tool flat, pull the tool up your shoulder and side of your neck with light to medium pressure until it touches bone just under your ear. Give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more more.
Collarbone/Front of Neck – Flat Surface and Curved Edge
Using the Flat or slightly curved edge of your tool, place the surface of your tool just under your collar bone. Pull the tool upward over your collar bone and up your neck until it touches bone just under your jaw. Give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more more.
Sternum/Front of Neck – Notched Edge
Place your fingers at the top of your sternum, just between where your collar bones meet. This provides support to the skin. Place the notched edge of the tool just above your fingers. Keeping the tool as flat to your skin as possible, pull the tool upward until it hits bone, just under your chin. Give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more more.
Jaw Release Lift & Sculpt – Notched Edge
Place your fingers at the center of your chin, place the notched edge of the tool next to your fingers so that there is a tip on both the top and bottom of your jar. Keeping the tool as flat as possible, pull the tool outward following the line of your jaw until it touches just under the ear. Give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more more.
Cheek Sculpt & Lift - Flat Surface and Smooth Edge
Place your fingers over your nose and on your cheek just next to your nose to support the skin. Place smooth edge of the tool next to your fingers, keeping the tool as flat to your skin as possible. Pull the tool outward until you reach your ear.Give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more more.
Under Eye Refresh – Rounded Tip
This is an area of very thin and fragile skin, please use feather-light pressure when treating the eye area. Place a finger just below the inner corner of your eye. Lightly place the curved tip of the tool flat next to your finger under your eye. Gently and lightly pull the tool to the outer corner of the eye and then outward/upward to the temple. When you reach the hairline, give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more.
Brow Lift & Eye Opener – Notched Edge
Place a finger or two between your brow to support the skin. Place the notched part of the tool next to your fingers and lay the tool flat to the skin. Pull the tool outward, following the brow bone. When you reach the end of your brow bone, turn the tool upward and pull it upward/outward until you reach your hairline. When you reach the hairline, give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more.
Forehead Smoothing & Brow Lift – Curved Edge
Place your finger under the center of your brow bone, feather light touch to support the skin. Using the long curved edge of your tool, touch your finger at a flat angle and pull the tool upward over your brow bone and continue up forehead. When you reach the hairline, give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more.
Center Forehead – Shorter Flat Edge
Place your fingers gently between your brows to support the skin. Place the shorter flat edge of the tool just above your fingers and pull the tool upward until you reach the hairline.When you reach the hairline, give yourself a massage in that location by wiggling the tool. Repeat 5 times more.
You’ve now completed one full side of your face and can repeat these movements on the opposite side!
Wilder North cannot be held responsible for any actions made, implied or expressed by anyone as a result of this guidance.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are in no way intended to heal, prevent or treat any illness. Please consult your doctor if you are seeking medical advice.
The above content contains ideas and information from the following
Cecily Braden, L.E. & Founder Beauty Secrets / Global Spa Imports, http://beautysecretsus.com/
Britta Plug, Holistic Esthetician & Skin Care Expert, https://studiobritta.com/