Gua Sha & Facial Massage

Gua Sha & Facial Massage

Making Gua Sha part of your skincare routine can have many benefits. This traditional tool in Chinese Medicine has been used for years to promote circulation and lymph drainage. New to the term “lymph” and “lymph drainage”?  Check out this blog!

Before purchasing a Gua Sha tool it is helpful to understand the purpose of the practice, and consider your commitment to developing the habit. Sustainable skincare is dynamic skincare. Let’s learn about this tool, when-to-use, how-to-choose, and how to get the most out of your Gua Sha together. 

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)  technique dating thousands of years! Gua Sha can be utilized on the entire body - from the chest and back, to the legs, arms and face.

  • Gua is a flat tool typically made from jade, quartz or another type of mineral of a cooling nature. 

  • Sha is considered to be the marks left by brush strokes along the body to get circulation and lymphatic tissue moving. 

Gua Sha Origins and Modern Day Uses 

For the purpose of honouring this tool in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is important to mention the difference between Facial Gua Sha at home, and Gua Sha as performed by a registered acupuncturist or TCM doctor.

Facial Gua Sha should be practiced with soft strokes to gently move lymph and promote blood flow to the face, without causing any lasting marks on the skin. 

Gua Sha on the body can be more stimulating and produce marks that resemble bruising, but only lasts a day or two. It involves scraping the skin over areas of tension or stagnation*, bringing the “sha” to the surface. The small capillaries under the surface of the skin may break and cause tiny bleeding under the skin. Why? Stimulating these tiny micro stressors in specific areas cause an immune response. White blood cells arrive on the scene, and kick-start healing. Please visit a professional if you are interested in experiencing Gua Sha and it’s range of uses in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

*Stagnation is a term in TCM that resembles tension, tightness, and congestion. 

Choosing a Gua Sha Tool 

Choosing a Gua Sha tool is usually based on the shape, weight, size, and sharpness of the tool edge. Our Gua Sha tools are the same in this sense. As you practice Gua Sha more often you will have a sense for the properties you value most in your Gua Sha. 

For now you can simply choose based on preference of stone and colour. 

Shop our Gua Sha here – Jade, Rose Quartz, and Blue Jasper 

Benefits of Facial/Cosmetic Gua Sha?

  • Reduce puffiness. Miiko Tip: Keep it in the fridge or run it under cold water, this can also reduce inflammation

  • Promotes blood flow, stimulates the thousands of muscles in the face. We know movement in the body is essential for longevity, think of Gua Sha as a form of movement for the face. 

    • Try it  → for eyebrow drooping 

    • Try it  → for smoothing out fine lines

    • Try it  → for reducing tension in the face - especially between the eyebrows.

    • Try it  → for breaking down scar tissue and stimulating circulation

  • Massaging sinuses and lymph drainage. 

    • Caution: when you have a cold or flu, lymphatic centres in your face and neck are like giant webs. They collect and attack viruses and bacteria. Wait until after your cold/flu has passed before resuming regular Gua Sha. 

To Gua Sha or Not to Gua Sha? That is the question.  

  • Do not use with open wounds/sores

  • Use caution if you have thin skin. Important to note for elderly people. 

  • Caution if you are on medication that causes your skin to break and bleed easily, or while taking blood thinners

  • Avoid practicing right after injectables or botox

  • Always practice Facial Gua Sha with clean skin and a clean tool. Also moisturize your skin so the tool can slide across the skin nicely. 

How To Use

  • Wash your face - we recommend our Honey Face Wash.

  • Lightly spritz your face with your favourite Miiko Face Toner to help provide extra moisture/dampness to your skin.

  • Moisturize your face - Follow immediately with 3-4 pumps of Miiko Serum. Massage serum into face and neck.

  • Draw the Gua Sha tool along the face in gentle movements 

    • Angle your Gua Sha - about 45 degrees.

    • Repeat each stroke/area of the face 3-5 times.

    • Complete one half of the face and then move onto the next. 

    • Light pressure - especially on the delicate areas of your face (like your eye and brow bone area.

    • Go against gravity - Move your Gua Sha upwards - against gravity - then out - then down - finish the movement down the neck with gravity - towards your heart.

We recommend - practicing Gua Sha in the evening. Gua Sha can increase redness in your face, so being mindful of the plans you have right after. 

Gua Sha for tension relief:

  • Draw your Gua Sha up the back of your neck - use upward strokes with flat or curved edge of Gua Sha.

  • Jaw muscles - use the curvature (2 bumps) of the Gua Sha to press in gently.

Does it actually work?

Gua Sha and Jade Rollers are newish in the beauty/skincare industry but the techniques and tools date back for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you are considering incorporating Gua Sha or Jade Rolling into your skincare routine ask yourself these two questions…

  1. What are the results I am looking for? If you are looking for a natural and relatively inexpensive way (in comparison to Botox) to promote circulation to your skin and reduce the signs of aging this product is probably worth a shot

  2. Can you make it a habit? Consistency is key and results are best maintained when using the Gua Sha 2-3x/week or up to once daily.

Healthy skincare habits are not formed overnight. Finding time for your skin care rituals every day and having a positive vision for yourself and your skin's appearance takes practice.

Having a supportive community is one of the funnest ways to build new habits. 

Join us in your journey and share your goals and results!

Miiko Skin Co. now carries 3 different Gua Sha’s you can choose from! Learn more about our Gua Sha’s here

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