The ancient Chinese practice of gua sha facial massage helps release tension, depuffs and smooths the look of skin, leaving it radiant. Our cool-to-the-touch jade Gua Sha Sculptor feels so good on skin, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Below, we’ll give you some background on the history and principles of gua sha, demystify the causes of facial tension, and provide a quick and easy spa-level routine to get started.
At-home facial tool
What Is Gua Sha?
The practice of gua sha involves using a flat, smooth-edged tool (usually a piece of jade called a gua sha stone or sculptor) to “scrape away illness.” This folk remedy is one of the oldest recorded forms of traditional Chinese medicine. There’s even evidence of its use going back to the Paleolithic Age¹! The practice is based on the belief that rubbing someone’s skin repeatedly in one direction can get the blood flowing as a body healing technique
Today, it’s more commonly used to address facial tension—and we love it as a self-care step. Gua sha facial massage is believed to help release tight facial muscles, reduce the appearance of puffiness under the eyes, and temporarily soften fine lines and wrinkles.
Why Is My Face So Tense?
An important step in easing facial tension is figuring out what’s causing it. There could be a lot of culprits, but these are the most common.
Whether you crane your head forward when you drive, or your office setup isn’t ergonomic, bad posture can put extra strain on the muscles and joints of your shoulders, neck, and jaw². This can lead to tension, soreness, tenderness, muscle spasms, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Improving your posture can ease the strain on your upper body.
When you’re emotionally stressed, you tend to hold more tension in your body and practice poor posture³. Try to find ways to reduce stress in your life and introduce relaxation techniques, like meditation and gua sha facial massages.
How to Relieve Facial Tension With Gua Sha
1. Prep Your Skin
Before you begin, spritz freshly cleansed skin with your favorite hydrating mist and apply a quarter-sized amount of Dayglow Face Oil. This will provide a smooth and moisturized base, help the tool glide more easily, and prevent tugging.
Seaweed-infused face oil
2. Start at the Neck
Starting from the base of your neck, carefully glide the gua sha tool upwards. Use the notched side of the stone to glide the tool along the jawline and chin with outward motions. Use gentle pressure and apply even strokes. The main idea is to follow the direction of your body’s natural lymphatic flow, which doesn’t have its own pump the way the circulatory system does⁵. This is why facial massage is believed to help decrease the appearance of puffiness.
3. Move to the Cheeks and Forehead
Rotate your gua sha sculptor so the concave side aligns with the natural contours of your cheeks and forehead and sweep outwards towards the hairline. Again, focus on moving the sculpting tool in the direction of your lymphatic drainage system.
4. Release Facial Tension
Finish by using the corners of your Gua Sha Sculptor to press deeply and relieve tension at pressure points such as the jaw, temples, and cheekbones. Remember that this should still be gentle pressure, even though it’s more targeted than the previous steps.
You can pick up our Gua Sha Sculptor on its own or as part of our Gua Sha Glow Duo, which includes the tool and the Dayglow Face Oil. It’s the perfect way to add facial massage to your self-care routine. Enjoy your absolutely glowy, instantly chiseled-looking skin!
Face duo to massage skin & boost glow
1. Yin, Y. (25 April 2013). Gua Sha. China Culture. Retrieved on May 31, 2023, from http://en.chinaculture.org/info/2013-04/25/content_456628.htm
2. Poor Posture: The Main Culprit Behind Muscle Tension. In Touch NYC Physical Therapy. Retrieved on May 31, 2023, from https://www.itnycpt.com/blog/poor-posture-main-culprit-behind-muscle-tension/
3. Frothingham, S. (10 May 2018). Facial Tension. Healthline. Retrieved on May 31, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/facial-tension
4. Facial Trauma. Penn Medicine. Retrieved on May 31, 2023, from https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/facial-trauma
5. Peter, S. and Burcham, C. (13 March 2023). Gua Sha 101: How and When to Use It for Sculpted Skin. Byrdie. Retrieved on May 31, 2023, from https://www.byrdie.com/gua-sha