Self-Care

Out of the Ordinary Skincare: Gua Sha

In these extraordinary times, we could all use a few out of the ordinary skincare techniques to freshen up our beauty routines—and our faces! Our skin is the body’s largest organ, but we often take it for granted. Especially when we’re busy or stressed. Our skin is often only a priority when there is something […]

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In these extraordinary times, we could all use a few out of the ordinary skincare techniques to freshen up our beauty routines—and our faces!

Our skin is the body’s largest organ, but we often take it for granted. Especially when we’re busy or stressed. Our skin is often only a priority when there is something glaringly uncomfortable—like acne, rashes, or dry patches. But your derma can benefit from a little glam squad every day!

So, all month long, I will be sharing my favorite fancy-schmacy ways to give your skin the TLC it deserves, starting with Gua Sha, a non-needle healing technique of traditional East Asian medicine.   

Let’s dive into Part One of my out of the ordinary skincare series!

If you own a jade roller, it probably came with a flat, pallet-shaped tool you didn’t know what to do with. Well, mystery solved, it’s used for gua sha!

Pronounced “gwah sha”, the “gua” means scrape and the “sha” refers to the redness of skin. This technique is often also referred to as skin scraping, spooning, or coining.  Now, while the idea of scraping your skin sounds painful, gua sha is only uncomfortable at first. Once you get used to it, it’s the most amazing massage that brings tons of great benefits for your bod. 

How It Works

The process involves scraping the flat tool, usually made from jade or rose quartz stone, in upward motions over your face and neck. This gives special attention to so many muscles you might not even think of checking.  You can watch a complete tutorial here by Chinese Medical skincare professional Sandra Lanshin Chiu, L.Ac.

The way this differs from using just a jade roller is that the roller concentrates on lymphatic drainage while gua sha breaks down fascia, “the connective tissue that hugs muscles but can sometimes interfere with optimal circulation,” according to Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon, a board-certified Raleigh-Durham North Carolina dermatologist.

The Benefits

The movement of the stone’s edge against your skin relaxes muscular tension and increases blood flow. By focusing on the muscles in the face, which don’t get too much of a regular workout, gua sha provides an extra assist in draining toxins and built-up fluids under your skin that can make you look puffy and tired. And the improved circulation not only helps your skin clear up faster, it brightens it too. The result is smoother, tauter skin with an enviable glow. 

While the beauty boost is great, this healing technique was used to cure illness long before it became a spa staple. People have utilized it for centuries to treat headaches, muscle pain, chronic inflammation, heatstroke, and even perimenopause. One study concluded that adding 15-minute gua sha treatments once a week to conventional therapy reduced perimenopausal symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, fatigue and hot flashes. 

It is also believed that gua sha helps redistribute and thereby better balance your qi (pronounced “chee”), which is a vital energy for a happy and healthy life in Chinese medicine. Can’t argue with that! Yes, please!

While it may be hard to see a professional right now to perform this out of the ordinary skincare treatment, you can test the waters in the comfort of your own bathroom. You can find a jade gua sha tool like this one for less than $20. 

So will you give gua sha a try? Have you tried the massage at the spa before? Let me know how your experience went in The Badass Beauty Club on Facebook.

LOVE + glowing skin! 

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I'm Moniqua, your new let's-get-real friend.

A Real Food Devotee + Self Care Connoisseur + Jedi Mindset Master dedicated to helping you have a body and life you love. 

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