6 Basic Gua Sha Facial Tips

6 Basic Gua Sha Facial Tips

Gua sha is trending in the health and wellness community and you might be wondering if this ancient practice with a new age twist is right for you. Read on to learn how you can do a gua sha facial at home or where to go for a gua sha facial in San Diego!

Gua Sha Facial San Diego

About Gua Sha

“Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese Medicine technique that is used to break up stagnation and remove pathogens,” says Dr. Kelsey Johnsen, L. Ac., owner and practitioner at The Healing Nest.  The word gua sha translates to “scraping disease,” and this practice uses a smooth-edged tool either on the face or body to help improve circulation of blood, lymph and chi.

Healing Properties of the Stones

“Typically the tool is made of jade stone or another type of genuine stone, however, soup spoons, metal lids and buffalo horns are still commonly used in practice,”  says Johnsen.

The following are the healing properties for the most commonly used stones for gua sha:

  • Agate stone – physical and emotional support
  • Bian stone – purifies and protects
  • Jade stone – calms and balances

Body Gua Sha vs. Facial Gua Sha

Body gua sha is normally used with “firmer pressure to really get into the muscle layer and break up the blood stasis, which is causing the body pain,” says Johnsen.  Great to use after a long work day, body gua sha has been proven to decrease pain levels.

Facial gua sha is a more gentle method that slowly pulls the skin and layers underneath. Helpful for those who have inflamed and puffy skin, people who implement this practice into their routines may see immediate results just after one session.


Reduce cellulite

Cellulite happens due to tense and bound fascia. The use of dry brushing, hydration, massage and a proper body gua sha practice can help loosen and release the cellulite, creating smoother and more energized skin!

Relief from pain and tension

Like a good old massage, gua sha can help ease muscle tension, pain and bring the body back to relaxation. A randomized controlled study of individuals suffering from neck pain demonstrated how gua sha improved the pain just after one week, with another study finding similar improvements after 2 weeks.

Clear and healthy skin

One of gua sha’s famous benefits is its potential in clearing the skin. After establishing a regular daily gua sha practice,  you may see results in the clearing of acne, hyperpigmentation, scarring, inflammation, wrinkles, etc.  If you are struggling with acne, it is recommended to focus only on the neck, implementing downward strokes until the acne clears.

Tone and sculpt the skin

Gua sha is sometimes referred to as an alternative replacement to botox. This is because of gua sha’s ability to sculpt and tone the skin. Those who are looking to transition away from botox may find gua sha to be a sound alternative.

Gua Sha Facial San Diego

How to Do a Gua Sha Facial At Home

New to gua sha? To avoid doing more harm than good, follow these six basic guidelines:

  1. Lubricate the skin with an oil that allows the gua sha tool to easily glide. Organic and well sourced jojoba oil is one great option.
  2. Hold the tool correctly. Make sure you are holding it at an acute angle between 15 to 45 degrees.
  3. Don’t forget the neck! Facial gua sha doesn’t work as well if the neck is forgotten.
  4. Slow and steady on the face, and don’t forget to meditate!
  5. Practice proper pressure. (Try saying that 3 times fast!) You can go deeper on the body than the face. Also, remember that gentle pressure is key to moving lymph.
  6. And lastly, pull, don’t push!

Check out Wilding’s 21 day facial gua sha challenge below for an in-depth tutorial!

Where to Gua Sha in San Diego

Sea Level Skin Care

An Ayurvedic esthetician, Katrina Amato offers gua sha, lymphatic drainage and facial reflexology as an add-on treatment to her facials.

The Healing Nest (San Diego)

Along with gua sha therapy, The Healing Nest also offers acupuncture, micro-needling  and fire cupping services.

Saffron & Sage  (Little Italy)

Offering a variety of services, Saffron & Sage implements gua sha, facial cupping, lymphatic drainage, and more to their unique facials.

Try it out!

The practice of gua sha has numerous health benefits that can go beyond the skin. Whether you need relief from pain or desire a face lift, this magical tool may have the answers for you! Check out one of our recommended gua sha specialists above or give DIY facial gua sha a try.

Looking for More Beauty Tips + Wellbeing Resources?

Explore our Events Calendar for upcoming yoga events, meditation classes and wellness workshops around San Diego. Or browse all of our Wellbeing articles for the latest wellness news and trends!

Join our Newsletter

Get weekly updates with new articles, trending topics, upcoming events and more happenings in your San Diego community!

Subscription Form

"*" indicates required fields

Join Our Newsletter

Get weekly updates with new articles, trending topics, upcoming events and more happenings in your San Diego community!

"*" indicates required fields