The quest for the perfect skin care routine is seemingly never-ending. In addition to new products constantly hitting the market, there are always new application and care techniques being introduced by beauty experts that can make all the difference in helping your skin to feel and appear vibrant and refreshed. Whether you are new to exploring different skin care products and techniques or consider yourself a bona fide beauty buff, learning about the gua sha method can be a game changer in making your skin glow and look as smooth as possible.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is derived from an ancient Chinese way of purifying the skin. The past method often left the skin looking quite beat up and rough, but the new method of gua sha being touted by beauty experts is nothing like the ancient technique. Instead of roughing up your skin, the refined gua sha method can remove toxins and layers of grime that have permeated your skin for years and make it appear duller than it should be. Think of gua sha as a type of facial massage that uses a stone tool to gently scrape against the skin.
What Products Are Used for a Gua Sha Facial Massage?
Having any type of facial can be expensive, and gua sha can be particularly pricey, especially if you book a reservation through a reputable spa. Therefore, so many beauty buffs are turning to at-home methods of gua sha facial massage. You will save time and money by learning the basic techniques of gua sha facial massage on your own. You will also have access to an effective skin care technique any time that you feel your skin could use a major refresher. It is also important to keep in mind that the long-term benefits for your skin from a gua sha facial massage depend on keeping up with the routine consistently and not letting too much time lapse between sessions. When you can perform a gua sha facial massage on your own at home, you are much more likely to experience the sustainable benefits of the gua sha facial massage and will enjoy firmer, more resilient skin for years to come.
The main tool necessary to give yourself a gua sha facial massage is the stone board. What is typically recommended by beauty experts is a rose quartz stone board. It is a relatively small, flat stone board that has a rounded edge that is used to press against your skin. There is a small space between the round edges on the one side. The other side of the stone board is solid and rests firmly against the palm of your hand as you work through the gua sha facial massage.
The other product that you will need for an effective gua sha facial massage is your favorite facial oil or serum. The oil is gently worked into your skin against the stone board so that you do not irritate your skin with the stone. You should select a facial oil that is thick enough to be worked into your skin and allows you to keep a firm grip on the stone board as you complete the facial massage. Choosing an oil that is too thin can leave your face feeling greasy at the end of the gua sha facial massage.
How Do You Complete the Gua Sha Facial Massage?
Giving yourself a relaxing and energizing gua sha facial massage is simpler than you might think, but it is important to follow the steps so that you do not end up with irritated or bruised skin. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for the gua sha facial massage because it is not a process that should be rushed through. The more relaxed you are throughout the gua sha facial massage, the quicker you will be able to see improvement in the texture and structure of your skin after the massage.
Even though you will be able to feel where you are placing the stone during the massage, it is a good idea to try it out in front of a mirror to make sure that you are moving across both sides of your face evenly. This will also show you if you are having any reaction to the facial oil or need to use additional oil to keep the flat stone from rubbing too abrasively against your skin.
Make sure that you practice good hygiene and wash your hands thoroughly before you begin working with the stone or putting the oil on your skin. This will help prevent any breakouts and blackheads as your skin is being manipulated by the stone. Along those same lines, be sure that you are washing the flat stone with warm water and a gentle soap in between uses. Do not use dish soap or anything that is harsh and could irritate your skin the next time you go to rub in the oil with the stone. Baby soap is a good choice for those who have sensitive skin.
The first step is to take just a few drops of the facial oil that you have selected and press them firmly into the skin. Try to avoid rubbing the facial oil around. It is much more important to have it be absorbed thoroughly by your skin. Then, pick up the gua sha rubbing stone with your dominant hand. You will want to rub the stone gently but firmly along your jawline. The stone should move back and forth in sort of a wiggling motion to help work the oil all the way into your skin. To gain some stability while you are working with the gua sha stone, you can use your free hand to cup your cup and hold it steady. You will want to move the stone towards the center of your face from the outer edges.
Repeat each stroke five to 10 times in each region of your face. You will be progressively moving up your face towards the hairline. Be sure to avoid pressing too hard so that you do not break any blood vessels in your sensitive areas, especially under your eyes. If you notice that the facial oil you are using stings at all around your under eye region, stop using the oil immediately. You should also gently wash off your face to avoid further irritation from the facial oil.
It is easiest to only focus on one side of the face at a time before moving to the other side. This will ensure that you have worked the oil into all areas of your face evenly. The wiggling motion that you should perform with the stone will help ease and soothe the skin as it is absorbing the facial oil.
What Are the Benefits of a Gua Sha Facial Massage?
In addition to helping your skin look and feel more resilient and smooth, the gua sha facial massage has many other health benefits. Working facial oil along your hairline with a wiggling motion can help improve the quality of your sleep and relieve stress over time. If you have a mild headache, a gentle gua sha facial massage can help remove some of the pressure around your forehead and temples. Do not press too firmly, but you can enjoy a gua sha facial massage whenever you think there is some pressure to release around your face. It can help drain your stuffy sinuses.
One of the reasons why it is recommended that you take your time in performing a gua sha facial massage is that it gives you time to connect with yourself. This act of self-care can be performed in as few as 10 minutes and can be combined with a relaxing routine of an Epsom salt bath. You do not necessarily have to perform the gua sha facial massage daily, but it sure is a great way to decompress from the stress of your daily life and find time to revitalize your skin.