Your alarm goes off and you roll out of bed to make your way to the bathroom and start your day. As you look in the mirror you notice your face is slightly puffy and the facial grooves are more pronounced. While that puffiness occasionally subsides as you go about your day, sometimes it may seem like it’s here to stay. If this is something you experience, then a short facial massage with a gua sha stone could be just the thing to soothe that puffiness and support a firm healthy glow.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a time-tested therapeutic method with roots in traditional Chinese medicine. In ancient China, hard objects, like stones and coins, were used with oil to rhythmically and repeatedly stroke the surface of the skin to encourage blood flow and dissipate congestion. This nurturing technique has become increasingly popular over the years as it can be used on the whole body or focused on the face to reduce puffiness and smooth fine lines. Today, gua sha stones are thoughtfully designed to benefit the skin’s surface and maintain a cold temperature, which further enhances their therapeutic function.
Benefits of Gua Sha
Essential fluid in our bodies, called lymph, is transported via the lymphatic system, which is a series of channels parallel to our blood vessels. These channels run throughout our entire body and even make their way into the face. When the lymphatic system becomes sluggish or backed up, fluid becomes stuck, resulting in a bloated or puffy look. Gently massaging a gua sha stone along these channels invigorates the flow of this fluid and allows it to drain more efficiently, opening up avenues for full-body wellness!
Another gua sha benefit we love to rave about is its ability to increase microcirculation in the face. The gentle strokes of the gua sha stone vitalize blood flow in our smallest blood vessels affecting numerous functionalities of the skin and leading to greater balance. This boost in microcirculation also enhances the exchange of nutrients between blood cells and essential skin tissue cells encouraging harmonious and holistic productivity.
Along with these nourishing benefits, research shows that greater microcirculation provides the skin with tools to boost collagen production, which improves elasticity in the face. Lymph drainage in connective tissue also allows foundational cells, called fibroblasts, to produce more collagen. With more collagen available, fine lines and deep grooves smooth out creating a more seamless appearance and supporting a graceful aging process.
While the art of gua sha benefits the physical nature of the face, it also triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “resting mode.” When this mode is engaged, the body experiences a deep sense of relaxation and an inviting calm. We highly recommend including gua sha in your self care routine as it’s one of the best ways to soothe your nervous system while improving skin health.
How to Use a Gua Sha Stone
At Jessica’s Apothecary, we offer a few different stone options. Our Gua Sha Tool is made from ethically sourced jade that feels cool to the touch and holds cooler temperatures, making it extra soothing for swollen areas.
The gua sha stone is simple to use yourself at home. Varying shapes and sides of the stone are used to support and benefit different areas of the neck and face. Grooves in the tool help to apply pressure in certain areas and stimulate blood and lymph flow while smoothing out lines.
Here’s a small introduction on how to use a gua sha stone:
- Start by cleansing both your face and the gua sha tool
- Thoughtfully apply your favorite face oil to your skin (see a few of our top recommendations, below)
- Gently rub the area around your armpits, breasts, and neck (underneath your ears) with your fingers to encourage lymphatic drainage
- Choose a part of the face (like your brow) and gently drag the tool outward against your skin
- It’s important to remember to continuously stroke the tool in one direction while holding it at a 45° angle and applying medium pressure
- Repeat the motion 5 to 10 times and then complete the technique on the other side
- Regularly take a few minutes during your daily morning routine to complete a gua sha massage. It only takes a few minutes and you will see the best results with consistency!
If you’re a visual person, you can follow along with our owner and botanical skin care specialist, Jessica, as she completes a gua sha facial massage. She’ll show you how to use a gua sha stone and introduce you to areas of the face and neck that benefit most from this luxurious self care routine.
Facial Oils to Use with your Gua Sha Tool
While the gua sha tool is essential for gua sha massages, the right facial oil can make a huge difference. Let’s explore some of our favorites for rejuvenating and improving skin health.
Facial Recovery Oil
Created with all skin types in mind, the luscious Eminence Facial Recovery Oil includes a beautiful blend of dynamic botanicals that tone the skin while delivering healthy fats that boost hydration. This soothing oil is gentle yet powerful, supplying the skin with the necessary nourishment it needs to renew sensitive and aging skin.
Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil
Chock full of hydrating essential fatty acids, the Eminence Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil is the perfect base for a gua sha massage. Designed to nurture healthy aging, this oil smooths facial grooves and protects the skin against damaging external or internal factors. The result is a more vibrant complexion.
Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil
The Eminence Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil is like luxury in a jar. From the hydrating vitamins and essential fatty acids to the pink tourmaline gemstones, this glamorous product will have you glowing from the inside out. This product also hosts various antioxidants that protect the skin from daily stress and support a soft, smooth appearance.
Learning how to use a gua sha stone and engaging in a gua sha ritual can be a fulfilling and nurturing experience. Simply adding gua sha to your self care routine can have the potential to create harmony within and invigorate your holistic health. Start small by trying it out and we promise, your skin won’t look back!
If gua sha is new for you or you’d like a bit more guidance on how to carry out this ritual, feel free to reach out to Jessica at email@example.com. She’d be happy to help with any questions!