Mention Gua Sha and the bruises and red wells on skin from scraping usually come to mind.
For the unacquainted, Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese medicine practice where a tool is used to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain and tension. This causes light bruising, which often appears as purple or red spots.
This technique increases blood circulation and overall health by removing toxins from the body and promoting healing, and can be used as a targeted treatment for specific parts of the body.
Facial therapists have since adapted this technique to create facials, which tout effectiveness in improving blood circulation, skin detox, reducing bloat and puffiness, firming and lifting skin, and reducing wrinkles for a glowing and more youthful appearance. With all these benefits, the demand for Gua Sha facials have grown and people are are no longer just looking to expensive machines for their facial needs.
I was initially quite skeptical at hearing Gua Sha used in a facial given my prior understanding of what Gua Sha is, so when offered the chance to try out Renaza’s Gua Sha Skin Detox facial, I was a little scared and intrigued!
My therapist, Fiona, reassured me that the strokes are very gentle and suitable for sensitive and delicate skin (even around the eyes!). After a short consultation about my skincare routine and habits, she explained the facial I was going to do and the basic concepts behind Gua Sha.
With Gua Sha facials, the tools used can vary. Jade and buffalo horn are common materials used in scrapers.
They work similarly to jade rollers, but while jade rollers are limited to soothing the skin and allowing for better lymph flow, gua sha can release tension and target specific acupressure points for even more skin benefits.
The benefits are numerous and can be adjusted to target specific problem areas, such as:
- Improving blood circulation
- Increasing firmness and reduction of fine lines
- Reviving tired and dull skin
- Detoxifying skin
- Reducing puffiness, eyebags, and dark eye circles
- Relieving headaches and tension
For me, I suffer from sensitive and acne-prone skin, and often stay up late. Fiona explained that through the Gua Sha and lymphatic drainage massage, they would be able to improve blood circulation and remove blood and fluid stagnation in the face. This in turn would encourage cell renewal and collagen production for a better complexion and a more ‘glowing’ look!
She also mentioned that with more regular sessions and paired with some lifestyle adjustments (🤭), it would improve the quality of my skin and make it less susceptible to breakouts.
I expected them to go straight into cleansing, like how you would usually experience in a standard facial, but I was pleasantly surprised when it started off with some calming acupressure therapy with essential oils to get me to relax and prep my skin for the facial.
After the massage, my makeup was carefully removed and Fiona proceeded to do a deep cleanse and in-depth skin analysis.
Another delightful touch was the additional step of exfoliation before the Gua Sha. The exfoliation was very gentle even for sensitive skin like mine. Fiona explained that this extra step helps to remove the layer of dead skin cells and encourage cell renewal; so the facial process becomes even more effective.
A hydrating essence was applied before starting the Gua Sha. Fiona used various jade tools like a jade scraper or jade massage stick to target acupressure points and gently scrape my face. Specific areas included my cheekbones, temple, and points along my brow.
The toxins are then “flushed out” through the lymphatic system with the stroking motion from the side of the face to the ear area.
The facial ended with a wonderfully hydrating mask (I fell asleep during this process, it was that soothing), and I woke up to Fiona gently applying some skincare for me before showing me the results!
Overall, the facial was very relaxing and I dozed off a few times during the facial 🤭 you do feel some slight pressure when the acupressure points are stimulated or the scraper is used, but it feels nothing like the Gua Sha used on the body.
I could see that the puffiness in my face had gone down, and there was a slight lift and firmness to my skin. While I have no fine lines to speak of yet to compare the before/after results, my skin felt more firm and radiant. I felt very refreshed from the whole facial and I think it’s something I would definitely consider doing again. Consider me a convert!
Renaza’s Gua Sha Detox Facial is $28 for the first session (U.P. $155).