A snatched jawline? Contoured cheekbones? Relieving facial tension all in the comfort of sweatpants and our favorite baggy t-shirt we can never get rid of. We are talking about the one and only Gua Sha. We're here to find out what the hype is all about, how do we use it, and are we really achieving the results we've been seeing all over Instagram lately. We mean, why spend minutes every day rubbing a rock on your face if it isn't actually going to help at all? So like any other raging DIY moment, our team here at Cocosential, we decided to give it a shot.
Upon our research we learned the Gua Sha tool originally wasn't for beauty but for two conditions the first one was seasonal diseases, like a flu virus or sudden collapse of the body from a heatstroke explains Ping Zhang, DOM, L.Ac, a New York–based traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) guru and a pioneering acupuncturist in the field of facial rejuvenation. Zhang goes on to describe how traditionally, Gua Sha could be performed with whatever tool was on hand—an animal bone or horn, a soup spoon, a coin—and was often used as far back as the Yuan Dynasty to revive farmers who collapsed with exhaustion from working under the hot sun.
“The facial benefits of gua sha were discovered by mistake,” claims Cecily Braden, a holistic esthetician and New York–based spa educator who has spent her career importing traditional Eastern beauty and wellness treatments and translating them for a Western audience. As acupuncturists used facial pressure points to treat ailments in other parts of the body, they stumbled upon their facial rejuvenation effects as well. “They had this aha moment when they saw that wrinkles were going away, too,” says Braden.
The name gua sha — pronounced gwahshah —comes from the Chinese word for scraping. So how exactly do you use one? To make our gua sha routine more effective, we incorporated soothing and hydrating essential oils such as Ylang Ylang to target our skin’s particular issues. This is so minimally invasive that it can be done everyday as a here to stay part of our daily routine to energize and depuff the skin. Here's the step by step:
1. 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. Always take short strokes in just one direction, not back and forth.
2. Next, press the tool flat to the skin, under the eyes or over any redness, to soothe and de-puff.
3. Work the tool in small horizontal strokes over the brow bone to lift, or hold and press upwards between the brows to release tension.
4. Stroke down the neck, never upwards, to drain fluid.
Try this out for a couple of weeks and start to see the difference!