Gua Sha tools have been a staple of beauty influencers’ skincare routines since they burst back onto the scene in 2020, and their popularity hasn’t died down since. In recent months Gua Sha has become a TikTok trend, and honestly, we’re so here for it. The therapy involves scraping a tool, often made from a semi-precious stone, over your skin to promote improved circulation. Figuring out how to use Gua Sha is a knack, and once you’ve got it, you’ll be obsessed. We’re sure of it. But did you know you can use the tool on your body too? We’re separating fact from fiction regarding the benefits of Gua Sha and sharing our top tips for using the tool on your face and body.
What are the benefits of Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is thought to be one of the oldest forms of Chinese traditional medicine and has grown in popularity in Western culture over recent years. Its use for skin care and toning is much more modern, though. There are a whole host of reported benefits that come with using Gua Sha, including releasing tension in your muscles, detoxing your skin, and a much sought-after post-treatment glow. Is Gua Sha bad for your skin? Gua Sha isn’t bad for your skin, so long as you use it gently. Does Gua Sha actually work, though? In terms of how effective it is, it depends on what results you’re seeking. If you’re hoping to improve your skin’s overall tone and appearance, then yes, a Gua Sha is a beneficial tool in helping with those goals. If you’re hoping to achieve an at-home facelift or butt lift, then the results might not be what you were hoping for.
What does a Gua Sha do for your face?
Gua Sha’s facial benefits are widely reported to include a more toned and snatched appearance by reducing puffiness and swelling on your face and neck. People also often find their skin looks healthier and has a glow to it because the tool draws more blood to the surface of your skin. Depending on the technique you use, you can also find that areas of your face appear lifted - you might have seen those TikToks where people show before and afters of their Gua Sha facials. The results can be pretty impressive - but how do you achieve them yourself? Here’s our go-to facial Gua Sha method.
How to use Gua Sha on your face
Step 1: Apply facial oil or water to the skin of your face and neck. It’s best not to use a Gua Sha tool on dry skin. The process is less enjoyable because the tool won’t glide smoothly, and we’re all about a smooth glide here.
Step 2: Starting with your neck, place the Gua Sha tool where your chin meets your neck and gently drag the tool downwards. Then, move the tool to the base of your head, and scrape down toward the nape of your neck. Pass over each area a couple of times.
Step 3: Move on to your jawline, running the tool from your chin toward your neck. Again, go over the area two to three times on each side of your face. Gradually move up your face repeating the same movement on your cheeks and forehead.
Step 4: Using the most delicate point on your tool, gently scrape your Gua Sha under your eyes, going from the bridge of your nose toward your hairline. You can run the tool under your brows in the same direction, too, if that area needs a little lift.
Step 5: Gently massage in the excess oil if you applied any, and take a look at how glowing your skin is. Don’t worry if some areas look a bit red. As long as you aren’t too rough with the tool, those areas will return to normal within a few minutes.
What does Gua Sha do for your body?
The benefits of Gua Sha for your body are similar to those for your face: you will be able to achieve a more toned look, reduce puffiness, and help your skin look extra gorgeous. Now, you might find that even if you have a facial Gua Sha tool, you need something better adapted to the curves of your body for this bit. The Bawdy Tool is an agate Gua Sha explicitly designed to be used on your body instead of your face. Its ergonomic shape is perfect for caressing your curves and showing yourself some love.
How to use Gua Sha on your body
Step 1: Pick an area to treat. We recommend working in zones, either going through different parts of your body following a specific Gua Sha routine (arms Monday, tummy Tuesday, booty Wednesday) or just sculpt wherever you feel needs some love on any given day. Once you’ve picked, apply some Bawdy Oil to the area to help the tool glide effortlessly over your skin.
Step 2: While applying gentle pressure, drag the Gua Sha over the area you treat in long strokes. Always move toward your heart and pull in one direction (don’t go back and forth). Move the tool over the same area a couple of times, applying a bit more pressure each time.
Step 3: If there are any particular areas you need to ‘de-puff,’ you can use a fine edge of the tool to go over them using the same sweeping motion. We particularly like giving our ankles some extra attention during hot summer months when they can swell more than other parts of your body.
Step 4: Gently massage any excess Bawdy Oil into your skin and drink a glass of water to help your body flush out any toxins.
Is facial Gua Sha effective?
Gua Sha is a technique that has been used for centuries, and although its use for facial massage is more recent, benefits have been proven through research. A 2007 study found that blood flow was increased to areas that had been treated with gua sha. And we know that increased blood flow is key to preventing premature signs of aging, as well as getting glowing skin. Further research has also found that gua sha is effective in helping to move lymphatic fluid, which can be responsible for swelling and puffiness.
The bottom line
Gua Sha is a method that has stood the test of time because of how effective it is, and we’re so glad it’s back in the spotlight. The technique is simple, although a bit fiddly when you first start, but it provides science-backed results. Who can argue with that?! Using a gua sha regularly will help tone the skin on your face and body and soothe your skin’s complexion. The anti-aging benefits of the massage technique are linked to how it stimulates blood flow, bringing nutrients to your skin. We can totally see why it’s become so popular in the world of facial skincare, and we’re sure that once you try it on your body, you’ll love its effects on other parts of your body too!