How to Gua Sha: Your guide to sculpted cheekbones

Gua Sha tool surrounded by crystals and face oil.

2020 has been something else so why not end the year practising Gua Sha, which will lead to killer cheekbones in 2021.

Gua Sha is the newest must-have on your beauty shelf. The term “Gua” means scraping – the action when using the tool – and “Sha”, which means redness, and refers to the redness of the skin.

This ancient Chinese tool (which often resembles a crystal loveheart) allows you to sculpt your face and drain your lymphatic system as the crystal massages the curvatures of your face helping to de-puff your face and leave your skin glowing. 

Gua Sha is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to move qi (energy) through the body which often treated tension and muscle pain. Traditionally, it is used on the whole body focusing on the back.

While Gua Sha has been around for centuries it’s only now that it is becoming increasingly popular as a skincare tool. The tools are often made from jade, quartz or stainless steel which give a cooling effect on your skin. 

The art of Gua Sha has been known to encourage cells that potentially fight inflammation due to treatment promoting fresh blood to the area. A 2009 Harvard study on mice used bioluminescence imagining to look at the gene expression following the treatment and found that potentially encourages cells to fight inflammation.

How to use Gua Sha:

You only need two things to Gua Sha, the tool itself and a good quality facial oil. The face oil provides the slip between your skin and your Gua Sha making it glide easily around your face. 

Seed and Sprout Gua Sha is a favourite as the stainless steel provides a cooling effect to the face, not to mention how luxurious this feels.

Kora Organics Noni Oil provides the perfect slippery and nourishing base, as it allows the crystal to glide over the skin without any friction.  Not only does it provide the perfect base, but it leaves a radiant glow due to the Noni extract.

While the name ‘red scraping’ implies a somewhat painful process don’t be afraid you’re going to bruise when using the tool. When using the tool on your face, minimal pressure should be applied.

Gua Sha can be incorporated into both your morning and evening skincare routine.  

Doing it in the morning is a great way to de-puff the skin, whilst at night it’s a great way to relax your muscles after a stressful day. Whilst in an ideal world, Gua Sha should be performed twice daily, the desired results can still be obtained if you can only commit to a once-daily massage. 

A Step By Step Guide

  1. When using your Gua Sha you should start at your neck and work your way up you face. Start by doing 6 downward strokes on the right side of your neck applying a firm but gentle pressure (it shouldn’t be painful or pulling your skin) using the long side of the tool. Repeat on the left side of the neck. Then, make your way to your jawline using the ‘V’ shaped side, and let it drag across your jawline up to your ear. Do 6 upward strokes (chin to ear) on each side of your face.
  1. Using the same side of the tool follow your cheekbone up from your nose to your temple doing 6 stokes on each side. Using the tip of the Gua Sha gently swipe from the inner corner of the eye up to the temple. It’s important to be extra careful when near the eye as the skin is extremely fragile. Do 3 swipes on each side of the face.
  1. Finally, for the forehead use the long side of the tool that’s curved slightly inwards to make upward strokes from the brow bone to the hairline. You can do this in three sections, the right side, centre and the left side of the face. Do 6 strokes per section of your forehead. 

By the end of the process, your face may be a little red but don’t be worried it’s just the blood coming to the surface of the skin which has so many benefits (such as improved circulation, reduced puffiness and sculpted cheekbones.) and will leave your skin looking plump and healthy. 

Kenzie Sinclair

Kenzie is a total fanatic when it comes to anything beauty, fashion or travel. When she is not writing you can find her doing reformer pilates, swimming at Sydney's best beaches or even cooking up a storm in the kitchen. She loves exploring new places whether it's a new waterhole in Sydney or an island on the other side of the world (we can't blame her)!

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