Gua sha: the face-lifting massage and how to do it

by The First Refresh

a person's hands holding three gua sha tools in jade, rose quartz and marble

Nothing says de-stress like a good face massage. If you’re a fan of face rollers and massages, you would’ve seen the gua sha tool circulating mainstream beauty pages. Guasha massages are known to give an immediate glow and face lift effect. Now a common practice among beauty gurus and skincare junkies alike, the gua sha is praised for its health benefits too. These include promoting circulation and improving lymphatic drainage - all great anti-ageing properties! 

Often accompanied by hydra facials and other facial treatments, the face massage tool is also a great at-home beauty practice that you can do for yourself. Thinking about investing in your own gua sha tool? Here’s why you should. 

What is it?

The gua sha stone comes in different shapes: moon-shaped, heart-shaped or circular stone are all different variants of the tool. They can be made from a wide range of materials too; this can be rose quartz, jade, obsidian, glass or any type of stone. 

The benefits of gua sha massages 

The gua sha massage is originally an old Chinese practice, associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine lineages. Now a mainstay of regular facial treatments, the cool stone is known for sculpting facial muscles and leaving a more firm and toned appearance. By gently scraping the skin with the gua sha stone, these massages improve blood circulation, aid lymphatic drainage and relax the muscles in the face. 

Read More: Facial Rollers: What Are They, and How to Use Them

Gua sha brightens your complexion, tackling wrinkles and fine lines and giving you that extra glow from within. From a wellness perspective, gua sha is also said to relieve headaches and sinus pressure. 

How do I do it? 

First, ensure your skin is cleansed and toned - a bare face prepped for the facial massage. Once you have cleaned your gua sha stone too, apply a face oil or lotion to your skin. This step is very important, as you need to make sure the gua sha tool can glide over your skin easily - reducing any friction. 

Hold your gua sha tool at a 45 degree angle to the area of massage - and use the stone to apply light pressure to the skin. Beginning at the base of your face, gently scrape your jawline and chin 3-6 times, with an upwards movement towards your earlobe. Next, move on to your cheekbones and then forehead - pulling away from the centre of your face. 

Take note of under eye areas* as the skin here is very sensitive. You want to be extra gentle and careful here. Start at the inner corner of your eye and glide outwards towards your temple. 

Read More: 7 Ways to Depuff Your Eyebags

For lips, glide the gua sha stone over your lips for a fullness and plumping effect. Finishing off with the neck, glide upwards on the front-facing areas of the neck, and glide downwards on the sides of your neck. 

How often should I do it? 

Experts recommend a gua sha massage as many times as once per day, to 3 times a week. It’s really up to you! A 3-5 minute facial massage everyday is a great way to give yourself that little bit of self-love, easing away the little stresses of your everyday life.