how often should you use your gua sha tool? (Updated May 2021)
Gua sha is a great tool to have in your at-home natural skincare routine toolbox. In fact, I use it almost everyday at our clinic in Santa Barbara. However, what good is a tool if you don’t know how to use it? And maybe that has been your experience with gua sha. Wondering how to get the results you want without it just becoming another beauty casualty sitting in your bathroom drawer.
Don’t worry! I won't let that happen to you! Trust me when I say gua sha is too good to forget about. But, like any new thing, it may take some practice, and I will add best results come from consistency. It has to become a habit in order for you to remember to use it, or take the time to use it. Here's the incentive to consistency though! The laundry list of benefits associated with gua sha and facial massage is long and very exciting!
Now, I am an Acupuncturist, which means I’m a nerd. Jk, sort of, but beyond that it means I studied gua sha and when you study something you really get to see all the ways it’s amazing. I used gua sha in classes, clinics, learned expert tips and tricks over the years and still use it practically every day. So naturally as an acupuncturist I look to gua sha as a remedy regularly because I have become accustomed to thinking about it and seen some cool things come from using it. For example, it’s one of the first things I think of when I feel a cold coming on, have a stiff neck or notice my skin is looking dull or puffy. Now, if you're reading this and wondering, "Well that's great Dres, but I'm not an acupuncturist." Don't go! Hold up, because you don't need to be one to see benefits.
However, I do suggest you get in the habit of reaching for your tool. Gua sha yields the best results when it becomes a habit. It’s not going to be an injection of botox, but it can yield amazing benefits when used regularly for skincare. That being said, I want to add that if gua sha doesn’t become your daily habit, it still holds value. A simple gua sha routine can do wonders to address anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, malaise and even melancholy. We’ll touch on that a little bit later.
I keep my gua sha tool on my bathroom counter right next to my facial oil. After my morning shower or nighttime facial rinse I see two things: facial oil and a gua sha tool (and a facial roller). I apply a couple spritzes of a plant hydrosol followed by an oil, followed by a simple gua sha routine. Gua sha has become my routine and self-care habit, which means I use it even if for just a few minutes. The photo above is the before and after of a 24 day gua sha challenge I did in December of 2020. I promised myself I would do a simple 10 minute gua sha routine for 24 days straight. I heard once that it takes 21 days to make a habit (source unknown about that fun fact), so I have adopted that as my rule of thumb when I try to incorporate something new into my routine. Is it something I can do for 21 days? Then if I reach that goal and want to continue I feel that much more empowered to do so.
Though I continue to do a facial massage and/or gua sha routine regularly, I don’t keep a rigid schedule with it. Most days I just take a couple minutes.
With facial gua sha remember this if you remember anything at all! Less is more, more often.
Gentle pressure moving the tool from the midline of the face outward to the jawm ears and hairline is a perfect start to cultivating an effective gua sha practice. This can be done daily, in fact twice if you want. For best results it is best done at least three times a week. I can pretty much guarantee you will start to feel good!
It is great to use first thing in the morning after a shower or rinse of the face to help wake you up and get your invigorated for the day. Gua sha increases circulation in the skin helping you feel a natural glow. The facial roller is also wonderful and effective, and especially great for use in the evening to relax any tension held in the face, eyes or jaw (pro tip: perfect for the evening while watching a show). I have also been known to have a facial roller in my car to use as a relaxation tool if stuck in traffic. Really, anytime is a good time for facial gua sha.
So when is the best time to use your gua sha tool? When you think about using your gua sha tool! When something pops into my mind like that I look at it as a sign that my body wants it. Once your body gets used to the practice of gua sha it may start to crave it. Invigorating the circulation and melting stress and tension out of the muscles is a really magical thing. Massage has been a healing modality for thousands of years, but somehow has been worked out of western medicine. Our bodies love movement, like exercise and massage, and these are tools to help us access health and healing at any moment.
If you're wanting more information about gua sha I encourage you to watch our tutorials on IG here! I also offer personal gua sha consultations if you have something particular you want to address with this practice. I have helped many people discover the power for self-healing with gua sha to address lymphatic drainage, puffy or sagging skin, Bell's Palsy and eye fatigue (just to name a few!).
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