What is a Gua Sha Stone?

gua sha

What Is A Gua Sha Stone?

This hard, oddly shaped stone is suddenly gaining popularity in the skin care industry, but is it a passing trend?  Actually, it isn’t a trend at all. It’s a technique that traces back to traditional Chinese medicine.

If you’ve seen videos of people lightly massaging their face with a flat piece of rose or jade quartz, you’ve witnessed what’s known as facial gua sha.

What is gua sha?

Gua sha has been an important procedure in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, although it originally started as a way to relieve body pain. However, the facial gua sha that we see today, is a modified version that uses much more gentle, relaxing movements which are much more fitting for the delicate skin on the face. A full gua sha facial typically takes 15 minutes, starting at the neck and working your way up to the forehead.

The Benefits of Facial Gua Sha

When used on the face, the method can relieve tight muscles, increase blood circulation, promote lymphatic drainage, prevent signs of aging, stimulate circulation and more.  The upward and outward motions of facial gua sha help to increase circulation while lifting and firming the skin, potentially leading to a smoother complexion and more sculpted features. 

Gua sha’s gentle motions work in conjunction with the lymphatic system.  As a result, any puffiness in your face should decrease, mainly due to reduced fluid build-up.  Temporary lifting and toning can be seen in the cheekbone and under-eye areas.  Fine lines and wrinkles may be softened over time.

Besides the physical benefits, this ancient technique is also known for its meditative qualities. It’s a deeply relaxing self-care ritual that aids in soothing the nervous system.

How do you Gua Sha?

You simply start by applying a facial oil or serum that will allow for ease of movement.  The best technique is achieved by moving the stone in outward, upward motions while applying light to medium pressure.

A full gua sha routine begins with the neck, then moves on to the jaw, the under-eye area, the brow bone and ending with the forehead. It is recommended to perform gua sha about three times a week for around 15 minutes.

That feeling you get when you perform a gua sha tends to be addictive, since it is paired with an overall calming effect.  It’s easy to see why gua sha should become part of your skin care routine! Taking care of your skin while obtaining visual benefits and promoting relaxation, yes please!!

Gua Sha Dos and Don’ts When Used In Conjunction with Skin Care Treatments

Day prior to any injections
– Facial gua sha is a perfect way to naturally boost your skin’s microcirculation, meaning your skin will be in peak condition leading up to your injection appointment. 

Post-Care Instructions

  • Sculptra– Massage is an important part of post-care when receiving Sculptra injections and gua sha is a useful tool for this process.  When receiving Sculptra, the patient is advised to massage the treated area five times a day for five minutes for the five days following treatment.  Gua sha can aid in carrying out this step by using gentle pressure with the stone over the treated area.  (always discuss your plans with your injector)
  • Dermal Fillers– Avoid facial gua sha the day of and for two weeks following injection. 
  • Botox/Dysport– Avoid facial gua sha the day of and for two weeks following injection. 

If you are interested in this ancient Chinese technique, Eastside Skincare and Laser Center is excited to offer Gua Sha stones for sale ($14.99) at each of our offices.  Stop by and pick one up today. They also make great gifts!! 


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