Overnight, Gua Sha blew up on TikTok. I saw creator after creator show how they used facial Gua Sha stones to contour their face, depuff it and and “get skinny faces”.
I was never on board until I stumbled across two back-to-back videos. The first was a woman explaining how she uses her tools to massage her tense face muscles since she grinds her teeth. And the second was all about Mount Lai, a company making modern-day authentic Gua Sha tools. Since I just got yelled at by my dentist for having too tense of a jaw, I took it as a sign to finally try out this TikTok famous skincare and beauty practice.
That was 2 months ago. In this post I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about Gua Sha before starting, along with before and after photos and recommended places to shop for tools.
The Gua Sha Tool TikTok Is Obsessed With (+ Gua Sha Before And After 2 Months)
I’m Not On TikTok — WTF Is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese face massage tool that is rubbed along the face. It can be used to relieve tension, boost blood circulation contour to the face, and basically to “scrape” the skin. They are usually made with jade, rose quartz, crystals, or other stones, and have curved edges to fit the face shape nicely. Kinda like a jade roller, but you don’t keep this one cold.
What Are Gua Sha Tool Benefits?
The gua sha technique is all about scraping upwards and pressing on the skin gently to drain the lymph nodes and massage facial muscles. Because many people don’t use jade rollers or give themselves daily face massages, some people find their face gets “skinnier” and more contoured after using these tools, too.
Look – fuck diet culture and the concept of having a “skinny” face. Let’s stop that nonsense. If you’re going to use gua sha products in your daily skincare routine, do it for the health benefits.
- Boosting blood circulation in the skin
- Relive tension around temple & acupuncture points to reduce headaches
- Helps you not grind your teeth & loosen the jaw muscles
- Promotes better skin by helping beauty oils and skin care products absorb better
- Reduces inflammation
- It’s grounding and a peaceful way to start the morning
- A daily facial massage that just feels good.
What Are The Best Gua Sha Tools?
I use the Mount Lai Gua Sha toolset which includes a Rose Quartz Heart Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool and a Rose Quartz Roller. Mount Lai is an Asian female-owned beauty brand. I think it’s important to support not only small businesses when shopping for Gua Sha facial lifting tools, but also shop from Chinese business, as the practice is part of traditional Chinese medicine. There’s a lot of crappy plastic tools on Amazon, and white businesses co-oping the tools.
We can do better and supporting Asian business isn’t hard, or expensive. But if they are out of your price range, skip the cheap crap and do a DIY. You can always use a cold spoon instead (I’ve seen the cutest grandma on TikTok show how she uses a spoon in place of a Gua Sha beauty tool). Skip the plastic gua sha tools Amazon has and buy authentically.
Best gua sha brands to shop from:
I have the Rose Quartz from Mount Lai since I love the color pink. If you’re into witchy things, you may want to be selective about the type of stone or crystal you use.
How Do You Use Gua Sha?
Wondering: how does gua sha work? You start by applying a thick layer of facial oil (I swear by this oil!) It’s important that your oil doesn’t soak in too fast, since you’ll need this to help the gua sha tools slide over your skin. I love to start at my forehead and work down to my neck. I use different parts of the tool depending on what part of my face I’m using.
Don’t use the edges, but instead try to lay the tool at an angle to avoid bruising. I do 5 upwards sweeping motions on each area of my face. Forehead, under eye, cheekbones, jawline, under chin and neck. I also use a corner of the stone to rub my temples, corner of my nose and the sinus area on the inner corner of each eye. These are kinda like acupuncture points and help relieve my sinuses and extra tension.
The key is to be gentle so you don’t tear any skin barriers to give yourself bruises. Some people also think you *must* always go in an upward motion to prevent wrinkles, so if that’s important to you, always go up not down.
I will do the full routine daily as I listed out above and then go back and give sore parts of my face extra attention if I needed it. I always turn the lights off in my bathroom, maybe light a candle and take it slow. It’s literally a face massage I give myself and who doesn’t like to start the day with a massage?
Gua Sha Before And After 2 Months Of Use
Again, I didn’t start using the Gua Sha to get a “skinny face” and to be honest, I don’t think my face is any more contoured than when I started. Some girls I’ve seen on TikTok literally look like a different person after using it, but that’s not the case for me. And I could care less.
What I’m thrilled about are my muscles! I’ve been using my gua sha tool every morning for the past 2 months and I still totally clench my jaw and grind my teeth, but not nearly as severely as before I started using these tools. I’ve been having fewer tension headaches, and think it’s because I’ve been massaging my muscles (yay!)
I also think my skin has been healthier since I’m being more mindful about really letting oils absorb into my skin before I start applying makeup and the tools help to press them in, too.
Lastly, I really really love using my gau sha tool set in the morning right after I brush my teeth. I’ll put on relaxing music (the same playlist that I stretch to) and take 10 minutes to scrape my face with my tool. It feels really, really good and is such a relaxing way to start my days.
Update – Favorite Travel Tool
I originally wrote this post in 2021 but wanted to give an update after doing daily gua sha massages on my face, even while traveling. I got myself a travel gua sha that can’t break if I drop it (who else is always clumsy in travel bathrooms?!)
I love to use this while traveling, especially after flying since my body always swells up a bit, and this tool helps make my face feel better. Same with drinking – I drink more wine and booze while on trips and that can make me feel meh in the mornings. Nothing like a little facial gua sha to reduce swelling and start the trip out on a great foot.
But mostly, it helps a ton during jet lag. I’m updating this post from Copenhagen and after ~24 hours of straight travel to get here, but face was NOT happy. I kept feeling puffy and groggy for days, and one of the gua sha benefits is reducing puffiness.
So I’ve been doing a daily gua sha facial massage and that helped me adjust to my new timezone so dang well. So, goes gua sha work? YES, especially on trips! From New York to Denmark, this travels with me all the time.
How Often Should You Gua Sha?
Wondering how often you use should this tool? I love to use it in my morning routines daily. You can use it as little or often as you like, but the best results happen when you use it daily. Using it more will probably harm your facial muscles and skin.
So, using it more won’t speed up your gua sha face results. Pick either morning or night and stick with it!
If you’ve been curious about those TikTok famous Jade gua sha tools, give it a try. It feels awesome, helps my skin, and I love the grounding morning routine I have now. Just remember to shop responsibly from brands like Mount Lai.
Have you used gua sha? What were your results like? Leave a comment below so everyone can see.