Hailing from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), gua sha (pronounced “gwahshah”) is an ancient practice believed to pre-date the Stone Age. The technique has historically been used as a means of treating heat stroke and similar ailments but, more recently, attention has turned to what gua sha can do in terms of skincare.
As Cecily Braden, a holistic esthetician and New York–based spa educator, told Vogue writer Meng Jin in April last year, it’s believed that the skincare benefits of gua sha were discovered almost by mistake. Braden claims that acupuncturists who were using gua sha at facial pressure points to treat illnesses noticed that they were also helping to rejuvenate their client’s complexion, too.
This rejuvenation is said to come as a result of lymphatic drainage, which helps to reduce inflammation and combat puffiness. Traditionally crafted from stones – jade and rose quartz, for example – the scraping tools are now also being cast in materials such as stainless steel.
If you are keen to try this technique for yourself, below is a list of 10 gua sha tools you can buy here in the UK, and tips on how to give yourself a gua sha facial can be found here.
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