What Is a Gua Sha & Can It Help You Get Sculpted Skin?
If you are keeping up with all the beauty trends of 2023, you would have definitely heard of the popular sculpting tool, the gua sha. Whilst this tool has been around for many centuries, it has now started to pop up in more and more people’s skincare routines - and for good reason! There are a lot of benefits when it comes to using a gua sha, and in this article, we will be discussing them all.
What Is a Gua Sha?
A gua sha is a stone, typically made from jade, which looks a bit like a flat pebble. A gua sha is meant to run along your cheekbones, depuff under your eyes and help with blood circulation around your face.
Gua sha is a healing method originating from China. A trained professional will use a smooth-edged tool to stroke your skin with some pressure. This motion creates small, red, rash-like dots called petechiae that show under your skin. Using a gua sha is thought to help relieve fluid trapped under your skin that needs to be released to your lymph system.
Benefits Of Using a Gua Sha
Firstly, a gua sha can stimulate our natural production of collagen and elastin and can help improve the circulation of the skin and the flow of lymph fluids. This can, in turn, boost our overall skin renewal process as the oxygen supply of tissues can improve our natural collagen production.
As we get older, we naturally start to lose collagen, as we start to produce less of it. This can mean that fine lines and wrinkles become more apparent. If a gua sha is used regularly, it can stimulate fibroblasts- they are responsible for producing collagen, elastin and other lubricating functions which are all needed for keeping our skin youthful and glowing.
Also, a gua sha can give us a much more ‘sculpted look’. Our facial muscles can hold a lot of tension, and a gua sha can help release it. Two of the main places tension may be held for us in our face is through our jawline and our cheekbones. Using a gua sha to target these areas can ease puffiness and reduce inflammation short term.
How To Use a Gua Sha
So, how do you use this face-sculpting tool? Now, we understand what you are thinking - won’t scraping a tool along your skin cause irritation? Don’t worry, we are right there with you. A gua sha should only be used on hydrated skin. Your skin should be slippery, and well moisturised before attempting to use this tool. When it comes to adding it to your daily skincare routine, we would recommend these steps:
Cleanse your face well first - Grab your favourite cleanser, and wash your face before using your gua sha. You will want to remove all the impurities and give yourself a fresh base before you start sculpting your face.
Apply a moisturiser or a facial oil - As we’ve said above, this step is vital. You don’t want to cause irritation to your skin by using your gua sha on dry skin. We recommend going with an extremely hydrating moisturiser such as the Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich. This moisturiser is recommended for dry, or sensitive skin as it’s deeply nourishing. Also, with all the rich oils present, it helps your skin retain hydration for a longer period of time. This will ensure your skin is moisturised and ready for sculpting.
Using Your Gua Sha to Target Certain Areas of Your Face
When you get to using your gua sha tool, there are a few key areas you can choose to target, depending on what your desired results are.
Your jaw - To target this area, we would recommend putting your gua sha on its side, then using the top of the love heart shape to make a sweeping motion across your entire jaw. Our Skincare Experts would recommend moving the tool upwards, lining it up with your ear. Once you’ve completed this motion on one side of your face, repeat it on the other side.
Your back - Looking for a massage? Your gua sha can also be used as the perfect massage tool. Pick your favourite all body moisturiser, or body oil. Again if you are looking for our recommendation, we would suggest the Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Body Cream, a lightweight yet luxurious body cream that will work perfectly for a good back massage.
After you’ve thoroughly applied your moisturiser, take your gua sha and use the upper side, otherwise known as the ‘top of the love heart’, and drag up the back of your neck. Use firm pressure here, and pressing motions on parts of your neck which feel the most tense. As well as many beauty benefits, your gua sha can make for the perfect relaxation tool when used in this way.
Your neck - Ever heard of tech neck? We all spend a lot of time looking down at our phones, which means our muscles have to work a lot harder to keep our heads up. Sometimes, this means that those muscles can become overly tired, and sore. This can be referred to as ‘tech neck’. Much like with your back, a gua sha can also help relieve tension that you have built up in your neck.
If you feel stiff in this area, we would recommend taking the inward curve of your gua sha, and sweeping it up the side of your neck. Work from the collarbone upwards, and aim to follow your jawline, right up until your chin. Once you’ve reached your jawline, you can start to use short yet sharp pressing motions.
Your cheeks - Occasionally, our cheeks can become puffy. A gua sha works to reduce inflammation and can even reduce sinus pressure. Whilst this area of the face can definitely see improvements with the use of a sculpting tool, it’s important to note that musculature is much thinner here.
We’d recommend avoiding applying too much pressure, and being gentle when using your gua sha on your cheeks. With this in mind, use the longest side of the gua sha to massage your cheekbones lightly. Starting at the corner of your mouth, drag the tool upwards, aiming to finish at your temples. You can repeat this sequence a few times on both sides of your face.
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