When I first heard you could have a Gua Sha for face and neck, I was very surprised. I’ve been a fan of this ancient treatment since investigating it last year but did not realize that there was a face version.
Fast forward to some busy Internet searches and actual tryouts, I now deem Gua Sha facials to be my 2nd favorite next to body massages. Why? Because the results are truly amazing.
Benefits of Facial Gua Sha
Gua Sha for the face and neck is called the Eastern Botox (or Eastern Facelift) for a reason. This TCM (or Traditional Chinese medicine) treatment, when applied to the face, has the following effects:
- Firms up your sagging facial muscles
- Smoothens the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles on your face
- Improves dark circles and bags under the eyes (the kind you get from advancing age)
- Lightens age spots and other skin discolorations
- Your complexion gets rosier and more radiant
- Helps clear up acne, rosacea, and other skin diseases on your face
I have first-hand experience of everything on the list except for the last. And although I was expecting good results owing to my positive experiences with body Gua Sha, I was still surprised to see the improvements on my face.
I’d stopped taking Glutathione and Grape Seed but after a few weeks of facial Gua Sha, my face has a clearness and radiance that I would only normally have while on those supplements.
How It Works
As discussed in detail in an earlier post, Gua Sha refers to the age-old practice of doing rather hard scraping motions all over the surface of one’s body with a smooth-edged tool. It is hard enough to raise petechiae, reddish marks that typically signal a Gua Sha therapy session.
Facial Gua Sha is much much milder but has the same scraping action along the skin. As the skin is scraped, the layers of the skin are stimulated. Stagnant lymph that causes puffiness is moved and cleared out of the system. Toxins are also released resulting in a clearer complexion. And finally, the massaging action relaxes tense muscles from which wrinkles are born. It’s a win-win-win scenario.
With me pushing into my mid-forties, I’d been resigned to my face rapidly devolving into wrinkles and old-age puffiness but it looks like I have a secret weapon now with facial Gua Sha.
I’m not going to keep it a secret from our loyal blog readers though. I’m ready to share!
Eastern Botox in 11 Steps
A few reminders for beginners:
- Don’t use the same heavy pressure that you use when scraping the body. For this to work, you need to use only LIGHT pressure. The face is more sensitive than other parts of the body.
- We are moving stagnant lymph from our face. We will drain this out via the right and left lymphatic ducts. These are the areas in between each of our collarbones.
- All our (light) scraping motions will be upwards. Remember, we are countering sagging so we can NEVER make any downward movements. The only exception is the end part when we do the dumping in the lymphatic ducts highlighted above.
- Do 3-5 strokes for all of the areas except for the forehead. You can do twice as many there.
Now let’s start:
This photo gives you the general direction we’ll be taking. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s complicated. Once you start doing it, you’ll realize it’s the easiest thing and that it only takes a few minutes.
Now here are the general steps you can do as a beginner:
- Third Eye: Stroke from the middle of your eyebrows and up to your hairline. This area activates healing.
- Lower forehead: Sweep from the center of the forehead above your eyebrows going out to your temples.
- Under eyebrow: Use the curved part of your gua sha tool to scrape the area underneath your eyebrow and above your eyes. Stay on the bone of the brow.
- Under the eyes: Slowly and lightly stroke the area where your eye bags typically show. Start from the side of your nose and go up to your temple. Imagine moving the stagnant lymph from the middle of your face up to the temple and all the way to the hairline.
- Cheek: Do the same sweeping motion for the cheek area. Go from the side of your nose, across your cheek, and up again to the middle of your ear.
- Mouth area: Do the same for the mouth area again sweeping the lymph upward to your ear.
- Chin: Sweep from the middle of your face, under your lower lip and to the earlobe.
- Under chin: Scrape from the soft area under your chin to the bottom of your ear.
- Neck: Finally, it’s time to scrape from your jaw and earlobe down to the middle of your collarbone.
- The big sweep: Collect all the lymph you’ve moved to the side of the face and dump it to your lymphatic drainage. Sweep from the center of your forehead right under your hairline, down to your temple, down to your ear until you reach your neck and terminus area. Do several times for a clean sweep.
- Now do the other side.
There are three video tutorials I chose for you. I must have watched dozens but these are the three that I learned the most from at various stages of my experimentation.
Here is an expert giving a demo of Gua Sha for face and neck. Other tutorials will tell you to avoid the eye area but this professional actually focuses on it.
Do you want to level up your anti-ageing beauty regimen? If you do, I’ll share my latest discovery with you. Hmm.. I’m tempted to make you work for it but what the heck, I’ll share.
It’s Gua Sha + the 10 Step Korean Beauty Skin Care for Face. I incorporate Gua Sha facial when I’m at the moisturizer/essence portion.
I swear, it cleared up my problem areas AND has been getting me compliments on my face where I used to get none. Head on over to my complete guide if your curiosity’s piqued.
I am very happy to have a natural and safe alternative to cosmetic surgery and Botox. Gua sha for the face and neck is super easy. Just get yourself a Gua Sha tool, follow the instructions above, and you’re all set!
Author: Mary Lou
In the Before Times, Maru spent vacations traveling and making stops at showrooms to test the latest massage chair models. Nowadays, she’s hunkered down in her small sunlit home dotted with her ever-growing collection of fiddle fig trees, indoor plants, and Himalayan salt lamps. Find her at LinkedIn.