What Is a Gua Sha Facial and Can It Transform Your Skin?

facial gua sha

Facial Gua Sha is technically nothing new, but it’s having a major moment in the beauty world. And while it feels just as lovely as it sounds, the benefits actually extend way past relaxation and lessened tension—it’s linked to clearer skin, fewer wrinkles and a more sculpted (read: youthful) appearance. Read on to learn all about it.

What is facial Gua Sha?

Pronounced gwa sha, it’s a facial treatment that involves scraping a flat jade or rose quartz stone over the skin in upward strokes to relax stiff muscles and promote tissue drainage. But unlike a traditional Gua Sha massage, it won’t leave bruise-like marks on your face as it’s done with a much lighter hand. Oh, and you can do it yourself at home.

What are the benefits of Gua Sha?

It moves lymphatic fluids and breaks down tension in muscles. That means improved blood flow and less puffiness. Per NYC-based aesthetician and owner of Inderma Studio, Nichelle Temple, you'll see “noticeable results while preventing and treating the signs of premature aging—namely in the appearance of wrinkles, dark eye circles and puffiness, and sagging and dull-looking skin.” The increase in circulation is said to up hydration for that coveted youthful glow, and it even helps the skin to naturally purge blemish-causing dirt and oils.

How do you use a Gua Sha tool?

You should start at the neck and work your way up to the forehead. This way, you’re creating a clear path for the fluids in your face to drain. Follow these steps to perk up your complexion:

  1. Prep your skin with a facial mist ($18) and oil ($110)
  2. Start at the neck and work your way up to the forehead
  3. Use upward and outward strokes on the neck, jawline, chin and mouth area
  4. Sweep across the cheeks, press gently under the eyes and across the eyebrows
  5. End with upward strokes on the forehead to the hairline

How do you choose the correct Gua Sha tool?

The teardrop-shaped Gua Sha tool ($32) is often touted as the best one to start with, as it's easy to grip in your hand and has a large surface area for the cheek and neck. If you want to focus on the jaw bone, the square Gua Sha ($25 for two) features double prongs that help specifically target that area. For smaller, more delicate parts of the face (like the under-eye or the area around the lips), look for a tool that has a very precise and petite edge, like this jade version from Hayo'u ($52). For a tool that mimics an actual massage, look for one with a scalloped edge, like this rose quartz one ($58). “The side is designed to mimic my knuckles, and the goal is to re-create [the] facial massage I do in my clinic with the gua sha,” explains aesthetician Angela Caglia.

How often should you do a Gua Sha facial?

You’ll notice the best results if you do it every day, but since even taking our multivitamins every day is hard enough, experts say two to three times per week will do. And the time of day you add Gua Sha to your routine matters, too. “In the morning, it’s about treating puffiness and energizing the skin, while at night you work more on relaxing the muscles and releasing tight connective tissue,” Katie Brindle, the founder of the Hayo’u Method told Porter

What kind of results will you see on your skin?

Less puffy eyes and sharper cheekbones are two immediate results (cheers to instant gratification), but doing it three-ish times a week might yield an improvement in acne, dryness and wrinkles. BRB—raiding Amazon really quick.

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Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...