You’ve definitely noticed it if you’ve visited any skincare brand’s website in the last year: the DIY Gua Sha Tool. The lymph-flushing skincare favorite has an outstanding history since it is sleek, smooth, and frequently made from vanity-worthy gemstones. We asked the experts for a history lesson on the popular gadget and the many benefits of body therapy.
What Does Gua Sha Mean?
“Gua means ‘to scrape,’ and Sha means ‘petechiae,’ (small, flat red, purple specks),” explains YINA co-founder Dr. Ervina Wu, Ph.D., L.Ac. “Gua Sha began as a full-body therapy. Most people are unaware of because of the recent popularity of facial methods. The fundamental objective is to scrape the skin (typically the upper back) to enhance blood flow, release heat-toxins, stimulate lymphatic drainage, activate various sections of the body, and deliver healthy cells to the area by triggering an immunological reaction. This process can sometimes cause skin discoloration, which can be quite noticeable. However, there is no pain, and the petechiae normally disappear after a few days.”
What does DIY Gua Sha Tool do?
In a gua sha facial treatment, the crystal instrument is gently scraped across your face in upward strokes. This motion promotes lymphatic drainage, boosts circulation, and de-puffs irritated skin by creating an “energy flow.”
Our faces, like our bodies, carry strain in the shape of furrowed brows and tightened jaws as a result of hunching our shoulders over a computer all day. A gua sha facial is excellent for loosening stiff face muscles and releasing any tension you may be harboring.
Pulling and tugging at the skin (as directed) helps to tone, lift, and sculpt your face and décolletage – because who doesn’t desire a more sculpted jawline or defined cheekbones?
None of these advantages will be immediately apparent if you only utilize the gua sha once. While you will notice some improvements with just one application (take before and after shots on your phone and be delighted! ), gua sha is best used on a regular basis. It smoothes out deep lines and wrinkles, lifts and tones sagging skin, and reduces dark circles and puffiness with daily use.
How to choose a gua sha tool?
To get started, all you need is a gua sha instrument, a face mist (a hydrosol like rose water works well), and some facial oil. In place of the oil, you might use a serum or moisturizer. This is suggested to reduce friction and allow your tool to slide smoothly on your skin.
It all comes down to personal preference when selecting a DIY Gua Sha Tool. Gua shas are usually made of jade or rose quartz, and both stones have their own set of therapeutic powers. It’s essential to conduct some study and choose a material that feels appropriate to you — whether it’s because of their energy or because of a color you like! In terms of shape, a tool with many angles — a curved longer edge and a V or U-shaped corner to target regions like the brows and under eyes — is a fantastic tool to have.
When did Gua Sha start to gain popularity in United States?
First and foremost, let’s be clear: Gua Sha has always been famous. The wellness business in the United States has only recently caught up. “For millennia, Gua Sha has been widely performed and used by ordinary people throughout Asia. It was the first treatment method for early-onset disorders, and it was both cost-efficient and successful, “Wu adds.
She credited “an influx of immigration from Asian countries” in the 1970s and 1980s for Gua Sha’s increased popularity in the United States. “The first article about Gua Sha appeared in Western medical journals about this period. However, they were critical of the practice without conducting the proper study,” Wu adds. “Thankfully, several studies and significant study on Gua Sha (in various languages) have recently been published, demonstrating its beneficial medicinal properties.”
Vassanelli makes a comparison between Gua Sha and acupuncture. “This became a tool that everyone at home could use with the rise of self-care and the popularity of functional medicine and Chinese acupuncture,” she says.
How to use a DIY Gua Sha Tool?
Gua sha uses a combination of long and short strokes, as well as gentle scraping to move the muscles and tissues beneath the skin. When performing facial gua sha, it’s crucial to use the proper technique, which you may learn from various tutorials.
- Apply face mist + facial oil all over your face and neck to prepare your skin, instead of rubbing it in, press and tap it in.
- To avoid over-pulling your skin, use your dominant hand to apply the gua sha and your opposite hand to support and hold it.
- Begin at the neck and jawline and work your way up to the forehead, focusing on one side of the face at a time – typically your dominant side.
- Use upward strokes on the neck, then scrape out from the chin towards the ear on the jawline.
- Swipe the stone from your nose to the edge of your face across your cheeks.
- End with a few upward swipes on the forehead towards the hairline, using the curved edge to target the under-eye and eyebrow area softly.
- Each stroke should be repeated three times but no more than ten times. Start with three and work your way up to five as you get more comfortable.
- Rep on the opposite side of your face.