What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a natural ancient self-care beauty ritual, originated from China. This facial massage technique has been used for several thousand years to achieve skin health and provide a youthful, radiant complexion.
The natural therapy involves sweeping the skin with a massage tool. These strokes help to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage. With regular practice facial tension is relieved, the jawline becomes more defined, fine lines are reduced, the skin is lifted and de-puffed.
How to use
Cleanse the skin and gently pat dry before applying your favourite serum, moisturiser or masque. Simply apply your product as normal and then use the tool to make sweeping motions over the contours of your face. The layer of product is important to ensure the tool does not tug at the skin.
You should work through this seven-step routine on one side of the face, then repeat on the other side, making sure to repeat each stroke 3-5 times. Repeat 2-3 times a week to see the full benefits.
- Neck – Start at the collar bone and sweep up the neck.
- Under the chin – sweep from the soft part of the under the chin towards the earlobe.
- Jawline – start from the middle of the chin, move under the lower lip up towards the ear.
- Under cheeks – sweep from the corner of the mouth under the cheekbones to the hairline.
- Over cheeks - sweep from the corner of the nose over the cheekbone to the hairline, by the top of the ear.
- Under eyes - be very gentle in this area. Sweep from the corner of the eye to the hairline. Use less pressure than on the rest of the face.
- Over eyebrows - start from between the eyebrows, sweep out towards the hairline
- Forehead - sweep upwards from the eyebrows the top of the head.
Clean and dry the tool after use.
What are the benefits?
This natural therapy can help to activate the immune system, allowing the body to speed up its natural healing process. Gua Sha is performed on the back of the neck, shoulders and mid-back where the lymphatic system and drains the lymphatics which assists in decongestion. This has huge benefits for cold and flu symptoms. Gua sha is an anti-inflammatory therapy, great for dealing with chronic pain and sore muscles. Additionally, it is able to firm the skin, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and plump skin to give it a youthful glow.
- Try keeping your jade tool in the fridge. This will intensify the cooling sensation, leaving you feeling refreshed.
- Use the tool to massage your head. Wiggling it against your scalp through your hair can help to relieve tension.
- Once you have mastered the basics, feel free to experiment. You may want to focus on certain areas more than others.
Our in house therapist Kate Hardy performs gua sha using our jade tool in her treatments, so we asked her to tell us what she likes about it and why she uses this particular form of therapy.
"I've been working the jade tool myself for several months now & have recently introduced it into facial treatments for clients. The jade tool really helps to stimulate the facial muscles. It's also great for increasing lymphatic drainage, helping the skin get rid of toxins. It gives the skin a natural boost with a lifting and firming effect, brightening the skin and reducing puffiness. It leaves you with a wonderful fresh-faced glow and is also super relaxing to do".
Where can you find out more?
You can view our Gua Sha tool here. Until the end of March 2020, this is also part of a discounted duo alongside our Hydration Injection Masque, saving you £17. This is part of our spring offers range which you can view here.
How do you keep your hands soft and supple? - A good hand cream!
Without mentioning what is going on right now, it's easy to say that we're all adamant about washing our hands a lot more. While this is extremely important, it's very easy to let your hands get dry, especially in the cold weather. So, as a gift from us to you, we're adding in a free hand cream to every order placed over £5.
To help you to understand what makes this product a multi-award winning staple in our range, we thought we would share the ingredients that make it up, what they do and how they benefit the skin.
Raspberry Seed Oil
Raspberry seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids such as omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9. It also contains high levels of vitamin E making it the perfect lipid choice for daily protection as it provides protection and moisture retention for the skin.
Shea Butter & Cocoa Butter
Shea butter melts at skin temperature, helping to moisturise the skin as it easily absorbed without leaving the skin feeling sticky. It is well-known for overcoming dry, irritated and sensitized skin and cocoa butter can help to improve elasticity.
Kiwi & Avocado Oil
Kiwi oil helps to maintain moisture in the skin and prevent drying and scaling. It can also help aid in the relief of itchy, scaly, irritated skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. The fatty acids within avocado oil have excellent moisturising properties that help regenerate and rejuvenate the skin.
Grapeseed Oil is rich in both Omega 6 and vitamin E, which helps to moisturise the skin and give it the ability to bounce back. It is easily absorbed by the skin and leaves it feeling soft and silky. This oil also contains a powerful antioxidant ingredient called proanthocyanidin. This antioxidant may even out skin tone when it’s used on your skin consistently.
Red algae is known for its amazing skin benefits including increasing moisture, moisture retention and promoting smooth skin. It also has the ability to block UV rays, protecting the skin against pigmentation, sun damage, and dark spots. It has also been clinically proven to prevent wrinkles.
Blackcurrant Seed Oil
Press & Awards
"This skin protecting primer SPF30 from Ark Skincare has been part of my everyday routine for a good few months now and I absolutely love it. The formula makes it easy to love, it isn't as heavy as a cream but it does have a slightly thicker texture than your average serum and when applied to the skin, it feels weightless but is quite refreshing."
"For me, how a product feels on my skin when I apply it is important. I really don't like overly thick cream or serum, unless my skin is so dry and flaky that I feel it needs extra love and care. As this is a primer which ticks more than one box, it doesn't have that silicone-like feel to it when it is on the skin, the tacky feeling after the application is totally absent. I like that I can use this as a moisturiser, a primer and as a bit of protection for my skin and it can be worn alone or under your makeup."
"Having mentioned that Ark Skincare uses some pretty amazing ingredients, this Primer is no different, included you will find:
Vitamin E – antioxidant and provides photoprotection
Shea Butter – nourishes skin and protects from free radicals
Sunflower – packed with vitamins and minerals
Hyaluronic Acid – helps skin retain moisture keeping your complexion plump, smooth and radiant
I have been wearing this primer alongside a tinted moisturiser and a BB cream, both of which glide straight onto my skin without slipping partway through the day. I have combination oily skin, so a primer is a must for me if I want to do the absolute best I can at avoiding that afternoon slip and shine."
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Shop our SPF30 Primer HERE
Read the full blog post HERE