Everything You Need to Know about Using a Gua Sha Tool for Absolutely Amazing Skin

You have probably seen or at least heard of a gua sha tool because it is the hot skincare item of the moment. A gua sha tool is great for relieving facial and jaw tension, promoting a brighter complexion, and visibly lifting and contouring the face. They are not expensive (although you can find some out there that cost a considerable amount) or complicated and can be easily worked into your skincare routine. Whether you have already bought yourself one or you are just interested in what exactly they do, here is everything you need to know about using a gua sha tool. 

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha may be popular at the moment but the technique has been around for centuries. Gua sha is a traditional Chinese healing method where, in its traditional state, your skin is rubbed with a smooth tool – often a spoon or evena coin – while applying pressure. More modern versions use the gua sha tool you have come to know from Instagram. The goal is to create redness on the skin, or “sha.” It is believed to promote blood flow, help lessen toxins in your body, and promote healing. People use this treatment to treat chronic pain all over the body, migraines, perimenopausal symptoms, and even breast pain associated with breastfeeding.

Everything You Need To Know About Using A Gua Sha Tool For Absolutely Amazing Skin

This technique has been adapted into the facial therapy that has recently become so popular. The idea is the same. You apply pressure using a gua sha tool, applying light, even strokes. This can help stimulate lymphatic drainage, making your face appear less puffy. It can also help relieve tension and reduce sinus pressure. It can also help with skin elasticity, which can help reduce the visibility of wrinkles.

You can go to a professional for gua sha treatment both for your body and your face, or you can do it yourself at home. If you are looking for an all-over-the-body treatment, it is probably best to see a professional. For facial gua sha, you can easily incorporate this treatment at home in your own skincare routine, although there are professional treatments available if you are looking to splurge.

After having gua sha treatment, either to your body or face, you will feel the most incredibly good feeling of being drained. That may sound unpleasant, but it is not. You feel drained in the best way possible. It is like you have lost some extra something you had been carrying around. If you have ever had a professional Swedish massage, it is a similar sort of feeling as after that treatment.

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The Lowdown on the Gua Sha Tool

Everything You Need To Know About Using A Gua Sha Tool For Absolutely Amazing Skin

There are a few versions of this little tool but it is usually either a small stone that looks kind of like a cross between a heart and a half moon or the other popular gua sha tool is a stone that is more of squarish or triangle-type shape with one slightly rounded side and one side with a comb edge. One is not better than the other. It is really more about your preference. If you are a little hesitant to use the comb edge, then go with a smooth stone. You will not be missing any benefits of the gua sha tool if you buy one version over the other.

They are easy to get since they are so popular right now. You can purchase a gua sha tool anywhere from Target to Amazon for a reasonable price. There are some crazy expensive ones out there that allegedly have amazing results. Do not fall for it. The cheaper ones are just as good and make your face feel just as amazing.

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How to Use Your Gua Sha Tool

Using a gua sha tool is simple. If you have used a jade roller, a gua sha tool is pretty similar in terms of how you move it across your face and neck. You can also use it across your shoulders and collarbone if you are so inclined. Remember, people have been using gua sha over their entire bodies forever. 

Everything You Need To Know About Using A Gua Sha Tool For Absolutely Amazing Skin

One of the most important things to remember when using a gua sha tool is to apply facial oil to your face first regardless of the type of tool you have. If you do not, it will feel terrible. Like really terrible. Honestly, you will think this gua sha thing is a total sham and your face will hurt. The oil helps the gua sha tool glide along your skin. Use whatever facial oil you like best. Rosehip oil or a facial oil blend are great choices because they help brighten your skin.

Then, lightly apply pressure as you glide the tool across your skin. Because gua sha can help promote lymphatic drainage, it is best to move in the direction of your lymph nodes, which means downward strokes in the direction of your neck and ears. Gliding the gua sha tool down your cheeks a few times and then along your jawline from your mouth to your ears will help reduce puffiness and feels pretty incredible. You can also rub it across your forehead and eyebrows to help reduce tension. Using it from the bridge of your nose outwards toward your ears can help with sinus pressure. 

Everything You Need To Know About Using A Gua Sha Tool For Absolutely Amazing Skin

It is really nice to use during your nightly skincare routine. Even if you are using the tool for its smoothing and draining purposes, it will have the secondary effect of helping reduce tension. Ending your day with a little beautiful-smelling facial oil and a relaxing facial massage is pretty luxurious.

If you want lots of step-by-step instructions or inspiration for routines for your gua sha tool, check out Britta Beauty on Instagram. She is the queen of the gua sha tool. She shows ways to use a gua sha tool for lymphatic drainage, to relieve sinus pressure, to relieve jat tension, and to depuff pretty much any area of your face. 

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How Often am I Supposed to Do This?

Once you incorporate gua sha into your skincare routine, you can use your gua sha tool from once a week to every day. It all depends on your routine and how often you want to use it.

Everything You Need To Know About Using A Gua Sha Tool For Absolutely Amazing Skin

Like any new skincare routine, it is probably best to start with one to two days a week and see how your skin reacts. You may not have a need to use it more frequently. But you may also find that you like to target different areas on different days rather than using the gua sha tool across your entire face daily. If you are mainly using the gua sha tool to reduce facial tension, you might find that you use it as needed. There is nothing wrong with that.

If you are using your gua sha tool for tension, you may want to consider adding it to your routine at least once or twice a week and incorporate the back of your neck and the tops of your shoulders into your routine to help with your overall stress and to reduce tension in your body. Regular maintenance for this sort of thing is better for the long term than just doing it whenever your stress or tension is so high you notice it and realize you need to break out the gua sha tool. 


A gua sha tool is a smart addition to your current skincare routine. They are inexpensive and because they are so popular, they are easy to purchase. Not only can it help reduce puffiness and potentially reduce the visibility of wrinkles, but it can also help reduce tension in your face and help with sinus pressure and even migraines. The gua sha tool is more than just a trend though. A gua sha tool is absolutely worth adding to your skincare routine for the long term. That is because gua sha is not just about skin treatment. It is about a deeper, nourishing connection to your body.

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Everything You Need To Know About Using A Gua Sha Tool For Absolutely Amazing Skin

Photo Credits: pixabay.com, unsplash.com, pexels.com

References: Are There Health Benefits to Gua Sha?

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Michelle Frick
Born in Massachusetts, Michelle currently lives in North Carolina. She has two teenage boys who are growing up way too fast. Besides her love of writing, she enjoys running, practicing yoga, watching hockey, and cheering on the Boston Red Sox.

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