Gua Sha Facials 101

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a One of the latest beauty trends taking everyone’s skin care routine by storm are gua sha facials, especially mine. But this traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique is anything but new and as a matter of fact it dates back thousands of years. In TCM gua sha uses a scraping technique to help relieve pain, reduce stiffness, move lymphatic fluids and stimulate blood flow to treated areas. Gua sha treatments are performed with a massage tool that range from animal horns to spoons, and sometimes a stone tool usually made from jade which is a naturally cool and is known for its healing properties. The gua sha technique is performed both on the body and on the face using a gentler technique.

Gua sha facials have become super popular over the last year thanks to their incredible results. I’ve personally been doing them now for almost a year, although I have to admit not always consistently, and I’ve noticed both immediate and long term results. Gua sha facials most popular benefit is they reduce puffiness and inflammation in the face by encouraging the lymphatic fluids natural detoxification process. Over time they also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tighten skin and tone your face. Gua sha facials are known to be a natural alternative to fillers and botox for these very reasons. And that famous glow everyone raves about after one? You can thank the stimulation of oxygen to the blood flow in the face.

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But beyond the cosmetic benefits to gua sha facials, there are also a bunch of health benefits to this beauty routine. Gua sha facials gentle scraping technique helps relieve pressure and tension in the face and is a great routine to help alleviate migraines, stiff jaws, tension headaches and even sinus pain. Another big yet mostly unknown benefit of a gua sha facial is how it can benefit your overall health. In reflexology the body is known to have multiple meridian lines which are energy points that connect to different organs and systems within your body. These meridian lines when stimulated can help awaken the body’s natural healing and detoxification process. The face also has multiple meridian lines and gua sha facials can help stimulated them to help your body function at optimal capacity.


Gua Sha Facials vs. Facial Rollers

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Gua sha facials aren’t the only beauty routine being inspired by ancient Chinese practices. Facial rollers have been having just as much of a moment as gua sha facials and rightfully so. If you’re sitting there scratching your head wondering what the difference is and which treatment is better suited for your beauty routine I’ll break it down for you. To be honest I love both treatments, and actually use them both daily. Facial rollers do provide some of the same benefits that a gua sha facial does like draining lymphatic fluids, increasing blood flow and reducing fine lines. Facial rollers on the other hand provide a more delicate facial massage in comparison to a gua sha facial, and don’t require as much time to complete a proper treatment. Facial rollers are also great to help skincare products penetrate into the skin, so generally I love using them after applying my serums.


Gua Sha Facials 101

Choosing A Tool For Gua Sha Facials

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Gua sha facials are available at spas, acupuncturists and reflexology clinics but can also be done in the comfort of your own home. Gua sha stones are popping up at more and more beauty boutiques making them more accessible to the masses. The first step to performing a gua sha facial at home is choosing the right massage tool for you. There are a variety of different styles of gua sha tools from spoons to animal horns, but the most popular tools are the stones. Most commonly seen are the traditional Jade (healing, purity, serenity), rose quartz (self love, harmony, happiness) and amethyst (calming, balance, positivity). I always recommend when choosing a stone for a gua sha facial you do the same as  you would with crystals, and you buy them in person. Pick whatever shape and stone speaks to you and will work for your routine.


Preparing Skin For A Gua Sha Facial

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You want to start by washing your hands and cleansing your face. Make sure if you’re doing a treatment after wearing makeup that you do a deep cleanse to get out all the product, oil and build up on the skin. I follow up cleansing by toning my skin and applying a facial mist to boost hydration. The important key to a successful gua sha facial is generously applying a high quality facial oil (5-10 drops) all over the face and neck to prep the skin for scraping.


Technique For Gua Sha Facials

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Search the internet for gua sha facials and you’re bound to find hundreds of graphics and videos demonstrating the treatment. You’re probably starting off by wondering how to hold your gua sha stone and there really isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. The stone is designed to be used on different sides depending on the area you’re treating, and you’ll get a feel for it as you begin your treatment. The main areas on the face you want to scrape are your forehead, under the eyes, cheeks and your jawline. Remember that your scraping motion should be gentle so you don’t bruise the skin, but still have some pressure to be effective. I personally perfected by gua sha facials by following this graphic from skin care brand Odacité’s website.

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Image by Odacité


Shop Products For Gua Sha Facials

Gua sha facials are such an easy beauty treatment to include in your at-home routine, here are some of my favourite products to use:

Gua Sha Stone

The MJ Elle_Gua Sha Facials_Odacité Crystal Contour Gua Sha

Shop: Odacité Crystal Contour Gua Sha, $45


Face Oil

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Shop: Odacité All-Embracing Serum, $98


Face Mist

The MJ Elle_Gua Sha Facials_Odacité Rose+Neroli Treatment Mist

Shop: Odacité Rose+Neroli Treatment Mist, $42


* My gua sha facial guide was put together using inspiration from items that have been previously gifted by my brand partners however is not directly sponsored. My review and feedback on these products and my overall experience is 100% honest and authentic as always. To learn more about my sponsored content, please visit my about me page.