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Although it sounds strange, rubbing a stone on your face is the key to reducing fine lines and wrinkles. This technique is called a gua sha facial, and it’s been used in China for centuries. It involves gently scraping a gua sha tool, which is a small, curved stone on your face in sweeping upward motions.
When used properly, gua sha tools encourage lymphatic drainage, increase circulation, and stimulate collagen production. By the end of your facial, your face will look glowy, firmer, and tighter – almost as if you’ve gotten a facelift. Keep reading to learn more about this alternative to botox and how it can transform your skin.
Benefits of Gua Sha Facials
Gua sha facials are often compared to botox and facelifts because the effects are similar. Over time, they can smooth out your fine lines and wrinkles and decrease puffiness and inflammation in your face. You may also notice that your complexion is brighter and your skin looks firmer after each treatment because gua sha tools help tighten your facial muscles.
You’re probably wondering, “how can one little stone do all that?” Below we’ll cover the main benefits of gua sha tools and fill you in on why they produce those results.
Increases Circulation and Lymphatic Drainage
When you rub a gua sha tool on your face, it stimulates your facial muscles and essentially gives them a workout. This makes your face look firmer and increases the circulation and blood flow going to your skin. That’s why your complexion is so glowy and bright after a gua sha facial.
In addition to improving your circulation, gua sha tools promote lymphatic drainage and collagen production, which are both super important for skin health. Your lymphatic system is your body’s waste removal network, but it needs a little help to flush out toxins.
Unlike your circulatory system, it doesn’t have a built-in pump and instead relies on things like gravity and muscle movement to get rid of impurities. Massaging your facial muscles with the gua sha tool gives your lymphatic system the boost it needs. As clogged-up cellular waste gets removed, the inflammation and puffiness in your face will go down. Goodbye saggy under-eye bags – we’re sending you packing!
Boosts Your Skin’s Collagen Production
Giving yourself regular gua sha facials will also ramp up your skin’s collagen production, thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Every year, our skin produces 1% less collagen. That’s bad news because collagen keeps our skin strong and elastic, so the more of it we lose, the older we look. But luckily gua sha tools can help you boost your collagen levels and ward off unwanted wrinkles.
Relaxes Your Facial Muscles
Another way that gua sha tools keep you looking young is by relaxing your facial muscles. If you carry a lot of tension in your face and furrow your brow a lot, then you need this tool in your life.
Doing a quick massage during the day will loosen up your facial muscles and prevent you from developing fine lines and wrinkles in the areas where you hold your stress. As an added bonus, gua sha can also reduce the number of tension headaches you get and relieve your jaw pain if you have TMJ.
Increases the Efficacy of Anti-Aging Skincare
If you need more reasons to invest in a gua sha tool, it can increase the efficacy of the anti-aging skincare you’re already using. If you apply your moisturizer or serum and then give yourself a massage, the stone will push the product deeper into your skin. This will help your serum absorb better and allow you to experience the full benefits of the product.
How to Give Yourself a Gua Sha Facial
Before you start your facial, it’s important to cleanse your skin and moisturize it with a facial oil or serum like Josie Maran’s argan milk. This will help the stone glide across your skin instead of tugging on it.
We like to start our facial by using the tool on our neck and working our way up from there. Starting on the left side of your neck, hold the tool at a slight angle and start gently scraping it in sweeping upward motions until you reach your chin.
Don’t push down too hard – if it hurts, you’re applying too much pressure. Repeat this a few times on the left side of your neck and then move to the right side, doing the same thing.
Most gua sha tools have a v-shape at the top that you can use on your jawline. Start at the bottom of your jawline near your chin. Angle the tool so your jaw fits right into the v-shape and glide the stone upward to your ear. Do this a few times on both sides of your face.
Other Ways to Use Your Gua Sha Tool
You can also use your gua sha tool on your cheeks. Start on the left side of your nose and drag the tool across your cheek until you reach your ear. Repeat this several times and then move on to the right side.
You can also use the small curved edge at the bottom of the stone to target your crow’s feet, under eyes, and brow bone. Make sure you’re very gentle around your eyes because your skin is thinnest there.
The only time that you should drag the tool downward is when you’re working on your nose. Start at the top of your nose and glide the stone down to the tip, making sure you get the sides of your nose too.
When you get to your forehead, drag the tool upward from your eyebrows to your hairline to lift and tighten the skin. After you finish up your facial, apply moisturizer for extra hydration.
The key to getting results from gua sha facials is consistency. So make sure you give yourself one at least two to three times per week but ideally once per day.
How to Choose the Right Gua Sha Tool
Gua sha tools come in all different shapes and sizes. Some tools have a comb-shaped edge to give your skin extra stimulation. Others have jagged edges that are designed to target fine lines and wrinkles. You can also get stones that are completely smooth all the way around except for a v-shaped divot at the top that’s meant to be used on your jawline.
We recommend starting with a tool that doesn’t have a lot of angles because smooth stones are easier to use. But after you get comfortable with the technique, tools that have lots of curves are great. This is because they allow you to really get into the contours of your face where wrinkles may be hiding.
As for materials, we like to use tools that are made of real stone rather than plastic because they feel sturdier. Jade and rose quartz are both good options.
Gua sha tools have been used for hundreds of years, and it’s easy to see why. They have tons of benefits. These include increasing circulation to your skin and leaving your face looking tight, firm, and glowy.
Have you ever had a gua sha facial, or are you inspired to give yourself one after reading this article? Tell us all about your experience in the comments section below.