What Is Gua Sha? Here’s Everything You Need To Know
There are many different types of facials out there — and amongst them all, there are only a select few that can make you feel as relaxed as a baby cherub in a Renaissance painting. One of these facials is Gua Sha — a form of tissue manipulation derived from traditional Chinese medicine and practiced by Britta Plug, facialist and founder of Studio Britta, a holistic skin-care spa in New York City.
Skincare.com sat down with Plug to find out exactly what gua sha is and how it works. Here’s what she had to say:
What Is Facial Gua Sha?
Plug describes gua sha as a really lovely stone massage for your face. “By increasing the circulation of nutrient-rich blood to muscles, gua sha works to plump and nourish the skin,” she says. The technique works to “release tension in the muscles and relaxes a furrowed brow, softens a stressed facial expression and begins to soften deep lines — all while bringing a sensation of relaxation.”
And That Relaxation Is Key...
What makes gua sha so unique is its ability to relax the spirit. “We further support deep relaxation at our studio by having Biomats on the treatment tables,” Plug notes, and she also suggests that coming in weekly allows the process to reset ingrained patterns in the tissue. “Home care and lifestyle are also very important factors in getting the full benefits of this work,” she says, “and since we are working with in enhancing all of the functions of the skin, muscles, fascia and lymph — they require plenty of hydration, a healthy diet and quality sleep in order to play along.”
If You Want To Practice At Home
Gua sha is also convenient type of facial because it is more user friendly than others. If you are looking to master this technique at home, Plug offers a few tips on how to get the job done right. She notes to be more gentle than you think, to pay attention to sensations, pull with your tool (don’t push), keep it flat — and most importantly, remember to breathe. “Facial Gua Sha should not be done over active breakouts or inflamed skin, and definitely not over filler or botox,” she says. And while we think we’ll be making a trip to Studio Britta before we try it ourselves — at least we know that we’re one step closer to achieving that baby angel face slowly but surely.
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Focus: de-puffing the eye 👁 . . 1. Start at the outer corner, moving the fluid out. 2. Move in part way, and drain out from there. 3. Start from the inner corner and sweep alll the way out to the temple. Pressure is light and gentle, but you feel a light tug on the skin. If you don’t feel the tug, you have too much slip and need to remove a little product, or wait for it to absorb. Shout out to @cecilybraden and @wholisticskinandcare for inspiring this lymph drainage style Gua Sha 💕