Using Gua Sha to care for your skin
Originally from China, Gua Sha is a massage technique that has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. Over the years, this practice has become exceedingly popular in the world of wellness and beauty. Gua Sha can be used to brighten and firm the skin, while balancing energies. Would you like to incorporate Gua Sha into your skincare routine, but you don't know where to start? Absolution is here to help!
What is Gua Sha?
In the space of a few years, Gua Sha has created quite a buzz in the beauty and wellness sector. And it's no surprise, when you consider that this age-old technique boasts countless therapeutic and aesthetic benefits. Gua Sha is frequently used in Chinese medicine, and its name is based on the Chinese words for scrape or stroke (Gua) and redness or irritation (Sha). When these two words are used together, the meaning is to "scrape away illness." During the time of imperial China, physicians would traditionally use a "spatula" made from buffalo horn to vigorously scrape the skin of the body. The aim was to rid the body of all physical ailments, and particularly muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and even stress. Gua Sha is now a well-known massage technique that has gained much popularity, especially among those who are always on the lookout for natural beauty treatments. These days, this traditional massage is usually performed with a smooth, flat stone, specially chosen for its beneficial properties. Gua Sha can be practiced on both the face and body. Gua Sha massage helps to balance energies, get rid of toxins, and boost blood flow. And while it can have many beneficial effects on the skin, it also contributes to the overall well-being of your body and mind. To get the most out of your Gua Sha massage, it's essential that you know how to use your Gua Sha tool properly. If you use your Gua Sha tool incorrectly, you may experience negative effects, so it's important to learn the right techniques and choose the right stone.
What are the benefits of Gua Sha?
There are many benefits to regular Gua Sha massage. It balances energies, drains and flushes out toxins, eliminates stagnant, bad energies, and stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation. It also gives a deep sensation of well-being and a feeling of release. Gua Sha can help with some chronic conditions too, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as muscle and joint pain. In addition to all the health reasons for using Gua Sha, there are many aesthetic reasons too! After just a few weeks of Gua Sha massage, skin is softer, firmer and brighter. This massage technique encourages cell regeneration and oxygenates tissues, while clearing the skin of toxins. It also significantly reduces the appearance of signs of fatigue and stress – and particularly dark circles. The complexion looks fresher, the face looks firmer, and lines are softened. It's like a detox massage that leaves your skin looking fresh and bright! However, there are some cases where we would not recommend using Gua Sha. For example, if you suffer from inflammatory acne (such as cystic acne) or skin lesions, it's best to wait until the condition of your skin improves. You could use a Jade Roller instead, which is more gentle, and is very effective for increasing lymphatic circulation.
How do you use a Gua Sha tool?
Using a Gua Sha stone may seem a little "technical" at first, but once you've got the hang of the techniques, it's really very easy to do this type of massage at home. If you're more of a visual learner, you'll find lots of tutorials and videos on the internet. We've had the pleasure of working with Sylvie Lefranc for our Face Yoga workshop at La Maison Absolution. She's an expert in Gua Sha and shares many informational videos on her Instagram account. To reap all the benefits of Gua Sha massage, you do have to go through a short learning phase! And it's not just about learning the techniques. You also need to know how often to use Gua Sha. The usual recommendation is at least two or three times a week – and ideally every day if you're really motivated! It only takes a few minutes, so it's easy to incorporate your Gua Sha beauty ritual into the pace of modern life. Before you start your Gua Sha massage, make sure you wash your hands well so they're perfectly clean. Your face should be makeup-free and cleansed. Always apply an oil first to avoid friction and micro lesions, and to ensure that the tool glides easily without tugging on your skin. An organic botanical oil or a few drops of our Addiction oil are perfect.
Which Gua Sha stone is best for you?
Your Gua Sha tool should have a perfectly smooth surface and perfectly smooth edges. Most Gua Sha stones are cut approximately in the shape of a heart, so they hug the contours and angles of the face. When it comes to choosing a Gua Sha tool, you're spoilt for choice! Some are made from wood, others from stainless steel, and others from semi-precious stone. If you know a little about crystal healing, then you'll know that each stone has its own properties, vibrations, and specific uses. Rose quartz is a stone that symbolizes love in all its forms. It calms negative emotions and stress, while also helping to boost self-confidence and esteem. If you're looking for harmony, serenity and creativity, look to blue sodalite. This gemstone is believed to help you find inspiration. It also brings balance and releases fears. Jade, meanwhile, is the stone of wisdom and purity, and has long been a much-loved gemstone. It is said to bring inner peace and calm. Last but not least, green aventurine is a crystal that is less well known, but which also has valuable properties. It's supposed to bring good luck and is known as the stone of opportunity. To make your Gua Sha even more special, choose a stone that reflects your personality!
How to use your Gua Sha tool to massage your face
Before you begin your Gua Sha face massage, remove all makeup and cleanse your face with gentle products suited to your skin type. Once you've rid your skin of all impurities, apply a few drops of our Addiction face oil or your favorite organic botanical oil. Now your skin is ready, simply glide your Gua Sha over the face, applying medium pressure, and repeating each of the following movements seven times.
- From the ears toward the collarbones.
- From the middle of the chin toward the ears, then toward the collarbones.
- From the corners of the lips toward the ears, then toward the collarbones.
- From the nostrils toward the ears, then toward the collarbones.
- From the inner corner of the eye toward the temples, then toward the collarbones.
- From the start of the eyebrow toward the temples, then toward the collarbones.
- From the space between the eyebrows toward the hairline, always with upward strokes, gradually moving toward the temples, then working down toward the collarbones.
Once you've finished, don't forget to apply moisturizer to protect and nourish your skin.
How to use your Gua Sha tool to massage your body
A Gua Sha massage is not just good for the skin of the face, it's also very beneficial for the entire body, and particularly areas that lack firmness. With regular practice, you'll see visible results within a few weeks! If you want to give yourself a Gua Sha body massage, make sure you always work upward so you're following the direction of blood flow. Start with the ankles, calves and thighs, then work up to the chest and arms. As with a Gua Sha face massage, you should "scrape" the skin with linear movements and always use your Gua Sha tool on oiled skin so it glides well – and to avoid bruising. Once you've finished, generously apply a moisturizing body cream or lotion. If you do see red patches of skin afterwards, don't worry! This indicates that the massage has driven out toxins and that your Gua Sha massage was done effectively. The redness will soon go away, and you'll be left with revitalized, firmer, brighter skin.