Gua Sha has been gaining plenty of traction as one of the best wellness trends in recent years, but it’s actually been a beauty treatment used for thousands of years to improve blood circulation and boost energy flow.
Favoured by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle McPherson, for anti-ageing, and Justin Bieber for neck pain relief, it seems like there are no limits to the benefits of this ancient beauty and wellness treatment.
But what is gua sha? And are the benefits legit?
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha, or 刮痧, is an ancient Chinese beauty treatment that involves using a smooth material such as jade, bain, or rose quartz to massage your skin, improve circulation, and aid in the absorption of products such as beauty oils or moisturisers.
The name literally translates to “scratch” (gua) and “sand” (sha), which refers to raised redness of the skin that can be caused by bacteria or virus toxins or spots in the skin. When using gua sha, the smooth stone scrapes the skin to remove energy blockages, reduce pain, and get rid of toxins.
A gua sha stone usually looks like a loose, elongated love heart. Using the various sides of the gua sha stone on different areas of the face, neck, back, and shoulders can offer a whole range of benefits to help you look and feel your very best.
Gua Sha Benefits
The benefits of gua sha are wide ranging. Although scraping a stone across your skin might not sound like the most relaxing or efficient beauty regime, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest this Chinese treatment can do a lot more than address your body’s “chi.”
In fact, gua sha can:
- Tone, firm, and lift sagging skin in the face and neck.
- Reduce inflammation, puffiness, and dark circles.
- Brighten the complexion.
- Minimise fine lines and soften wrinkles.
- Diminish blemishes.
- Reduce redness.
- Stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
- Help to regenerate facial tissue.
- Aid with oxygenating the skin.
- Improving blood flow.
- Relieving tension.
- Reducing pain.
- Promote lymphatic drainage.
- Relieve several perimenopausal symptoms.
- Release energy blockages and improve the balance of your chi.
How to Use Gua Sha at Home
Many people make the mistake of thinking gua sha stones are only for use on the face, but the benefits of gua sha can be used in a range of massages on almost any part of the body.
For the best results, use gua sha on cleansed, toned skin with a few drops of your favourite body serum. We highly recommend using our Divine Glow Face Oil with a gua sha stone. The combination of the relaxing and beneficial stone massage with the harmonious scents of clary sage, palmarosa, Spanish rosemary, and rose geranium is sure to leave you feeling uplifted, relaxed, and refreshed in mind, body, and soul.
For extra-special results, try storing your gua sha roller in the fridge. The cool stone will enhance the cooling and firming effects of the massage.
For a glorious back massage that will effectively remove any tension or pain while moisturising and uplifting the skin, add 2-3 drops of Divine Glow oils directly to your neck and secure your hair out of the way.
Use the top of the ‘love heart’ to run your gua sha stone up the back of your neck. Maintain a firm pressure to ‘scrape’ the skin upwards.
When you reach your hairline, use short pressing motions on any parts of the neck that feel particularly tense to relieve energy blockages (or knots).
To tighten and beautify the neck, use the inward curved side of the heart to sweep up from the collarbone to the jawline. Like the back massage, when you reach the jaw, use short, sharp pressing motions before moving the stone back to your collarbone. Repeat on the other side of the neck when satisfied.
Moving back to the top of the love heart, press this in between your collarbones and sweep the tool along the curve of your neck towards the jawline. When you reach the jaw, use the two ‘points’ of the gua sha tool to apply gentle pressure.
You’ll be using the top of the love heart again when massaging the jaw with gua sha. Start at your chin and run the stone along your jawline in sweeping motions towards the ear. When you get to the ear, apply pressure and repeat. Once satisfied, repeat the motion on the other side.
You use the longest side of the gua sha tool to massage the cheekbones. This side of the tool should sit just above the mouth, along the side of the nose, to just below the eyes.
Starting from the nose, drag the stone up and out towards the hairline, following the contour of your cheekbones as guidance. Use minimum pressure as you scrape the cheeks, applying firmer pressure near the hairline.
When satisfied, move to the other cheek.
For your eyes, it’s a great idea to refrigerate the gua sha stone first, as this will enhance the tool’s ability to reduce puffiness and dark circles (plus, it will feel amazing).
Use the longest curve of the love heart shape and place it flat against the inner corner of the eye. Apply (very) gentle pressure as you sweep the stone out towards the hairline, applying firmer pressure once you pass the sensitive eye areas.
Don’t forget to repeat on both eyes!
Massaging your eyebrows might seem a little weird at first, but this is a surprisingly effective massage for releasing tension headaches and toning your facial skin.
Start by placing the smaller curve of the love heat just beneath the eyebrow, resting the longer curve above it. Use sweeping motions to follow the curve of the browbone towards the hairline, applying gentle pressure as you do so.
As with all the other gua sha massage techniques, apply firm pressure at the hairline and repeat on the other brow once you feel thoroughly relaxed.
Whether you’re dealing with migraines or want to reduce the appearance of forehead lines, this massage will feel amazing and can offer impressive beautification results. Again, it’s a good idea to cool the gua sha stone beforehand, particularly if you’re using this technique to reduce headaches or tension.
For a gua sha forehead massage, rest the longest side of the stone just above the browbone. Applying as much pressure as is comfortable, pull the tool up towards the hairline towards the top. As usual, apply firmer pressure at the hairline and repeat until comfortable before switching to the other side.
Benefits of Gua Sha and Relaxation
After a soothing gua sha massage, it’s time to relax and let your skincare products do their work! We love finding a gua sha routine with one of our Divine Eyes self-heating eye masks. Or, if you’re applying the treatment before bed, why not try our Sleep Retreat Treat Box, filled with everything you need for the perfect night’s sleep?
Trust us; your skin, muscles, and chi will all thank you.
(MORE: Sound Healing Therapy)