This Short Video Tutorial Explains Exactly How To Do Gua Sha
If you're a beauty buff, chances are you've taken note as jade tools, lymph-as-skin care, and specific techniques like gua sha have made their way from fringe alternative skin care treatments into mainstream consciousness. Influencers, celebrities (hello, Jessica Alba), and everyday people like us are starting to incorporate them into our skin care routines because it feels just as good as it looks.
Here to finally break down and adapt the traditional gua sha scraping technique into a face-friendly step-by-step tutorial is mbg Collective member Britta Plug, a holistic esthetician, health coach, founder of New York City practice Britta Beauty, and expert on all things gua sha.
- Apply a few drops of face oil by pushing and pressing into the skin (in lieu of rubbing it in).
- Grab your gua sha board in your dominant hand. Starting with the jawline, hold one hand on your chin and use the board to swipe along your jawline toward the ear, wiggling the board at the hair line.
- Repeat each stroke at least three times and a max of 10—five is a good middle ground.
- Keeping the supporting hand involved throughout, swipe from the base of your nostril to under your cheekbone. Wiggle when you reach the hair line.
- Next, swipe from the side of your nose, over your cheekbone, and up toward your temple. Wiggle when you reach the hair line.
- Finally, starting right below the third eye, swipe the gua sha board upward and into the scalp. Wiggle when you reach the scalp. This is helpful for insomnia, stress, and falling asleep more easily.
- Repeat all steps on the other side.
Pro tips: Keep the gua sha board at an angle to the skin—one that's almost flat (check out 1:30 in the video to see Plug's demonstration). It's a common mistake to hold the board at 90 degrees, but that's not as effective. Use a light pressure on your face so you don't bypass the lymph centers on your face.
Plug employs gua sha in her clients' treatments as well as her own personal skin care routine because it allows you to better connect with yourself. She asks anyone trying it to take a deep breath before starting to set a self-love or self-care focus while you get to know and understand your skin.
Into facial tools these days? Check out mbg's video tutorial on how to use a jade roller.
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Lindsay Kellner is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist based out of Brooklyn, NY. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and psychology at New York University and earned a 200-hour yoga certification from Sky Ting. She is the co-author of “The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self Care,” along with mbg’s Sustainability Editor, Emma Loewe.