Gua Sha: How to use the skincare stones and Chinese massage tools taking over the web

26th January 2023 | Author: Jenny Tai

If you’re unsure how to use a Gua Sha, or you have no idea what the skincare stones even do, we can help

Even if you haven’t been following skincare trends all that religiously, you may well have come across the rise of Gua Sha in recent months.

Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese healing technique that involves massaging the skin with a Gua Sha stone, or Gua Sha tools. The term even translates as “to scrape sand.”

Using a Gua Sha stone or tool can take a little bit of practice, and the technique works best with regular use, but the aim is to scrape it over the skin to improve circulation and boost your complexion.

Gua Sha

Below we’ve explained a bit more about the benefits of Gua Sha massage, how to do it, and where you can get your hands on a Gua Sha stone with our pick of the best Gua Sha tools for all budgets.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a natural healing therapy that involves scraping the skin with a massage tool – it’s not as painful as it sounds – to help improve circulation. It helps to clear your lymphatic system of toxins, which helps remove blockages from your shoulders, neck, and face.

In ancient China, Gua Sha is believed to help release stagnant energy, called chi, from the body. Practitioners believe a blockage of chi is the reason for many sources of inflammation. While inflammation is useful for helping the body to heal, too much can lead to several conditions such as arthritis, asthma, blindness, cancer, and diabetes.

Rubbing the skin’s surface to help break up the energy reduces the chances of suffering from inflammation and experiencing such conditions.

How to do a Gua Sha facial

The Gua Sha scraping technique involves short or long strokes along the skin to stimulate the circulation of the soft tissue.

After applying facial oil or massage oil, repeatedly scrape the skin with the smooth edge of the tool to stimulate the soft tissue. The location and length of time of the massage vary and depend on what you want to achieve. However, even the most basic routine will give rejuvenating results. Remember to take your time.

It’s recommended to use a Gua Sha stone between two and five times a week, although this is a minimum. You should also follow these golden rules:

  • Use the Gua Sha stone at a 15-degree angle, or almost flat
  • Make sure you use a facial oil or moisturiser when using this technique to help the stone glide smoothly over the skin
  • Place firm pressure on certain areas, such as the neck and jaw
  • Place light and gentle pressure on the other areas, particularly your face and around your eyes
  • Support the skin with the opposite hand and follow through into the hairline
  • Remember to take your time and spend around five minutes each time using the Gua Sha tools

You can also use a Gua Sha to apply pressure to pressure points around your face to help adjust and fix any issues with your lymphatic drainage system. The Instagram video below shows which points on the face link to your stomach, bladder, head, and more.

As this video shows, Gua Sha can even be used to help boost hair growth – or at least help stem the tide of hair loss.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BEAUTY BAY (@beautybaycom)

Best Gua Sha tools

Gua Sha tools are called stones because they’re usually made of jade. This is a natural stone that helps cool the skin. You’ll also find it in jade rollers.

Some Gua Sha tools are made from rose quartz. This is another cooling stone but it’s also said to support heart energy.

Revolution Skincare Rose Quartz Gua Sha

£10 | Buy now

Why we love it: This rose quartz Gua Sha from one of our fave cheap makeup brands, Revolution, is such a lovely shape for a facial massage. It has three ridges at the top of the stone which are great for scraping, and they help release tension around the face.

You can also use this Gua Sha at any angle to fit around the face or neck. We particularly like using the curved side of the tool from the top of the neck down. To give your skin an even better lift, leave the Gua Sha in a bowl of cold water or a skincare fridge for that extra zing of coldness.

Buy now from Lookfantastic

Plantifique Jade Roller and Gua Sha Set

£21.99 | Buy now

Why we love it: This set comes with a jade roller and Gua Sha all in a neat pouch. The roller is slightly gentler than the Gua Sha stone and is designed to reach smaller, more delicate areas. This includes the undereye, around the neck, and especially the middle of the throat. The smaller size ball roller can be used gently on the eyelid, too.

The Gua Sha has a gap curve that fits comfortably along the jawline, it’s great to start from halfway along the chin, holding the opposite side of the chin with your hand. Angle the stone at 15 degrees and scrape upward towards the back of the jaw. There is a pressure point on your jaw socket and if you press and hold it for three seconds, it can release tension.

Being a jade stone means this set will bring balance. The Ancient Chinese call this the “eternal youth” stone.

Buy now from Lookfantastic

Jenny Patinkin Transforming Petite Butterfly

£24.30 | Buy now

Why we love it: Yes, this is pricey but it’s so pretty we couldn’t leave it out. Not only does it look adorable, but we also love the number of grooves, curves, and ridges this holds. With its unique shape, you can work the Gua Sha stone around the face with different parts of the butterfly. This shape also makes it easy to hold.

The bottom of the butterfly is great along the chin and jawline, while the tips of the butterfly wings are great for pulling and lifting from the end of your brows, all the way to the hairline. You can almost feel the tension and lymphatic drainage going. This is only currently available in the US and you may have to pay shipping and customs charges on top of the price.

Buy now

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