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If putting oil on your skin and pulling it in different directions seems counterintuitive, it may be time to think again. Gua sha comes from an ancient Chinese technique that helped people suffering from heatstroke and other illnesses (via Vogue). Eventually, the idea of using a smooth surface to improve circulation made its way into the skincare and wellness industry. This technique helps to manually drain stagnant lymph that causes inflammation and puffiness around the face.
Gemstones made of jade, quartz, and other crystals stand as the hallmark item of a good gua sha session. Cut to help improve circulation and alleviate pain, these gemstones help to move stagnant chi — or life force energy — that creates inflammation (via Healthline). You can perform gua sha on various parts of the body including your face, neck, legs, and arms to get your blood moving.
Skincare experts and beauty fanatics have adopted the technique for their faces after many started noticing benefits like reduced wrinkles, less puffiness, and an overall glow. But, gua sha may offer more than meets the eye; it helps to balance out the yin and yang energies in the body — a.k.a. your push versus your flow.
Add gua sha to your routine and give your skin a “workout”
You can start your gua sha routine by finding a high-quality sculpting tool and some facial oil. You can even customize the effects of the stone, so find what you feel drawn to; whether that’s amethyst, jade, rose quartz, or another crystal, they all help with this process. Start by cleansing your skin and adding a moisturizer or serum to your face and neck, as this technique may help the skin fully absorb their nutrients.
Beginning at your neck, place the ridged edge of the tool at your skin and begin to gently glide it upwards. Anna Lam, owner of a natural boutique, says, “Hold the gua sha tool with the curved side to your face and glide it gently up and out, starting with the neck, jawline, chin, and around the mouth, between three and five times per area.” Following this, Lam recommends, “Then sweep across cheeks and gently glide under the eyes, across your eyebrows and from your forehead up to your hairline.”
Helping to release tension throughout your muscles, gua sha provides a meditative practice that many find relaxing. By moving the skin in this manner, you give your face “workout”, helping it fully absorb the nutrients from your products. For best results, add gua sha to your skincare routine a few days a week and notice the difference in your mood as well as your skin’s radiant glow.