The ultimate guide to gua sha massage

The ultimate guide to gua sha massage

By Alice Hartwell for THE GLOWCERY

One of the biggest skincare trends in recent years is that of gua sha massage. You may have seen this traditional Chinese method of massage popping up on your Instagram feed, with gua sha seemingly becoming a staple part of every beauty influencer's daily routine. So what exactly is gua sha? In our latest blog post, we look into the origins of gua sha massage, the benefits for your skin and a guide to completing at-home facial massage with a little help from The Glowcery.

What is gua sha?

Gua sha is a centuries-old massage technique that finds its roots within ancient Chinese medicine. It involves the use of a massage tool, made from a range of stones, which helps to promote blood flow to the massaged areas. The name gua sha translates to “to scrape”, which is the motion used across the face. A gua sha tool is typically used to help lift, carve, tighten and oxygenate different parts of your face for improved skin health and quality.

How does it benefit the skin?

Aesthetically, regular gua sha massage can help to improve the appearance of your skin by tightening and contouring the face. It can also be useful from a health point of view, however. Daily gua sha massage helps to improve circulation, relieve tension, promote collagen production, reduce illness (like colds) and help with the drainage of toxins. 

Are there any side effects of gua sha?

Gua sha massage is meant to draw blood to the skin, and therefore you’re likely to find some redness or discolouration after using your tool. In some cases, you may find your skin sore or bruised after, in which case you should allow healing and try going in with a lighter hand next time. 

The guide to completing gua sha at home

Gua sha massage can be easily completed at home once you know the right massage techniques and how to use your tool effectively. Follow our Glowcery-approved guide to gua sha below for the best results: 

  1. Cleanse your face before beginning the gua sha massage to ensure it’s free of dirt and impurities. We recommend our favourite Blue Dew Fruit Enzyme Oil to Milk Cleanser which gently cleanses while hydrating the skin, limiting any uncomfortable side effects of your gua sha massage. 
  2. Apply a facial oil that leaves a silky texture on your skin, allowing the gua sha tool to glide across your skin without tugging. Tip: you may need to apply more throughout the massage if the oil starts to absorb and you feel resistance.
  3. Make sure your gua sha stone is kept flat against your face, and apply gentle pressure creating outward strokes across the face and then downwards to the neck.
  4. Use a gua sha tool to massage your face daily for around 5 minutes. You could even use gua sha to help with lymphatic drainage on your body using the Golden Nectar Nourishing Oil.

Which oil should I be using for my gua sha massage?

The type of facial oil you use when performing gua sha massage is almost as important as the techniques. We recommend an ultra-nourishing and calming oil like our Clean Greens Superfood Serum. This award-winning serum/oil hybrid is packed with powerful antioxidants and ingredients to help soothe and calm the skin after a revitalising gua sha massage.

Looking to add a little more glow to your life? Shop our full range of vegan and sustainable skincare through our website today!

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