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If you’re an active follower of beauty trends, you’ve certainly heard the phrase “gua sha.” You may have seen TikToks and YouTube tutorials of beauty fans massaging their faces with gua sha tools. But have you ever stopped to dig deeper into the history behind this trend?
Well, we’ve got you covered. As a cultural practice borrowed from the Chinese beauty world, it’s important to get educated about the meaning of gua sha before testing it out for yourself.
Allow us to provide a basic summary. Gua sha is a natural therapy technique that involves scraping the face or body with a small massage tool. Using a pattern of long and short strokes with the gua sha tool, the technique aims to promote circulation and improve blood flow.
Gua sha experts believe that the practice serves to address a person’s blocked chi, or energy, that has gone stagnant in the body. It unblocks chi and, in the process, reduces aches, stiffness, and pain.
Along these lines, gua sha practitioners believe that the technique helps decrease inflammation, which can be incredibly harmful.
Gua sha originated as a treatment for the body. However, it has recently moved into the skincare space, and people have turned to gua sha as a facial-massage method. While gua sha may be quite rough and intense on the body, the facial treatment is more gentle.
There’s a reason that gua sha has grown so popular in the Western beauty world recently. It offers tons of benefits for the skin and for our overall health. Now, let’s discuss some of those benefits.
As a facial treatment, gua sha is meant to improve blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and skin elasticity. It may also reduce signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines, as well as muscle tension.
Along these lines, gua sha may also promote collagen production, reduce the appearance of dark circles, even out and brighten skin tone, and decrease puffiness of the face.
When it comes to gua sha as a body treatment, the benefits go even further. The technique has been shown to improve symptoms of migraines, neck pain, breast engorgement (of breastfeeding women), and more.
Keep in mind that many of these claims still require more research. However, tons of people swear by gua sha practices. Ultimately, the only way to find out if it works for you is to try it out!
So, let’s delve into gua sha tools. If you’re hoping to join in the gua-sha fun, you’re going to need your own massage tools.
We do want to note that you probably shouldn’t attempt a full-body gua sha treatment at home. Those treatments tend to be pretty intense, and if you’re not a professional, you may end up hurting yourself or the recipient of the massage. Be sure to visit an expert for a full-body experience!
Fortunately, the gentler facial gua sha is totally safe. Of course, it will be a lot more effective with the right tools and techniques at your disposal. So, we have compiled a list of all the different types of common gua sha tool materials you should know and how to make the most of them.
We won’t keep you waiting any longer—let’s get into it!
Rose quartz is one of the most popular stones for gua sha tools. It is said to be the stone of compassion, love, and emotional healing. Likewise, it supposedly has calming properties, which makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin and those who suffer from acne, rosacea, or other skin issues.
According to some, rose quartz is also the best material for reducing signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. As a healing stone, it’s also used to drain toxins and negativity from the body.
Like rose quartz, jade is a widely-used stone in the world of gua sha. As one of the most common stones used for gua sha, jade tools are pretty easy to come by.
The stone is known for its cooling effect, as well as its ability to balance the body and our inner energies. Similarly, some people claim that it helps relax the nervous system.
If you’re looking for a tool that will reduce facial puffiness, jade might be your best bet. Plus, it’s known to promote lymphatic function. A jade tool will help you contour your face and give it a nice little lift.
The Bian stone, like rose quartz, is lauded for its healing properties. It’s an ancient stone with a wide range of uses, and one of those happens to be gua sha.
According to certain studies, the Bian stone may help regulate blood pressure. Also, when used in the full-body gua sha treatment, it is ideal for treating lower back pain.
Amethyst may be more familiar to you than Bian. You have probably encountered the vivid purple crystal in jewelry, but have you ever tried an amethyst gua sha tool? It’s totally worth the try, as amethyst may help reduce stress and negative energy. We could all use a little of that in our lives, right?
Like jade, amethyst is perfect for cooling down the skin. Moreover, some people claim that it fights bacteria and targets the pores. So, anyone with acne-prone skin may want to opt for an amethyst gua sha tool.
Clear quartz is among the rarest of these materials. It’s often referred to as a “master healer.” Many fans believe that it balances the mind, body, and spirit, providing a feeling of calm and clarity. Clear quartz is great for all skin types.
Now that we’ve covered the most common materials for gua sha tools, there’s another subject to discuss: shapes. Just as each different stone serves a particular purpose, so does each tool shape. If you want to make the most of your gua sha experience, you’ll want to read up on all the various types of tools.
Here are a few of the shapes you’re likely to see all over social media and beauty blogs.
The dolphin-shaped gua sha massager is probably the most well-known of all. Take a look at the Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool from Mount Lai for an example of this shape.
This tool’s curved and flat edges allow for maximum flexibility and ease of use. It’s easy to grip and manipulate, making it an ideal option for gentle facial massage.
This shape is exactly what it sounds like: a gua sha scraper equipped with comb-like prongs.
On one side of this tool, you have the classic curved edge, perfect for a facial treatment. On the opposite side, the stone is shaped into a comb so you can give your scalp a nice, deep massage.
This shape, often called a wing or fin, looks exactly how the name describes it. It is almost triangular, but it’s curved to mold to the shape of the face. A small version of this shape makes for an excellent facial scraper.
Some people may not consider jade rollers to fall into the broader gua sha category, but we just had to include them. Like the practice of gua sha, jade rollers have skyrocketed to popularity in the United States in recent years, so it’s only right that we mention them here.
Jade rollers are another type of facial massage tool that can be traced back to China. These tools consist of a small cylinder (made of jade, of course) attached to an easily maneuverable handle. Jade rollers are super easy to use for facial massages, and they offer many of the same benefits as the other gua sha tools mentioned above.
Honestly, it’s impossible to list all of the gua-sha shapes out there, but these are just a few of the most prevalent.
Although gua sha emerged as a trend only recently, it’s been around for thousands of years. There’s no denying that this massage technique is pretty powerful.
All of the tools are relatively easy to use—all it takes is a few YouTube tutorials and a lot of practice. Soon enough, you’ll perfect the art of gua sha. With any luck, both your skin and your soul will reap the rewards.
So, grab a gua sha tool and your favorite face cream and treat yourself to a luxurious self-care moment. As always, if you try out one of these tools, be sure to share your thoughts with the Supergreat community by adding your review below!
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