BEAUTY ESSENTIAL: GUA SHA
The theme for beauty products in 2019 was simple, the more beautiful the better. Now the time has come to take things up a notch. We're having a look at beauty practices from traditional eastern times that are just as effective (and just as pretty) as the current face roller obsession.
Taking the cake as the most uniquely shaped object we’ve seen is the beautiful and oh so easy to pronounce ‘Gua Sha’. So now to the next obvious question… what the heck is it?
As old as time itself… well, at least older than acupuncture, a gua sha is heart-like in shape, providing your skin and fascia (the covering of your connective tissue) with a whole lot of lovin’. Deriving from ancient Chinese healing practices, this tool combines massage with crystal therapy for the ultimate beauty duo.
What does it do?
REDUCES TIGHT MUSCLES AND TENSION
In areas of your body that hold tension (such as your jaw and neck), a gua sha promotes blood flow to the area helping to break up the tight fascia. The unique shape allows the gua sha to work in even the trickiest areas of your body.
INCREASES BLOOD FLOW AND CIRCULATION
When you move the gua sha up and down your skin, the strokes stimulate microcirculation improving blood flow to the soft tissue. In traditional massages that involve a gua sha, light bruising can often occur as a natural result, however, this shouldn’t occur when using it yourself unless you’ve pressed a little too hard!
SUPPORTS LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE AND IMMUNE HEALTH
Lymphatic drainage is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately and there is a bit of confusion about what it actually means. Your lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that support your body’s immunity, and a gua sha helps eliminate toxins and waste products that build up in the lymph fluid… (who doesn’t want to get rid of that?!!)
MINIMISES BREAKOUTS AND ACNE SPOTS
When used in the facial region, a gua sha works in the dermis and epidermis to improve detoxification and blood flow. This has shown to reduce chronic blackheads and acne spots, and even support surface level exfoliation of the skin.
ENCOURAGES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
When trying to maintain youthful and radiant skin, too much collagen is never enough. A gua sha is able to improve collagen and elastin by increasing blood flow to the skin. This improves complexion by helping to firm and smooth skin, minimise fine lines, and enhance your glow.
RELIEVES TENSION HEADACHES AND SINUS INFLAMMATION
A gua sha helps prevent and relieve tension headaches when used in a downward motion from your hairline to your shoulders. This relieves the build-up of pressure in the area, helping to minimise any associated pain. Similarly in your sinuses, when moved in an outward motion from your nose to your cheekbones, a gua sha reduces the inflammation and mucus buildup in that area.
How do you use a gua sha?
Although it does depend on which area of the body you are trying to target (because a gua sha can work literally everywhere), you just press it in a firm but gentle motion so that it pulls slowly against the skin.
It is often recommended that you use a serum underneath the face, neck, and décolletage for best beauty results. To learn some of the easy strokes for your facial region, check out this gua sha video:
To use your gua sha over different points in the body, it is always advised that you start and finish at the base of the neck, as this is the major area for lymphatic drainage. Here is another one of our favourite videos to show you how to use a gua sha over your body:
So how do I know when I need a gua sha or a crystal roller?
Where can I get one?
You know we love anything that helps us feel amazing inside and out - we’ve got your gua sha needs covered.