Hopping on the popular trend of face massage known as gua sha? Gua Sha is originally a form of Chinese medicine, but it has recently become a trending tool in the beauty/wellness community. Many people are wondering how to incorporate Gua Sha into their life and how to use it correctly.
In this article, we will cover how to use serums with your Gua Sha stone and which ones are best to purchase.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is a traditional form of Chinese medicine with the purpose to promote lymphatic drainage and the reduction of inflammation in the body using facial massage.
“Historical records on gua sha go back to the Paleolithic Age. When people fell sick or became unconscious, hands or stones were used to rub parts of their body to help alleviate the symptoms of the disease.” chinaculture.org
Besides the historical medical purposes of Gua Sha, there are many modern-day benefits to adding it to your skincare routine:
- Sculpting the face: Gua Sha has the potential to create a more defined facial bone structure. Performing Gua Sha daily can help tone your facial muscles and create a more defined bone structure over time. You have to be very consistent if you would like to achieve these results.
- Increasing Circulatory Flow: Increasing the blood flow throughout your face will help create a brighter, glowing complexion. It can also speed up the healing process of wounds/acne. Increased circulation is a key component of healthy skin.
- Lymphatic Drainage: If you perform a Gua Sha massage correctly, you will actually be aiding in the lymphatic drainage in your face. This is good for your health as well as diminishing inflammation.
- Increased Collagen Production: With increased circulation, your skin will be more easily able to produce more collagen, which helps prevent signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin.
- Temporarily tightens skin: Right after performing a Gua Sha massage, you will notice your face feels tight, smooth, and plump.
Tips to Use a Serum With a Gua Sha Stone:
Using an oil or facial serum with a Gua Sha tool is important to prevent pulling at the skin or bruising it. The slickness of the serum allows for your tool to glide over your skin more easily. You never want your Gua Sha to tug or pull at your skin, because this will only do more harm than good.
You can totally use a simple facial oil such as rosehip, argan, or grapeseed oil, but if you want to get even more benefits from your Gua Sha routine you can incorporate a serum with some active ingredients!
Serums are concentrated liquids containing active ingredients that can provide many different benefits to your skin.
Using a serum containing niacinamide will provide some soothing properties to your face if you suffer from irritation or acne. Niacinamide soothes and repairs the skin barrier, so during your Gua Sha routine, you can soothe your skin and destress the muscles in your face!
You could also use a facial oil while performing gua sha, and then use a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid after you cleansed your skin. This will give your skin a plump and smooth complexion post-Gua Sha.
The bottom line is to choose an oil-based, lightweight serum for Gua Sha. You want it provides a nice slip for the tool to glide across your face easily.
Recommended Serums for Gua Sha:
We’ve searched for the best serums that will help your Gua Sha tool glide over your face with ease while also providing some added benefits so that you’re getting the most out of your routine. Here are a wide variety of recommendations for different skin types!
1. REN Evercalm Redness Relief Serum:
This serum is specifically formulated for those with sensitive skin or irritated skin. Sometimes Gua Sha can provoke some redness, so using this serum during or after your treatment could lessen redness, dryness, flaky skin, tightness, itching, or burning on your face.
Pros: Soothing, natural, and clean ingredients.
Cons: It May not be moisturizing enough on its own if you have very dry or mature skin.
2. Tru Skin Vitamin C Facial Serum with Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin E:
Not only is this vitamin C oil hydrating and brightening, but it is also anti-aging. This serum provides the antioxidant benefits of vitamin c and the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid. This product is essentially a one-stop-shop for your skin, and a great one to use for Gua Sha.
Pros: Brightens and refreshes the skin. Cons: Some reviewers said that this made their face slightly dry or irritated, most likely due to the potency.
3. Obagi Medical Daily Hydro Drops Facial Serum:
This serum is designed to brighten dull skin, hydrate, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. What makes this product great for Gua Sha are the oils that it contains such as Abyssinian and hibiscus. These oils are high in antioxidants and will give your skin a nice slip for the Gua Sha tool to glide over your skin. It also contains B3 (a form of niacinamide) to help soothe the skin.
Pros: Great for dehydrated skin, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
Cons: Expensive $$$
4. Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum, Versed:
This is an amazing hybrid serum that contains ingredients like camellia oil in the “oil phase” to reduce redness and prevent moisture loss. In the “water phase” there is chamomile and vitamin E. This product is a rockstar for hydration and soothing the skin. Using this as your serum for Gua Sha could be a game-changer to achieve smooth, glowing skin.
Pros: Melts into the skin, full of antioxidants to give your skin a luminous glow.
Cons: Some reviews mentioned that it caused them to have some clogged pores/breakouts.
5. Thena Radiance Beauty Face Oil Serum:
This plant-based oil serum is packed with a long list of beneficial oils and vitamins such as pure fractionated coconut oil, organic jojoba oil, bergamot essential oil, vitamin e, organic aloe vera, organic rosehip oil, and vitamin C. Even though it’s an oil, it is still lightweight and won’t clog pores. So you can use this serum for Gua Sha without having to worry about breakouts 🙂
Pros: Clean ingredients, packed with hydrating oils so your gua sha stone can glide over your skin.
Cons: Oil heavy so can be too greasy for some skin types.
6. Restorative Sea Culture Replenishing Serum:
This is a lightweight serum that has the ability to deliver intense hydration. It contains seaweed polysaccharides that plump the skin for a youthful complexion. It also has olive squalane oil to deliver moisture, and it will help the Gua Sha stone glide across your face.
Pros: Very hydrating without being too oily or greasy.
Cons: May need to use a generous amount of product to achieve that slip that your skin needs for gua sha.
7. Model Off Duty Bukuchiol Glow Booster Serum:
This serum contains a natural form of retinol called Bakuchiol. This means you can get the smoothing, firming, and anti-aging benefits of retinol, and the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid and squalling oil, all while doing your daily Gua Sha routine!
Pros: Great for sensitive skin, effective at reducing wrinkles/lines.
Cons: May take time to see results from the product because it is very gentle.
For more facial serum recommendations, you can read here!
How to use Gua Sha:
Now that you have your Gua Sha tool and serum, you will want to make sure you are doing it correctly.
Make sure to cleanse your face, and then apply your serum/oil. One of the main purposes of Gua Sha is to remove excess fluid from the face, so it is recommended to use an “out and down” movement when massaging your face.
Make sure to you are using gentle pressure while using Gua Sha because you do not want to cause bruising or irritation. You never want your stone to be “pulling” on your skin. That is one of the reasons why using a serum or oil is so important!
Here is a great visual tutorial on how to gua sha your face!
We hope this article can help you reap the benefits of adding gua sha to your daily routine!