Long before they became our new favorite beauty tool, Gua Shas were an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, used for tissue and muscle massage for the entire body. Gua Sha literally means ‘to scrape’ in Chinese, and this (gentle!) scraping motion helps to increase circulation, decrease the appearance of wrinkles, boost collagen production and encourage lymphatic drainage. For many of us this sounds great, but we’re not clear on exactly how to reap all of these benefits. Start by applying a face oil to clean skin, then read on for the top motions to master to get the most from your Skin Gym Gua Sha from the Spring Box of Style.
If you’re a visual learner, find a handy video tutorial by acupuncturist and holistic medicine practitioner Debbie Kim.
Slowed collagen production results in sagging skin and wrinkles, and unfortunately it only gets slower as we age. Fortunately, massage increases blood flow and boosts collagen production. To address fine lines around your lips, use the smallest tip of the Gua Sha to massage the lip line in long strokes, working from your cupids bow out towards the corners of your mouth. With regular use you can expect plumper skin and fuller lips.
Many of us suffer from tensed neck muscles, typically due to staring at screens for most of the day. Regular massage will reduce the tension which pulls down on the facial muscles (as if gravity needed any more help!) and releases toxins. Using the largest side of the Gua Sha, start under your jaw and stroke gently down and away from the face to encourage lymphatic drainage.
Other benefits of regular Gua Sha use include draining puffiness and increasing facial contour. Making time to massage your skin in the morning will help you start the day feeling pampered and more importantly, will decrease any swelling that has occurred during the course of the night, or as a result of eating salty foods or consuming alcohol. Start by placing the heart shaped side of the Gua Sha at the center of your jaw and draw long upward strokes towards your ear. Repeat three times before moving further up the face, until you’ve done the same upward strokes from the top of your cheekbones to your hairline.
While we would never recommend aggressively massaging the delicate eye area, it can benefit from light Gua Sha strokes, particularly to encourage drainage and help massage product into the skin. Always move in a gentle upward and outward motion using the smallest tip of the Gua Sha, and never get closer to your eye socket than your occipital bone. Repeat the outwards motions on your brows, starting at the nose.
For more Gua Sha tips, visit Skin Gym’s site.