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What Is Gua Sha, and Should You Be Doing It?

The Gua Sha practice dates back to 200 CE in China, where citizens used stones all over the body to promote lymphatic drainage. The gua sha facial tool is designed to release liquid under the skin that causes bloating. The smooth stone's firm pressure gently releases the fluids into the lymph system, relieving bloating and puffiness for brighter, healthier-looking skin. 

Gua Sha Benefits

Many have benefitted from using gua sha techniques on the face and body. While decreasing puffiness and inflammation is the primary benefit, other significant advantages include:

  • Alleviating tension that can cause muscle aches and migraines.
  • Aiding other treatments for insomnia and anxiety.
  • Increased circulation, cell turnover, and collagen production.
  • Tighter skin and firmer muscles.
  • Diminished dark circles, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

How to Use Gua Sha

Gua sha tools work best with a good facial serum or moisturizer to help it glide easily over the skin. Use a quart-sized amount of product for your face, neck, and décolletage area. For the best experience, find a curved gua sha tool that fits comfortably in your hand. Once you've prepared your tools, run the gua sha across your skin in light, even strokes that follow the direction of lymphatic flow.

People often begin to see the benefits of gua sha after their first treatment, whether they receive it in a salon or at home. Gua sha is one of the few treatments that can be done as effectively at home as in a professional setting. While professional treatments can help your technique, once you've figured out how to do it yourself, you can save money and time by keeping your treatment in-house.

As your skin adjusts to regular gua sha treatments, start with a five-minute session one to three times a week. Then, you can slowly work up to daily use to maintain your results and see more of them faster.

Potential Side Effects

Since gua sha does not penetrate the skin, it's safe for use on all skin types. However, if you're dealing with a rash or sunburn, skip your treatments until your skin heals. Also, if you have blood coagulation issues or have gotten injections in your face in the past month, gua sha may not be the best option. 

After use, some pinkness or redness is normal and should disappear within a few minutes. Sensitive skin types may find they bruise easily, too. In facial gua sha, try to be gentler to minimize any noticeable marks.

Whether you experience side effects or not, check with your doctor or dermatologist before adding a new staple to your skincare routine. They can monitor you if needed and ensure you're following all the best practices for your skin.

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