It is 2021, and many people made the New Year’s resolution to indulge in more self-care. If there is anything that 2020 taught us, we all need to take the time necessary to relieve anxiety in safe and beneficial ways. Having a gua sha facial might be just the ticket. This is a gentle and relaxing process that not only feels good but can help you look good. It stimulates circulation in the face and tones facial muscles – it can even transform the shape of your face! Read on to learn more about this increasingly popular facet of Chinese medicine.
What Is a Gua Sha Facial?
Gua sha is a Chinese phrase that means “scraping.” Do not let that scare you! While gua sha on the body is done a bit aggressively, it is done very gently on the face. Using a smooth stone tool, your clinician will gently apply to stroke motions and pressure on different areas of your face. You will find it soothing and relaxing, and your facial tissues will respond to the added circulation. Some of the benefits of gua sha include (but is not limited to):
- Diminished puffiness
- Increased collagen production
- Reduced tension in your facial muscles
Muscular tension and puffiness from fluid retention can cause your face to droop. Many people find that their facial features look “lifted” after a gua sha session. This is because the facial muscles relax, and, at the same time, some of the fluids retained in the face are released. In fact, gua sha is also sometimes called the “Eastern Botox” because the facial transformation can be that dramatic in some cases!
The transformation can last several days or up to a week. However, if you regularly, your body will begin producing more collagen, and the results will last longer in between sessions. You will also have fewer wrinkles, which is a great side effect of increased collagen production.
Big Health Benefits, Gua Sha-mazing Results
If you are getting Botox injections, it’s best to wait several days after your last injection before having gua sha therapy. This is so the therapy does not move the Botox away from where you want it. Other than that, the only preparation is to make sure you are well-hydrated, as that will help your facial tissues release any retained fluids.
During your gua sha therapy, your clinician will apply oil to your skin and use the jade or quartz tool to massage your skin gently. The session will last about 20 minutes, and during that time, you will feel relaxed and pampered. It should not feel uncomfortable, and you should feel some of the tension in your facial muscles melting away.
After your therapy, you might have additional procedures performed as part of a full facial. Or maybe you would like to book a massage or some other treatments to help extend your relaxation. If not, you will be ready to go home immediately after your gua sha facial is done. You will notice less puffiness around your eyes, and your jawline and cheeks might look better defined.
Can You Gua Sha at Home?
Once you understand how to move the gua sha tool, you can safely and effectively give yourself a DIY gua sha facial. First, buy the right gua sha tool. Most are made of either rose quartz or jade stone. You want one that is smooth and attractive, so you will want to use it. Please keep it in the refrigerator; it should be cold to the touch for the maximum effect. Apply a facial oil or serum to help the stone glide over your skin.
Then, working from your neck up toward your hairline, gently roll the tool in an upward motion all over your face. Work on your neck and jawline first, then your cheeks, then up toward your forehead. You can do this for a few minutes each morning as a regular part of your morning routine to gently sculpt your face and relax your muscles. Doing this each day will help prolong the results of your professional gua sha facials.
Other Ways to Enhance Your Facial Experience
While having a gua sha facial is a safe, effective way to improve your facial tone and appearance, it is by no means the only method. Here are a few more ideas to use instead of or in conjunction with your gua sha facials.
These will not work immediately the way gua sha does, but exercising your facial muscles can help your face look more lifted and sculpted. Simply saying the vowel sounds for a few minutes, tilting your head back and stretching your jaw muscles, or stretching your cheeks by filling them with air can give your muscles a workout they do not usually get. You will likely feel less tension in your face after exercising those muscles. Do not overdo it, though, because you probably are not used to facial calisthenics, and they can cause some soreness for a few days.
Whether you indulged in a salty meal the night before or did not get enough sleep, you might wake up with some extra puffiness in your face that you want to get rid of pronto. With or without an eye-roller, a gentle facial massage can help drain some of that extra fluid. You can also apply cold to your face (from a chilled eye-roller to an actual ice cube) or place a cucumber slice on each (closed) eye to help tighten up those blood vessels. Finally, have a cup of coffee or tea to allow the caffeine to work its diuretic magic.
Using makeup to make your face look slimmer or more toned is a great skill to have. Use concealer to hide any circles under your eyes. You will want to use a highlighter on the tip of your nose and chin, then use contouring makeup (which is darker than your natural skin color) to shade the sides of your nose and the hollow of your cheek. A shimmery blush on the apples of your cheeks and some more highlighter on your cheekbones will help them stand out. Voila, you have just sculpted your face in a matter of minutes, and the effect will last all day (or until you remove your makeup).
Enjoy the luxury of a gua sha facial by booking one today, and keep the sculpted look longer by trying the other tips listed!