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You may have seen these little tools before (they do adorn many an Instagram beauty post) but do you actually know what they are – or perhaps more importantly – how they can benefit you?
With the motivation to introduce you to products & techniques which – I believe – can help improve your skincare routine, allow me to share with you what I know about Gua Sha.
Gua Sha – a self-care beauty ritual.
Gua Sha (pronounced gwa-sha) falls within the realm of holistic beauty. Why? Because it’s a technique that can actively aid your skin’s health. And that’s why I feel it’s something you should take note of regardless of how currently invested you are in a skincare routine.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha started as an ancient Chinese healing technique. A whole-body experience undertaken to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Practised as a natural alternative facial therapy, it involves scraping your skin (bear with me on this) with a massage tool to improve circulation. It’s a bit like exercise for your face but in a rather soothing non-sweaty type of way.
How can a Gua Sha facial tool benefit me?
The sweeping action stimulates blood circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage. It is claimed with regular practice, facial tension is relieved, your jawline becomes more defined, fine lines are reduced and your skin is lifted and de-puffed.
I heard recently that our skin is open to suggestion, by encouraging it to ‘lift’ (through massage) a natural lift can occur. It’s even been reported this facial technique can help decongest the sinuses. But the main aim is to improve the look and feel of your skin.
Good to know: The tool is not recommended for anyone with inflamed skin conditions such as acne or rosacea.
How do I preform Gua Sha & how often?
There is a prescribed routine to get the most from the technique. I think it’s best described as starting at the neck and working your way up. Upwardly stroking each area around 3-5 times. Be sure to finish each stroke with a satisfying little massage wiggle in the hairline.
Top Tip: relax your eye muscles by holding a cooling Gua Sha facial tool over your eyes with gentle pressure
The Gua Sha facial tool I received came with a helpful guide to the strokes, detailing which side of the tool to use for each area. However, I really recommend you watch videos of professionals completing it in order to get it really right. I found the tutorial below super helpful (and by the way – this lady is in her 40’s! Watch it and you’ll see why I’m pointing this out)
The practice should be repeated 2-3 times per week in order to see the full benefits. Once you know the routine by heart, you can complete it all within a few minutes if needed.
Top Tip: Store your Gua Sha facial tool in the fridge for an extra cooling treat. However, my jade facial tool cools down very quickly when held for a few seconds in cold running water. A great instant fix!
The Gua Sha facial tool is good value for money.
It’s one of the most affordable facial treatments out there. You can pick one up from around £6*. It’s a forever tool – it won’t run out and can be used in conjunction with your existing products. The tool is travel-friendly – it’s compact and lightweight; mine comes in a handy pouch.
However, it’s only value for money if you’re prepared to learn how to use it correctly.
Why use a jade or rose quartz tool? They have cooling properties and will not break whilst in use (unlike some of the acrylic tools on offer)
My experience using a Gua Sha facial tool…
It took a few attempts for me to become confident in the technique. You can practice in the morning or evening and I started in the morning. However, I soon switched to an evening practice and here’s why…
Gua Sha is the opportunity to let self-care & skincare go hand in hand. The idea is to slow down and be mindful in order to relax the nervous system.
Now with my morning routine, that just wasn’t going to happen. I was rushing it, stopping to help a child find a school sock or a husband locate a tie – there was nothing peaceful or mindful about it. Switching to the evening allowed it to become part of my wind-down routine. Plus, I liked the idea the tool was helping the nutrients in my night cream absorb better into my skin – the premium time of day for that to happen.
At night, (especially when I was using the tool on my neck) I felt a lot of tension released. That’s what sitting at a laptop for most of the day typing can do for you folks! I did – through repeated use (and I stress the repeated use) – notice a difference especially to my eye area – it did appear that my brows were lifted and my eyes were more open.
Top tip: Want to test the results? Complete the technique on one side of your face & then judge the difference for yourself.
More than anything, using the tool feels like I’m investing time in myself – not only benefitting my skin, but also my well-being. Sound good to you too?
My jade facial tool is from ARK Skincare – Find out more here
Disclaimer: I received my facial tool for free, but I am under no obligation to write about or promote the product. Please read my full disclaimer for further information.
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Were you aware of Gua Sha before? Have you ever tried a jade facial tool? What was your experience? Do you have any tips to add? If you’re wanting to know the difference between a gua sha facial tool & a jade roller (and there is a difference) this is a particularly helpful article. If you’ve got any questions just ask – I’m happy to help and I always love to hear from you!