As much as we love the latest and greatest beauty gadgets, there’s something to be said for tried-and-true techniques and tools. Enter gua sha, a type of facial massage where a flattened tool is used to scrape or glide over the skin. Also known as “jade scraping,” gua sha has been used as a healing technique in Chinese medicine for centuries. Fast forward to 2021, and the beauty industry has enthusiastically (and sometimes problematically) embraced gua sha. Facial scraping devotees tout the tool’s ability to stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage, promote collagen production, reduce puffiness—even soften fine lines and wrinkles.
To learn more about gua sha, we reached out to Sarah Cheung, beauty YouTuber and founder of SACHEU Beauty.
I struggled with acne in my teenage years and upon researching solutions online, I found the amount of myths and misinformation stemming from skincare marketing. As I started my Youtube channel and reviewed hundreds of skincare products, it made me more and more motivated to create skincare for myself and others who are also craving irritation-free skincare that works. Creating skincare was a natural next step, but I was also very fortunate to work with a brilliant team to create the best formulas and tools.
Facial rollers and gua shas are my introduction to the beauty world! Growing up in Hong Kong, I saw my mother and my grandmother use face rollers religiously before I even learned about skincare or makeup. Naturally, I wanted these to be the first items I bring to my audience.
The gua sha is a massage tool used in Chinese medicine for centuries—the scraping motion with the tool can relieve stagnant lymph, aches, and other ailments. As a facial beauty tool, it uses a much gentler technique that can effectively relieve muscle tension from furrowed brows, clenched jaws, and tense forehead that create dynamic wrinkles over time. It can also effectively push stagnant lymph away from the face to reduce puffiness and create a more contoured look.
Face rollers are a staple in Chinese beauty and a great tool to use in combination with your morning routine. Most people hold fluid in the face after laying down horizontally for a long period of time during sleep—it typically takes until late afternoon for the face to “wake up.” Using a cool face roller can help speed up this process in the morning as well as increase circulation to the skin. This can increase oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin cells and visibly improve skin tone with consistent use.
I was excited to see these cultural items become more popular in the West, but I also saw a lot of misuse and misinformation of exactly how these practices benefit your skin. I wanted to create upgraded versions of these tools that are not only non-porous, but are also sustainable (unlike jade), and don’t harbor bacteria. They also move away from the Orientalist trope of “mystical crystal magic” that is common in jade roller marketing.
Shop stainless steel gua sha, facial rollers, and more from SACHEU Beauty.
Product and model images courtesy of SACHEU Beauty.
Collaged with background image by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.