An Eastern Medicine Expert's Gua Sha Routine For Lifted Eyes
Gua sha is a long-beloved modality used historically to treat your full body, improve microcirculation, encourage immune function, and aid with lymphatic drainage. More recently—and particularly in the West and beauty spaces—it's hailed for its skin-soothing and sculpting benefits. Certainly, it's a habit I perform almost daily, so I'm all on board.
What's so great about it is that everyone can try it, too. Gua sha has a pretty low bar for entry (learn the basics and common mistakes here). Then, as you learn more techniques and get better at your own practice, you can specify your routine for your needs.
One area that Eastern medicine and skin care expert Debbie Kung, DAOM, LAc, gets asked about a lot? Eyes—specifically sagging or puffy eyes.
A gua sha routine for lifted eyes.
Every eye concern is unique to itself. The way you tend to dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, sagging, and bags all require unique products, ingredients, and approaches. Certainly many of these have overlapping treatments occasionally, but we always say it's so important to identify your exact skin care goal prior to coming up with your game plan.
And for sagging or puffy eyes, gua sha is a great way to help. The cooling stone and gentle massage can tend to swollen skin and help lift the area. "Gua sha is great because when you do your face, not only does it help the skin, but it boosts your mood, gets you up, and wakes up your face, and your eyes," she says.
To start on the area, make sure your skin is properly lubricated with your oil of choice, and be gentle with your movements: "For eyes, it's one of the first signs of aging as it's a very delicate area. You'll want to put more oil on it—as well as on the neck— so you don't pull too hard," she says, noting that pulling too hard on mature or sensitive skin is one of the biggest mistakes she sees.
From there, you'll want to take a smooth end of your stone and scoop the undereye area around and up (especially if you are puffy in this area in the morning—this can help smooth things out quickly!). Repeat this movement up to 10 times, then go to the brow bone. "So for people that are suffering from, say, dark circles under the eyes or eye puffiness waking up, eye allergies, or sagging, if you actually gua sha your eyebrows, it will help open up the eye," she says. By engaging the brow bone and muscles, you're creating microstimulation, which can help lift the rest of the eye area.
Take it from our favorite gua sha expert (and this here beauty editor who is obsessed with the habit herself): Tending to your skin and face with gua sha is the perfect way to make you look lifted and, well, bright-eyed.
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