Inspired by traditional Chinese healing therapies, gua sha or “jade scraping” is now a trendy wellness practice that touts multiple benefits for health and beauty. Using a specially shaped and polished crystal (popular ones are made of mottled green jade, translucent rose quartz, or deeply relaxing amethyst) and drops of facial oil or serum, skincare mavens gently manoeuvre the contours of the tool over their face and décolletage. Depending on the shape and material of the gua sha scraper and the usage—some are antimicrobial, some are cooling, and some are soothing—, users can benefit from increased circulation, collagen production and lymphatic drainage; decreased eye bags, puffiness and inflammation; and temporary skin tightness and contour definition. Mostly, however, the practice is soothing and meditative, bringing a sense of calm to the end of a skincare regimen and allowing people to focus on the repetitive actions and sensations of self-care.
Instructions for Gua Sha:
As there are many shapes of gua sha tools available with differently contoured edges (i.e. curved inward, curved outward, wavy, and even toothed!) for a variety of faces and angles, it is best to try out many to find one that is best suited to the contours of your face. The tool should be smooth, heavy, and when used properly, not tug at your skin and create wrinkles.
When applied to the face, the general rule of thumb is to start from the centre and move outwards. Start from one side of the face before switching to the other. Apply gentle but firm pressure and make sure to use some sort of face oil or eye cream to provide the requisite glide.
Using the rounded edges of any gua sha tool, first move in small circles from the centre of the forehead to the temples and hairline. Then with long, smooth strokes, swipe the tool along the orbital bone underneath the eyes, moving from the nose to the ear. Repeat above the eyes, following the eyebrow ridge, moving from the centre of the brow to the temple.
Starting again from the side of the nose, sweep the tool in an upward curve across the cheeks and towards the ear. Repeat the motions while moving down toward the jawline. Use the indent of the tool to follow the contours of the jawbone and continue downward along the neck to “drain” toxins in the lymph nodes.
Finally, swipe the tool up from the base of the neck to the jawline in long strokes. Continue all around the neck, sweeping up towards the hairline.
Three Popular Shapes of Gua Sha Tools:
Rose Ho | Staff Writer