If you have yet to see the trending gua sha tools on Instagram, allow us to properly introduce this beloved beauty technique. Despite its recent spike in popularity, gua sha is a centuries old practice that helps create a sculpted look in your face by stimulating deeper tissue release and lymphatic drainage, which slims and de-puffs the face.
Before performing gua sha, a few things to keep in mind — make sure your face is freshly cleansed and apply gentle oil to help the tool smoothly glide. “Not too much oil though, maybe 4-6 drops depending on the thickness of the oil ,” says Morgan Rackley, a licensed esthetician and owner of Luminous Skin Atlanta. “And be sure to include your neck!”
“Starting from the center of the face and working your way out, you should gently glide the tool across the contours of your face,” explains board certified dermatologist, Dr. Geeta Yadav. “Then work from your jawline down your neck towards your clavicle .” Experts recommend repeating this pattern at least three times.
You’ll notice that there are divots in the single, flat shaped tool, which are best used along the jawline, cheekbones and browbones. The smoother sides of the gua sha facial tools can be used along the forehead, neck and smoother area of the face.
The Benefits of Gua Sha
If a centuries old practice is still relevant today, it’s for good reason. So, let’s dig into the science, shall we?
Essentially, fascia, a thin layer of connective or fibrous tissues, surrounds our muscles, including in our face. “When fascia gets tense, it can restrict blood flow and lymphatic drainage,” says Dr. Yadav. “Stimulating our facial fascia helps relax the face, facilitate blood flow and promote lymphatic drainage for healthier-looking skin.”
“Immediately, the skin should appear more vibrant due to the increase in blood flow and circulation; this will also promote better absorption of your topical skincare products” says Dr Yadav. “You’ll also be able to see a subtly sculpted appearance.”
Over time, you can expect an improvement in your overall skin texture and tone (also read: potential changes regarding those stubborn fine lines and wrinkles and a decrease in facial puffiness). “Long term benefits come from the consistent relaxing of facial muscles delaying the formation of deep-set wrinkles,” explains Rackley. “We also love gua gha for the increase of blood circulation to the skin, as the skin receives oxygen through our blood.”
However, it’s important to note that gua sha is not a medically proven therapy for dermatologic conditions. “The modality aims to create temporary petechiae (aka broken vessels) and bruising to the skin,” says San Francisco and Napa based board-certified dermatologist, Caren Campbell MD “It can result in broken blood vessels and make skin conditions worse… There is some science behind the use of it for muscle pain and aches, but not skin related issues or anti-aging.”
While no beauty technique can prevent the beautiful process of aging, gua sha still has valuable impacts and remains a lovely addition to your morning and nighttime routines. That’s why we’ve rounded up the 12 best gua sha facial tools for your next beauty shopping splurge !
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Pink Moon Over The Moon Duo
Best Value: Rena Chris 4 Piece Gua Sha Facial Tool
Top Rated: Odacite Crystal Contour Gua Sha Beauty Tool
Most Loved: Mount Lai De-Puffing Rose Quartz Eye Treatment Tool
Best For Body: AICNLY Large Gua Sha Massage Tool
Best With Rose Quartz: O’O Hawaii Rose Quartz Gua Sha Beauty Tool