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How to use a gua sha tool on your face

A step-by-step guide showing you how to perform a gua sha facial yourself at home.
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This nifty little pocket rocket is the in-vogue beauty tool of the now. But it’s been around for millennia, healers in Chinese medicine have been practicing gua sha since 220 BC.

When done properly, safely, and regularly, using your gua sha tool on your face can help you fight puffiness and tension, and encourages lymphatic drainage, helping you look younger and feel it too!

But how do you use a gua sha tool on your face?

In this article, we’ll show you. From preparation tips to technique and everything in between.

How to prepare for facial gua sha treatment

The main thing to do here is to prepare your face and tool.

You don’t need to worry about eating any specific food or drink, although we would always recommend a healthy diet to compliment your gua sha regime.

Simply wash your face and rub a little alcohol into your gua sha to remove any bacteria before starting your facial.

With your face and tool clean, apply your favourite serum, oil, or moisturiser to your face. Never use your gua sha tool on bare skin. When the skin is lubricated, the gua sha will glide across the face without pulling at your skin.

Read this article to see what face oil to use for gua sha facials.

How much pressure to use during your gua sha massage

There is definitely a wrong way to do a gua sha facial. As they say, it’s all in the technique.

Try to avoid pressing the gua sha tool perpendicular to your face, this will generate too much acute pressure to your facial muscles. It might feel nice, to begin with, but it will hurt in the long run and might limit how often you can do it.

Place the gua sha tool flat to your skin and angle it slightly so that it is raised towards your fingers, then slowly massage it across your face in one direction. Not back and forth.

Think about your gua sha technique like buttering a slice of bread. If the angle is too straight and you press too hard, you will tear it and ruin your sandwich. Such a waste!

Remember, you are gliding the tool over your skin, not pulling.

How often should you use your gua sha tool on your face

How frequently you perform a facial gua sha depends largely on the individual characteristics of your face.

If you are a seasoned veteran and your facial muscles are used to the treatment, then every three days is what you should aim for. But if you are just getting started, start with just once a week and slowly work your way up to more frequent sessions.

Your skin and facial muscles are delicate and need time to properly recover, so don’t overdo it. Listen to your body. If your face is feeling sore, leave it until you are ready to go again.

When is the best time to perform facial gua sha

This one is up for debate. The team here at Kogu can’t agree on it either! In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and what works for your schedule.

In our opinion, the time of day you perform your gua sha face treatment doesn’t matter so much. What matters is actually turning up and doing it consistently.

How to use your gua sha tool: the steps

Hopefully, we’ve answered any questions you might have prior to using your gua sha tool on your face. Now it’s time to get to it.

We recommend performing your facial gua sha massage from the bottom up, starting at your jawline.

The jaw

Talking and chewing activate the masseter muscle in your jaw. And as you can imagine, this muscle gets plenty of use, which can lead to a lot of tension in this area.

For this part of the massage, use the knuckle of the tool which great for wrapping around the contours of the jawbone.

Place the gua sha tool to the left side of your chin, and with your other hand place a finger to the right side to support your head. This will allow you to apply consistent pressure with your gua sha tool.

Next, slowly work your way up the jawbone in a smooth motion stopping just before the ear.

Take time to explore your face and look for points of tension (knots). When you find those areas, spend a little more time working through the knots. Fixing the gua sha on these areas and performing small, circular movements is a great remedy for knots.

Spend roughly one minute exploring this side of your face and then swap to the other side and repeat the process.

The cheeks

For your cheekbone, use the long, curved side of the gua sha tool but manipulate the angle slightly so that the front of the tool reaches underneath the cheekbone. This is where you will focus the pressure.

Again, place a finger from your free hand in the middle of your face to stabilise your head against the massage.

Starting from one side of your nose, work the tool outward towards your ear following the natural curve of your cheekbone.

Again, look for points of tension and spend a little extra time working these areas. One great acupuncture point is just in front of the ear. And this is a great area to apply the circle technique we described earlier.

Do this for roughly a minute and then swap sides.

The eyes

This is a really delicate part of your face, so make sure to be extra gentle!

Use the same massage path, starting from the middle of the face working your way out toward your temple.

As your moving the gua sha across your face, follow the natural curve of your eyes, finishing higher (the temple) on the face than you started (middle nose).

And remember, glide. Not pull.

When you reach the temple, this is a great acupuncture point. The bottom of the temple is connected to the masseter muscle and you hold a lot of tension here. Take your time working that pressure point.

The eyebrows

Now move to the brow bone. For this part of the face, use the knuckle of the gua sha tool, making sure your eyebrow is positioned directly in the middle of the knuckle.

Apply the same technique, starting from the middle of your face working back to the temple. Do this roughly for one minute then swap to the other side of your face.

Once you have done both sides, finish this off with a little massage to the middle part of the face in between the eyes. Place the knuckle over the bridge of your nose so that the two nibs are on either side of your face, and then gently apply up-and-down pressure (not gliding here).

The forehead

The forehead part of the gua sha facial will start where you finished off with the eyebrows, on the bridge of your nose.

In between the eyes is one of the most important acupuncture points of the entire body, so it’s a great place to spend a little extra time performing the gua sha facial massage.

Using the long, curved side of the gua sha tool, start from the bridge of your nose and glide all the way to the top of your forehead, finishing at the hairline.

At the hairline, you can apply those circular movements to give that area a little extra love.

Once you have done this a few times start to work your way outwards from the middle of your face.

Place the tool above the eyebrow and follow the same path up towards the hairline. Start on one side and then swap to the other.

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