Guide to Gua Sha Facial Massage
Unlock the ancient Chinese secrets of self-care, with our Guide to Gua Sha.
In this Guide, we explore what Gua Sha is, how it helps promote healthy skin and how to use our Jade Facial Tool.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is a facial massage technique designed to improve circulation, involving running a fine smooth-edged scraper along the contours of the face. With origins in the medical traditions of China, it's a technique that has been used for thousands of years as a natural answer to skin health. The name (pronounced gwa-sha) breaks down to Gua meaning 'scrape' and Sha meaning 'sand'.
What is Gua Sha good for?
The aim of Gua Sha facial massage is to provide a radiant, youthful complexion. The sweeping action of the Jade Tool against the skin stimulates blood circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage. This then boosts your skin's ability to expel waste and toxins that naturally build up with daily life. With regular practice of Gua Sha, facial tension is relieved, the jaw line becomes more defined, fine lines are reduced, skin is lifted and de-puffed.
Discover our carefully crafted facial massage tool
ARK's Jade Facial Tool has been specifically shaped to fit the contours of the face. It comes with an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide (see more below), so you will be able to master the massage technique easily. It also comes packed in a handy and luxurious-feeling velvet keep pouch.
How to use our Gua Sha Jade Facial Tool
Fully cleanse the skin (ideally double cleanse) and gently pat dry. Apply a generous layer of your favourite Serum, Facial Oil, Moisturiser or Hydrating Masque to the face, taking it down under the chin. The layer of product will ensure the tool glides over the face without tugging the skin.
FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH THE TOOL
The longer edge is better for wider sweeping movements, whereas the heart-shaped edge is better for more precise motions. You will find yourself naturally identifying which side is best for your own profile.
Rather than holding the tool at 90 degrees to your skin, keep the angle between the tool and your skin shallow. At the end of each stroke wiggle the tool against the skin, this will help relieve tension. If you feel the tool starting to drag, just add more product to your skin.
The skin may start to turn pink; this is fine, it shows it is being stimulated. However, if it hurts stop at once.
Always move the tool upwards and outwards. Follow the order of strokes on the diagram below, start from the chin and finish at the forehead. Move the tool across the skin with gentle but firm pressure. It is always better to start off gently to see how your skin responds.
Work through the steps on one side of the face, then repeat on the other side. Repeat each stroke 3-5 times. Repeat 2-3 times a week to see the full benefits. Once you have mastered the basics feel free to experiment. Everyone’s face is different and you may want to focus on certain areas more than others.
STEP 1: Under the chin
Sweep from the soft part of the under chin up towards the earlobe.
STEP 2: Jawline
Place the jade stone in the middle of your chin, move under the lower lip up towards your earlobe.
STEP 3: Under cheeks
Sweep from the corner of the mouth under the cheekbones to the hairline.
STEP 4: Over cheeks
Sweep from the corner of the nose over the cheekbones to the hairline, by the top of the ear.
STEP 5: 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.
STEP 6: Over eyebrows
Start from between the eyebrows, sweep out towards the hairline.
STEP 7: Forehead
Sweep upwards from above the eyebrows to the top of the head.
STEP 8: Clean the tool
Don't forget to clean your tool after each use. Simply use some hot soapy water and air dry it. Store in the velvet keep pouch.
Keep your Gua Sha Jade Facial Tool in the fridge to add an extra cooling element to the routine.
You can use the tool to massage your head. Wiggle the tool against your scalp through your hair, it will help to relieve tension.
Watch our Video for full Gua Sha Instructions:
Don't forget that your Jade Facial Massager will come with instructions for you to keep until you've nailed the technique!
For best results, combine with...
Pair with our Skin Illuminating, Vitamin C Serum
A match made in heaven, we've created this limited edition bundle that pairs the Gua Sha Jade Facial Tool with our Skin Perfecting Radiance Serum. Rich in Vitamin C, this serum brightens and repairs, helping to fade pigmentation and create glowy skin in an instant.
Even better... this duo is housed in our planet positive packaging, created in partnership with the Magical Mushroom Company to completely biodegrade after use.
Gua Sha FAQs
Why is Jade used for Gua Sha?
Jade is a naturally cool stone, which makes it ideal for gua sha which generates heat in the face. Some believe jade has the ability to enhance the energy in the area it is used, balancing yin and yang and offering restorative properties. In practical terms, Jade is a sufficiently hard stone, meaning it will enable you to apply the right amount of pressure without damaging your skin or the tool itself.
How often should you Gua Sha?
The optimum frequency for Gua Sha massaging is 2 - 3 times a week, but every individual will find their own personal sweet spot, and you'll see benefits even if you practice less frequently.
What is the difference between Gua Sha and Jade Roller?
While both Gua Sha and Jade Rollers promise lymphatic drainage and boosted circulation, Gua Sha is meant more as a deep facial massage - a more intense and long-lasting treatment. Think of Gua Sha as a HIIT workout and Jade Rollers as a lively stroll in the park.
Can I practice Gua Sha if I have sensitive skin?
Those with sensitive skin should proceed with caution. Start off gently and see how your skin responds.
You should not experience any pain whilst using the tool. If you do, cease use immediately. If too much force or pressure is used the skin may bruise.
Are there any skin conditions that make Gua Sha inadvisable?
The Gua Sha technique is not recommended for those with inflamed skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, or sunburn.
And avoid using the tool over broken skin, broken or thread veins, moles, cuts or bruises.