At-home facial exercises are all the rage at the moment, as people try alternative anti-ageing methods to Botox, fillers or more permanent surgery. 

Gua Sha is particularly popular on social media, and it’s “a traditional Chinese healing method” using a “smooth-edged tool” like a jade stone to stroke the skin and lift it upwards. 

With women in their twenties and thirties swearing by Gua Sha for perfect skin, several plastic surgeons discussed the facial exercise and its anti-ageing effectiveness.

Dr. Alexis Parcells, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon explained: “This healing technique was first documented in Chinese medicine back in 220 CE.”

The idea of the ‘sha’ or ‘redness’ has long been attributed to skin healing and the principle behind Gua Sha is lymphatic drainage. 

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She told She Finds: “Strategically massaging your skin in a methodical motion can promote circulation and drain fluid trapped under the skin towards the lymph nodes to detoxify your skin. 

“Benefits can be seen at any age, and with a variety of health conditions, especially those that contribute to bloating.”

While Gua Sha won’t permanently alter or lift skin, repeatedly using the tool will instantly refresh or awaken the skin. It also adds to a self-care routine and can aid relaxation which benefits mental health. 

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Dr. Kim Harris, ND, Naturopathic Medical Doctor and skincare expert at Prescott Medical Aesthetics said: “From a medical perspective, I can say that Gua Sha is most certainly effective for anti-ageing, regardless of age. 

“The reason it’s become so popular lately is likely due to the fact that it’s a relatively simple and affordable skincare treatment that can be done at home.” 

Dr Harris went on to say she would “absolutely recommend” Gua Sha to anyone looking for a “natural, non-invasive way to improve the appearance of their skin”, and any fine lines and wrinkles. 

How to Gua Sha

1. Before picking up your jade stone, preparing the skin is important. Ensure your face is completely clean, then apply an oil, balm or lotion to help your tool glide. 

2. Relax, take deep breaths and move the tool slowly with intention. Hold the tool or stone flat and connect to the skin with light to medium pressure. 

3. From the jawline, movements should go upwards. From the nose and under the eyes, the movement should go outwards to the ears and hairline. Under the jaw, the movement can go both upwards and downwards. 

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