Loved by the likes of Kendall Jenner, Lizzo and Maddie Ziegler and thanks to a recent moment of TikTok virality, the Gua Sha tool has become the latest must-have step in your skincare routine. Hailed by users on the platform as the key to an “instant facelift”, the tool has gained cult popularity, thanks to skincare junkies showing their dramatic one-week results.
But is it actually as effective as TikTok suggests? We spoke to the in-house beauty expert at Aceology to tell us everything we need to know about the viral beauty tool, including the techniques and steps to get that lifted look and youthful glow.
What is a Gua Sha?
A Gua Sha is a smooth flat stone, usually made of jade or crystal, used to massage the face. As Acelogy’s expert breaks down, “Gua Sha stones fit neatly along every contour to help sculpt the face, stimulate circulation and enhance the penetration and effectiveness of your skincare”.
What is important to note however, is that despite holding the crown as the latest TikTok beauty trend, “Gua Sha is actually an ancient Chinese healing technique that has been around for a very long time,” our expert explains.
How does it work?
As an ancient Chinese healing technique, the effects of Gua Sha tool are grounded in the foundations of chi (energy) and lymphatic drainage. In Chinese medicine, chi is energy that flows through the body; this energy needs to keep flowing for optimal health. Stagnant chi is the cause of pain and inflammation. As a result Gua Sha tools are used to massage the face, promoting the circulation of chi into the lymphatic drains in our face and neck. The lymphatic system then works to flush waste and toxins from the body’s tissue, “[improving] firmness, elasticity and tone in the skin whilst reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also addresses stagnant energy or chi in the body,” resulting in the face looking more sculpted and toned, explains Aceology’s beauty expert.
How do we use them?
Like any new technique (or any viral moment), there have been clashes on TikTok over how to achieve the best results using a Gua Sha. .
Luckily, our expert has weighed in on the most effective Gua Sha methods to guarantee a sculpted and glowing complexion.
- Cool it down
Cooling your Gua Sha can increase its effectiveness in depuffing your face (plus, it feels really good!). As per expert advice, “place your Gua Sha in the fridge or a bowl of ice for 10 minutes before using it”.
2. Apply serum and glide
Using the Gua Sha on a dry face is all sorts of unhelpful, so before you start; apply your favourite serum or facial oil onto clean skin and the Gua Sha should glide across your face smoothly. When it comes to technique? “The Gua Sha should be turned flat on a slight angle to your skin so that it glides on your skin without too much pulling”.
3. Work your way upwards
Using the Gua Sha on the neck, jawline and chin can help drain fluid buildup and reveal a more defined side profile. Our expert recommends “Starting at the neck, massage the Gua Sha in a series of strokes upwards and outwards to help detoxify skin and improve tissue health by increasing circulation and restoring bounce…repeat each stroke with slowly with light to medium pressure 5-10 times, except the under-eye area where the pressure should be very light,” she says.
When it comes to areas of sensitivity, “place the cool stone over areas with broken skin, bruises, acne or other skin sensitivities to calm irritations and soothe associated redness,” she says.
Where can we get them?
Now that we’re all on board for supple skin and chiselled cheekbones, here are some of our favourite picks for Gua Sha tools.