Ask the Expert: Can I Use a Gua Sha to Sculpt My Face?
Many people claim that gua sha makes their faces appear smaller. Find out an expert’s point of view on this internet trend.
If there is one beauty tool that unifies people from all walks of life, it's the gua sha. Used by everyone from Hollywood celebs to grandmothers, this unassuming flat stone is a game-changing part of everyone's routine. It’s a massage technique for scraping away ailments like flu and stiffness, but modern skincare enthusiasts have incorporated it into their regimens to reap its face-sculpting benefits.
Can a gua sha massage be the key to getting Bella Hadid's sharp jawlines? We interviewed Dr. Jessica Gunawan, a general practitioner with over 14 years of experience in Aesthetics and Acupuncture, to find out if this holistic healing practice can indeed slim down the face.
The Truth Behind the Gua Sha Sculpting Effect
Let's set things straight. Using a gua sha does not permanently define or lift certain parts of the face. Yet, it's not a mere illusion that your face looks more sculpted after a .
The lymphatic system doesn’t have a built-in pump that transports fluid throughout the body. It relies on movements and gravity. When you lie down, fluid settles on your face, making it look swollen. Massaging the skin outwards with a smooth-edged tool pushes toxins and extra water away.
"Since gua sha can improve lymphatic drainage, it can help reduce puffiness. But it doesn’t actually remove fat around the jawlines or cheekbones," says Dr. Gunawan.
Although this handy tool won't change your natural face shape, it can prevent by stimulating blood circulation. Notice redness on your skin after a gua sha massage? Those are tiny blood vessels playing a role in skin healing by giving your skin the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Why It’s Still Worth Trying
Don’t feel disheartened if you’ve been using gua sha daily to get rid of your double chin. This timeless beauty tool has a myriad of benefits beyond face sculpting.
1. It gives you clearer and brighter skin.
Collagen takes up around 75% of the skin, acting like glue holding the tissues together. Your natural collagen reserves diminish as you age, resulting in a . The scraping motions of gua sha generate (microcirculation), which helps stimulate collagen production and improve and elasticity. The amino acids in collagen also keep the skin smooth and brighten or .
2. It reduces the appearance of fine lines.
Fans of gua sha massage claim it can make their skin look at least five years younger, and this may not be an exaggeration. Repetitive muscle contractions, like when you furrow your eyebrows or squint, can lead to . A face massage helps relieve muscle tension and loosen muscle tightness, smoothing the skin.
A reveals how gua sha can address smile lines and wrinkles. However, the result is not on par with other procedures like laser treatments or injectables. Therefore, it’s more of a prevention method rather than a treatment.
3. It helps alleviate headaches.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that a traditional Chinese massage technique is one of the best holistic solutions to head pain. According to , doing a gua sha massage for two weeks significantly improves chronic headaches. And if you tend to grind your teeth when stressed, it also helps relieve jaw pain.
Is Gua Sha Safe for You?
Like any other skincare treatment, using a gua sha has its side effects. For example, it may cause breakouts if you have or . Take a break from any face massage when you have pimples, as scraping can worsen your condition.
Most importantly, Dr.Gunawan wouldn’t recommend gua sha to people with blood clotting and inflammatory skin disorders like eczema and rosacea because it can cause capillaries to burst, resulting in bruising and swelling.
How to Massage Your Face with a Gua Sha
It's essential to prep your skin before using a gua sha to ensure the tool glides smoothly on your face. You can use an oil-based product like POND’S Cleansing Balm to create a slippery surface. Spread a generous amount on your face and use your gua sha tool to massage your skin.
Alternatively, you can also use a serum to prep your skin. After cleansing, apply POND'S NEW YORK Bright Brilliance Night Serum Essence Niacinamide, which delivers brightening and anti-aging benefits while you sleep. Glide a clean gua sha tool across your face to help smooth the serum on your skin.
As for using the gua sha, Dr. Gunawan recommends moving the gua sha in smooth, straight lines. Don’t go back and forth or up and down because it aggravates the skin. Use your nose as the middle point and begin massaging outward.
As a precaution, always anchor the skin with your fingers to keep it taut and avoid too much pulling, and make sure the tool is angled at no more than 45 degrees to maintain gentle pressure. You may see slight redness that goes away after a few minutes, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
Anyone who has used a gua sha consistently will tell you it does live up to the hype. It may not be a replacement for Botox or fillers, but it can keep the skin youthful when practiced regularly. Plus, it gives you a legit excuse to enjoy a relaxing massage.