Does Gua Sha Work? What Two Weeks of Trying the Beauty Trend Did to My Face
I knew gua sha as an intense procedure that leaves red marks all over your body. Now influencers say it’s the secret to glowing skin and no double chin.
But Y Tho explores a plethora of funny, strange, and peculiar trends to provide long sought-after answers to questions that have been swimming in all our heads.
About a month ago, Lizzo gave fans a preview of her beauty routine on TikTok. “Y’all, I got me a gua sha,” the singer announced as she slid what looked like a potato chip along her jawline.
The unassuming tool is making big waves in beauty spaces. Using a flat stone to gently scrape your face will supposedly help reduce acne and sculpt puffiness away while offering an ASMR-worthy tactile experience.
Google search numbers reveal that interest in gua sha increased about five times in April compared to February; it’s now also tagged in over 300,000 posts on Instagram.
Gua sha has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has existed for thousands of years as a way to alleviate symptoms of various ailments. But it got renewed attention in recent years from beauty influencers raving about its supposed facial benefits. What was once a relatively low-profile treatment is now a cult beauty trend.
Growing up in Singapore with family members who regularly underwent TCM treatments, I knew gua sha as an intense procedure that left red marks all over your body. Some studies have found that traditional body gua sha may help with muscle recovery. However, little research has been done on the effectiveness of facial gua sha. Still, the flat pieces of stone are in medicine cabinets and vanities around the world, vibing with the wellness aesthetic splashed all over Instagram.
“Growing up in Singapore with family members who regularly underwent TCM treatments, I knew gua sha as an intense procedure that left red marks all over your body.”
Naturally, its newfound fame got me wondering: Why are so many people suddenly obsessed with gua sha? Does it actually work?
What is gua sha?
I wanted to know more about gua sha before following in the footsteps of beauty influencers, so I turned to a practitioner. According to Yeo Wei Ling Tricia, a physician at Kin Teck Tong, a traditional Chinese medicine clinic in Singapore, there are two main types of gua sha: one for the body and one for the face. While traditional body gua sha often leaves “bruise-like markings” along its trail, facial gua sha involves a “much gentler technique,” she said.
“The point of facial gua sha is to stimulate the dermis layer of the skin to improve elasticity and release the tension to relax your facial muscles,” said Yeo, adding that it’s typically done by scraping a flat piece of jade or rose quartz on your face in upward strokes. This is supposed to relax stiff muscles and promote tissue drainage.
But a word of caution: gua sha is not for everyone.
article written by Koh Ewe for Vice.com