Facial massage has been getting a lot of attention recently, now there’s a new technique gaining traction with skincare buffs, but it originates from over 2,000 years ago. We find out what the Gua Sha massage technique is and how you can use it to relax.
What is the Gua Sha massage?
“Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese self-care practice that releases unhealthy elements and toxins, detoxes the skin and stimulates blood flow, circulation and healing,” explains Charlotte Connoley, a former model and facialist who works with Nichola Joss, the A-list aesthetician whose massage technique is the stuff of legend.
Gua Sha uses a hard, flat stone to massage different areas of the face. “Jade and rose quartz stone are great as they have a coolness to them and can take out the heat of the skin whilst massaging,” says Connoley.
“This technique works wonders when practised on the face and neck, and you can do this every day as part of your evening skincare routine.”
Similar to the Gua Sha tool, jade rollers are another old-time Chinese tool that’s blown up in recent years. Said to reduce puffiness and aid lymphatic drainage, jade rollers are beloved of beauty bloggers who keep them in the fridge or freezer to maximise their cooling properties.
Some come with two sizes of roller, a larger one for the forehead, cheeks, chin and neck, and a smaller one to use on harder to reach spots like under the eyes (let’s face it, we all need a bit of de-puffing there).
Jade rolling is pretty self-explanatory, but to reap the full benefits of Gua Sha you need to know exactly how and where to use the tool.
Here, Connoley talks us through how to prep your skin and the five steps of a Gua Sha facial massage…
How to perform a Gua Sha facial massage
“Before using any tools on your skin, it is important to ensure your skin is completely clean. I recommend starting with a double cleanse to remove all traces of make-up, dirt and impurities,” Connoley advises.
“Start by dispensing one pump of Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil [or another brand’s equivalent] onto dry hands. Gently massage all over face, neck and eyes working upwards and outwards. Rinse thoroughly with a damp facecloth and pat dry.”
Follow with a cream cleanser, rinse, then apply a sheet mask such as Burt’s Bees Hydrating Sheet Mask (pack of 6, available on Amazon).
“Place it onto your face, scooping any excess moisture from the sachet into your hands and patting it around the neck and décolletage.
“Starting with the Gua Sha tool at the back of the neck, keep it flat and draw the tool up until you hit a bone. Work round the back of the neck and then the sides and finally on the front.”
Five steps for using the Gua Sha
Remove the mask after 5 minutes, squeeze out all excess moisture and gently pat all over the face, then follow these five steps with the Gua Sha:
Step 1: Keeping the tool flat, start on one side of the face at the jaw with the jaggedy edge of the tool. Draw the tool from jaw to ear slowly five times.
Step 2: Move on to the cheek and use the scooped part and repeat from nose to ear slowly fives times.
Step 3: Using the corner of the tool and laying it flat at the corner of the eye, lightly move the tool from corner to outer eye slowly five times, supporting the eye area with your ring finger.
Step 4: Move to the forehead and using the scoop side, start in the middle of the forehead with the tool horizontally move over to one side towards the temple, slowly, five times.
Step 5: Now, place the tool over the eyebrow, moving the tool up to the hairline five times.
Step 6: Repeat these steps on the other side of the face.
Try it at home
Here are the best jade and rose quartz tools so you can try it yourself at home…
Mina Heal Jade Gua Sha, Amazon.
White Lotus Rose Quartz Gua Sha, Amazon.
Herbivore Jade Facial Roller (Double), Amazon.
Rose Quartz Facial Roller (Double), Amazon.
Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser, Amazon.
La Roche Posay Toleriane Clenasing Face and Eyes, Amazon.
Burt’s Bees Hydrating Sheet Mask (Pack of 6), Amazon.
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