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Gua Sha- The Chinese Medicine Tool You Didn’t Know You Needed

If you’ve been on TikTok recently, then you know that the gua sha has been all the rage in the skincare community. However, this tool is far from new. Chinese medicine has used the gua sha as a part of its practices for thousands of years, and the practice of using one is passed down from generation to generation in many Asian communities.


If you aren’t already familiar with what a gua sha is, it is a flat, stone tool used on the face and neck for a variety of beauty and health benefits, including blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and face sculpting. According to The Strategist from the New York Mag, gua sha has also been used to treat acute illnesses such as dizziness, nausea and digestive issues. The tool is ideal for relieving muscle tension in the face and neck and easing any pain in the respective areas. It targets pressure points beneath the skin to stimulate circulation of the tissue, making it highly effective in targeting inflammation.


When I first learned about this tool and saw some of my favorite TikTokers posting about the results they have seen from consistent use, I knew I had to try it out or myself. I learned through my initial research that a gua sha can be made out of a variety of materials — jade, rose quartz, amethyst, obsidian or even stainless steel. I chose a jade tool for my own personal use, and I have been loving incorporating it into my daily self-care routine. 

picture of me using my gua sha tool
Original photo by Ellie Kinney


Fortunately, my gua sha tool came with a small instructional pamphlet and a compact carrying case. I have been using it for a little over a week now, and it has definitely helped decrease puffiness in my cheeks and neck area, as well as release tension in my jaw that I experience from chronic stress. During my first few uses, I followed along with a tutorial video on Youtube  from Gothamista to make sure I hit all of the important acupuncture points and was using the proper technique. One thing to note is that it is important to use your gua sha with a facial oil or serum so that your skin has a slippery texture! 


However popular this tool may be becoming, gua sha is more than just a TikTok trend — it’s a traditional Chinese practice, so it’s important to respect the Chinese culture and avoid “whitewashing” by familiarizing yourself with its history and meaning before you use one. It also helps to buy from an Asian-owned brand! A few that I recommend are Sacheu Beauty and Yina. Many of these beauty brands have tutorial videos on their website to show customers the proper gua sha technique and give further information on how to take care of your gua sha tools.


Personally, I have really enjoyed using my gua sha and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in finding new skincare or wellness products to add to their routine. If this sounds like you, I highly encourage you to do your own research and find the gua sha that is right for you!

Ellie is an Assistant Social Media Editor for Her Campus, College Fashionista and Spoon University. An avid coffee drinker and TikTok enthusiast, she is passionate about all things social justice and exploring the city of Chicago.
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