To all the jade rollers sitting on bathroom counters or nightstands out there: we still love you. It’s just that…you’re not the only facial massage tool in our lives anymore. Enter: gua sha, the latest trend to take over the beauty and skincare industry. Gua sha is actually an ancient Chinese practice that involves massaging and scraping the skin to increase circulation, break up fascia, and relieve muscle tension/pain. It was originally performed with all sorts of tools (antlers, horns, stones—you name it), but the facial practice we see today is much more gentle. These days it manifests in a much more Instagram-friendly way, made of jade or rose quartz. It’s also shaped like a little dolphin fin. You might be wondering how gua sha differs from jade rolling—it’s just more powerful. You can play around with the edges, angles, directions and speeds in more ways than a jade roller.
As much as gua sha does for the skin (brightens, depuffs, contours, gives that GLOW), we also love it as a night time ritual incorporating a face oil. It’s meant to move around stagnant energy, also known as chi, that can build up after a stressful day. So, next time you get home after an exhausting day (or maybe a hangover that extends into the evening), don’t apply your face oil the old fashioned way—try applying it the really old fashion way—the ancient way.
The process itself quite simple. Make sure to start with cleansed skin. You can warm up the gua sha tool in your hands. Then apply the face oil directly to the face and lightly massage it into the face. The massage involves sweeping movements (3 times back and forth should do) and we’ve put together a little set list for you to try.
Gua Sha Massage
Sweep from the middle of your chin over your jawline to the bottom of your earlobe.
Sweep along your cheekbone.
Sweep from the inner corners of your under eye to your hairline (very gently!).
Sweep along your eyebrow towards the top of the ear.
Sweep from the middle of your forehead upwards towards the hairline.
Make sure to try it on both sides of the face! It should feel very relaxing.
We created a face oil for stressed, tired skin to pair with your gua sha massage.
Stressed Out Skin Formula
13 full droppers Hemp Seed
3 droppers Evening Primrose
3 droppers Rosehip
5 drops Geranium
5 drops Bergamot
Mix all the oils in a 15 ml dropper bottle and apply before bed. You can apply the oil blend directly to your skin, or mix with your current moisturizer.
Photo by Lauren Leggatt.