- 10 of the Best Gua Sha Tools
10 of the Best Gua Sha Tools and How to Use Them
We’ve already mentioned all the best face massage rollers you need to try ASAP, but now it’s time we delved into the world of gua sha.
In the last few years, this small tool (usually in a very aesthetically pleasing green jade or rose quartz) has garnered plenty of worldwide interest, appearing in the likes of Vogue and even on your TikTok FYP.
However, as much as we love a new beauty trend, it’s important to understand the traditions behind gua sha.
What is gua sha?
Used as a healing technique in traditional Chinese therapy, gua sha has a longstanding history of alleviating alignments, symptoms and muscle pains. Gua sha is the act of scraping the skin repeatedly in one direction to improve circulation and remove toxins.
Gua sha facials can help tone your face and improve collagen production, as the light pressure of the ‘scraping’ releases muscular tension and expedites lymphatic drainage. Not only can it improve the appearance of your skin, but it’s also used to help increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
On your social pages, you’ll see it being used pretty exclusively on the face, but in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) it’s used anywhere on the body, often the back. Gua sha in TCM aims to, in addition to the other benefits listed above and below, help stagnant energy, or qi, flow through your body to improve wellbeing. In the past, the massaging techniques of gua sha have been combined with things like stones, tin, coins or just hands.
Now, with the rise of DIY treatments during lockdowns and increased interest in natural alternatives to fillers and facelifts for getting firmer, younger looking skin, gua sha tools have become a staple in the bathroom cabinets and vanities of skincare fanatics all over the world.
Some of the skin care benefits you can achieve with a gua sha tool in the comfort of your home include:
- Smoothing fine lines and wrinkles
- Improving radiance
- Releasing facial tightness
- Face sculpting
- Reducing puffiness
How to use a gua sha tool
So, how exactly do you use a gua sha tool?
Unlike rollers (though you’ll often see them sold together), these handy little tools take a bit more patience and a bit more practice. It’s all about finding movements and routines that work for your body and your skin. Experts recommend not using this technique if you're struggling with a rash or sunburn but otherwise it's an easy option for an at-home spa-like treatment, which you can do daily to produce visible results.
To start off your routine, make sure you have clean, clear and makeup-free skin. Next, pick your favourite face serum or oil to help the tool glide across your skin. Here are a few of our faves.
Serums to use with gua sha:
We also love this facial oil (and everything from the ELEMIS Superfood range, really) for giving your skin a healthy glow. There's broccoli seed oil to soften the skin, flaxseed to seal in moisture and daikon radish to nourish.
Try this fast-absorbing oil with your gua sha to reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve texture and tone with babassu, hazelnut, karanja and pomegranate oils.
All skin types will love this cult-favourite serum, which supports healthy, youthful looking skin with matrixyl 3000, amino acids, hyaluronic acid and copper peptides.
Apply your chosen serum across the whole face, including the lips, brows, cheeks and even down your neck. Use a little more than you typically would to ensure your gua sha tool doesn’t tug or drag the skin.
Then depending on the shape of your tool, lay it flat against your skin and glide in a single upward direction. Start at the base of the neck and work your way up. You can use these gua sha stones across the jawline, up the neck, across the cheekbones, around the lips, around the eye area and across the forehead. Repeat each stroke five times to ensure lasting results.
Adjust the speed, pressure and placement to suit your preferences, but always make sure to go in upward motions to encourage lymphatic drainage.
Now for the best gua sha skin care tools to implement into your daily routine.
ESPA have a range of facial massage products to choose from, but we love this Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool. Rose quartz is known to promote relaxation and is often used for facials. The curved edge of this tool is great for gliding across the neck and jawline, while the short edge works perfectly across the brows and under the eyes.
For an extra boujee option, take a look at this gua sha stone. Clear Quartz helps remove stresses and calms the mind. Plus, it's nicknamed the 'master healer' which is why it's a great option for facial massaging. The unique mushroom shaped tool is also easy-to-use and ideal for the under eye area and across the cheekbones.
Another stone which is perfect for creating a sense of inner peace and serenity is green jade. This stone is also meant to bring good luck and harmony, which is why it's a traditional choice for Chinese beauty treatments. Utilise all the benefits of this tool to increase overall elasticity and ensure healthier-looking results.
Firm up the contours of the face with this gua sha facial tool from Grace & Stella. The curved shape fits perfectly in the contours of your face and helps smooth the appearance of wrinkles. Not to mention, it stimulates circulation and improves your natural inner glow.
This sleek spoonie makes a stylish addition to your wash bag. Use alongside your favourite serum to improve the tone and appearance of your skin. When placed in the fridge beforehand it provides cold therapy to help improve circulation, smooth enlarged pores and depuff the skin.
Bring the spa to your own bathroom with a little helping hand from ESPA. These massage tools are specially designed to fit into the eye contour area. The aventurine cools the skin and helps smooth the complexion, reduce puffiness and diminish dark circles. Plus, it makes the perfect gift for any skin care newbie.
Yet another impressive beauty device is this FOREO product, which uses innovative microcurrent technology with T-sonic pulsations. It might not be a typical massage tool, but it's perfect for sculpting the face and ensuring your serums deeply absorb into the skin, while still targeting fine lines and wrinkles.
Made from Bian stone, which was often used in past TCM, this tool reinvigorates and relaxes.
Although not quite the traditional gua sha shape, cryo globes are just as efficient at tightening, firming and de-puffing skin. Crafted from surgical stainless steel, the balls provide an instant soothing, anti-inflammatory and firming effect, and help to calm inflamed skin and reduce puffiness. Just like a gua sha, the ergonomic shape makes perfect for massaging the contours of the face and neck.
Want all the best facial massaging tools? Take a look at this skin care set. This duo contains an amethyst gua sha scraping tool and a matching face roller. These tools help smooth, brighten and massage the skin to achieve radiant looking results. It also makes a great stocking filler or perfect gift all year round for a skin care fanatic!
Written by Rebecca Jenkinson
Rebecca is a content writer with over three years’ experience and a keen interest in cosmetics. Cosmetify allows her to combine her blogging skills with her passion for beauty.