Skincare • 19 February 2019
It’s fair to say Beyoncé’s skin is goals. In a recently released interview with her A-List makeup artist Sir John, he revealed he regularly uses a technique called Gua Sha on the star. Sir John told Get the Gloss that he ‘warms up’ Beyoncé’s skin by massaging her face with a jade roller, a technique rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. Then, he uses his Gua Sha heart-shaped tool to “get blood flow going and make skin look healthy”. It’s intended to release trapped ‘chi’ (energy), stimulate circulation and promote healing. The practice also creates the kind of calm, zen atmosphere he prefers to work in – Sir John is not about backstage tension or stress, no matter how quick the costume change. Read on to discover more about Gua Sha and how you can achieve Beyoncé-esque skin at home.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is method of facial massage with crystal tools, which has been springing up all over Instagram — but has actually been making the rounds in the skin-improving sector for thousands of years. With origins in the ancient medical traditions of China and Southeast Asia, Gua Sha is sometimes known as “spooning” or “coining” because of its long history of make-shift home practice.
Gua Sha is a massage technique designed to relieve tension in the muscles of the face, boost blood circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage to banish bloat. It helps break up fascia — the connective tissue that hugs muscles but can sometimes interfere with optimal circulation — and can even help to make your face look slimmer (albeit temporarily). Devotees swear by its ability to ward off headaches and jaw pain and brighten skin (due to the boost in circulation). Some even consider it an alternative to fillers for its ability to iron out settled-in muscle folds.
How is it Different to Jade Facial Rolling?
Facial Gua Sha is much more powerful than a roller. Once you have the basics down, a Gua Sha tool becomes like a Swiss Army knife, one tool with a dozen functions and uses. Depending on your pressure, which edge you use, your speed and direction, you can either lift or de-puff, work on surface lines or deep muscular tension. A roller on the other hand, just has one edge and essentially one functionality.
Is Bruising Normal?
A quick image search for Gua Sha will show you a questionable selection of bruising and burst capillaries that would put off even the most daring DIY skin-care experimenter. But these results are usually the product of the more aggressive techniques used on the body, or of improperly performed facial treatments. Facial Gua Sha requires the correct technique in order to reap the benefits and avoid mishaps, done properly at-home, you should have no bruising but a red flush immediately after on the area you have treated.
How Do You Gua Sha At-Home?
As with jade rollers, Gua Sha is best performed on clean skin that’s been primed with a serum or moisturiser to fend off excess friction. We love the Beauty Oil from Hayo’u which leaves skin glowing and rejuvenated. Angling the Gua Sha tool as close to parallel with your skin as possible (you don’t want to dig the edge straight in like you’re chopping), place the fingers of your free hand close to the tool’s edge to provide some resistance, and then gently sweep the tool up and out toward the perimeter of your face. At the end of each stroke, give the tool a little extra wiggle to help release the tension (the edges of the face are chock-full of overworked muscle and ligament connections). Repeat each stroke three times — you can build up to more once you’ve learned your skin’s tolerance, but do not exceed 10— concentrating on puff-prone areas, like the cheeks and under eyes.
How To Select A Gua Sha Tool
When it comes to choosing the right tool, the sheer array of shapes, sizes and materials can be daunting, but it all really comes down to personal preference. For maximum versatility, you want a tool with at least one longer straight or slightly curved edge, one small curve to use around the eye area, and a divot or “V” shape that can fit against the angle of the jaw. Beyond that, you merely want to choose a tool that feels comfortable in your hand. We love the Beauty Restorer from Hayo’u for it’s perfect palmed shaped fit.