Adapted from Spafinder

Gua sha (pronounced gwahshah). You’ve skimmed these two words throughout spa and beauty blogs or noted it trending on social media, but still aren’t entirely sure what it is. Simply put, it’s an inexpensive way to enhance your skincare routine and give yourself a natural facelift.

So if your face is feeling a tad lackluster—not as firm or as bright as you’d love, and you’re constantly reminded of this during endless virtual meetings, facial gua sha may be an option.

Gua Sha Basics

Gua sha, a technique that stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine, involves scraping a flat, handheld tool against the skin in firm, pressure-driven strokes. (Yes, bruising or redness may occur, although the treatment is not supposed to be painful.)

This technique is primarily used to relieve muscle and joint paint, as well as encourage the movement of blocked chi, or energy. Small-scale studies on select target audiences, including premenopausal women, male weightlifters and regular computer users, support claims that this treatment speeds up muscle recovery and improves flexibility.

Getting Started

The version of gua sha you’ve likely seen lately across social media and beauty blogs, is the milder, gentler version of this traditional facial.

Many spas now offer this age-defying technique as an add-on facial service to treat the delicate skin on your face and neck. As well, you can opt for a DIY facial in the comforts of home—all you need is:

  • gua sha tool
  • A serum or face oil to help the tool glide across skin

Here’s a tutorial we love from Brooklyn-based Lanshin

Benefits of Facial Gua Sha

  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Boosts lymphatic drainage (bye-bye, bloat)
  • Relieves tension in facial muscles
  • Sculpts and tightens (the natural facelift we mentioned)
  • Increase collagen production

The result: Almost immediate results displaying a lifted, firmer, less puffy face. Repetitive use should even show reduced fine lines and wrinkles over time. In short, gua sha is an ideal way to boost your beauty and your wellness.

While the aesthetic improvements are divine, the advantages of facial massage extend beyond a youthful glow. Facial massage helps lower stress and anxiety, relieves headaches and rids the body of toxins—and allows a little self-care time in the process.

(And, sure, you can also use your hands to massage your face, but a specialized tool, typically made of jade or rose quartz stone with rounded edges, is so much prettier, isn’t it?)