What is a gua sha?

25 Mar, 2024 AGING SKIN   HACKS

What is a gua sha?

With a recent surge in popularity it would be understandable for you to think that the Gua Sha tool is relatively new on the beauty scene, being promoted by celebrities, skincare gurus, and even wellness blogs, but this compact and versatile tool is actually one of the older recorded forms of Chinese medicine. So what is it that has made this age-old treatment stand the test of time? We’re here to tell you!

Translated directly, Gua Sha means press (Gua) and redness (Sha) and the combined words essentially mean ‘scrape away illness’. The traditional treatment required tools, often made of stone, jade, or other available hard materials, which were used to scrape and rub parts of the body repeatedly in one direction with the aim of activating circulation. This treatment and the theory behind it went on to influence other ancient treatments we still use today such as cupping, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

The tool used and the methods have changed through time to keep up with Chinese medicine but the premise remains the same, which is how we have the modern Gua Sha for the face that you’ll likely know and recognise.

What are the benefits of a Gua Sha?

The Gua Sha is a tool that is suitable for all skin types and can be applied to any skincare routine for a lifting and rejuvenating impact. Studies have shown that regular use of the tool aids in microcirculation of blood flow to the face as well as aiding in lymphatic drainage, both of which contribute to healthy skin appearance with increased collagen production, even skin tone, and a smoother appearance.

Alongside aiding in microcirculation, the gentle massage works the facial muscles to aid in relaxation and the relief of tension, making it perfect for combatting tension headaches and aching jaws. This gentle and relaxing facial massage also works wonders for your mental wellbeing as you commit to taking time to decompress and remove yourself from stress as an act of self care!

Using the Gua Sha regularly can help to:

  • Improve the elasticity of the skin
  • Reduce the appearance of puffiness 
  • Reduce tension in the facial muscles
  • Aid in the absorption of skincare products


How do you use a Gua Sha?

Start by applying your favourite serum, oil, or moisturiser. The Gua sha will aid in absorption into the skin so you’ll see double the benefits! It also helps to think of your Gua Sha shape as a heart so you know which edges we are referring to- the top of the heart where the two protruding curves meet and the inwardly curved side of the Gua Sha are key to your treatment. We recommend repeating each movement 8-10 times and dragging your Gua Sha at a close angle to the skin rather than at 90 degrees.


  1. Using the top of the ‘love heart’, drag the Gua Sha up the back of the neck using firm pressure. When you reach the hairline, use sharp pressed rocking motions on the area of the neck which feels most tense.
  2. With the inward curved side of the tool, sweep up the side of the neck from the collarbone towards the jawline. When you reach the jaw line, use the same sharp rocking motion on the skin there.
  3. Finally, use the top of the Gua Sha with light pressure to massage the throat. Starting in between the collarbones, sweep the tool upwards following the curve of the neck before using the two points to apply pressure to the jawline.



  1. With the Gua Sha on its side with the larger protruding edge of the ‘heart’ below the jaw, sweep the Gua Sha up and away from the chin along the jaw toward the ear, repeating the rocking motion at this point.
  2. Use the inward curved side of the Gua Sha to massage gently from the side of the mouth and nose up over your cheekbones in a sweeping motion, stopping and rocking the stone at the hairline.
  3. Use the larger protruding edge of the ‘heart’ on the under eye area by placing it flat against the inner corner of the eye and using gentle pressure to sweep outwards towards the hairline.
  4. Place the smaller curve of the ‘heart’ underneath the eyebrow and the longer curve above the eyebrow before using sweeping motions following the shape of the eyes out towards the hairline.
  5. Using the inward curved side of the Gua Sha, pull the tool upwards from just above the eyebrows towards the top of the forehead.


Which Gemstone is best for a Gua Sha?

Alongside the benefits of the Gua Sha itself, many believe in the healing properties of the stones this tool can be carved from. The options we have available and their benefits are:

Black Obsidian - Protect & Detox

Black Obsidian is the ultimate protection stone, helping to cleanse and protect your aura from negative energy, mental stress, and tension. Because this stone is associated with your root chakra, it can offer powerful grounding qualities that make you feel more clear, balanced and secure.

Ready to explore the power of this ancient Chinese treatment? Explore our range of facial massage tools now!

What is a gua sha?

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