Despite its ancient roots, gua sha has quickly become one of today’s most raved-about beauty trends. This massage tool is all over social media, with the #guasha hashtag racking up over 946 million views on TikTok alone. However, not all the information you see on social media about this beauty tool is correct, and some of it is just downright wrong.
To help you on your journey to glowing skin, we’ve highlighted 6 essential tips for understanding your gua sha tool and how to perform gua sha safely at home.
1. Start with Clean, Slippery Skin
It’s always best to perform your gua sha routine on clean skin. Before you begin, cleanse your skin with a mild, gentle cleanser. Use a toner if desired, then follow with a generous amount of facial oil. Applying facial oil to your face, neck, and chest prior to your massage is key for performing gua sha safely. The oil functions to give the gua sha tool enough slip to glide over the skin, preventing any unnecessary pulling and tugging.
If you need to add more facial oil throughout your gua sha routine, feel free to!
2. Use Slow, Controlled Motions
Maybe you’ve seen gua sha tutorials on TikTok and Instagram where it seems like the user is flying through the routine. In reality, a safe at-home gua sha routine should be a gentle, slow massage rather than a quick and rough contour session. Work with intention!
3. Apply Light Pressure
Certain areas on the face, neck, and chest are more delicate than others, so if you perform gua sha at home, it’s best to use consistent passes over the skin with light pressure. Think feather-like strokes. Remember, you don’t want to bruise or damage the skin; instead, you want to stimulate and assist in lymphatic drainage. You can use more pressure in certain areas (like on the jawline) to break up tension knots. When in doubt, gua sha experts like Britta Plug have great how-to videos for all levels.
4. Choose a Good Gua Sha Tool
Not all gua sha tools are made equally, and which is best for you will depend on your specific preferences. In general, you want to choose a gua sha made out of durable, quality materials like pure rose quartz, copper, or jade (no plastic, fake stones for us, please). For your safety and comfort when performing gua sha at home, go with a stone that has a versatile shape, has a curvature that fits the face or body, and feels good when holding it. Materials that are naturally antimicrobial, like our Copper Gua Sha tools, are a happy bonus for all skin types.
5. Start with the Neck
A facial gua sha routine doesn’t start directly on the face—it begins with the neck. Ensure your at-home gua sha routine is calming and free-flowing by beginning with some gentle stretching to release tension in the face and neck.
6. Drink Plenty of Water Before and After
Most of us know that roughly 60% of the human body is water, while certain parts within the body are composed of even greater quantities of this essential liquid. Our lymphatic fluid is made up of 96% water, with the rest being waste materials. To optimize lymphatic flow before and after your massage, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating water-rich fruits and vegetables.