Right now, gua sha is the leading star in the beauty world, which is perhaps no wonder, as the tools made from natural stone are not only gorgeous but bring about real, visible results, quickly. And to top it all, by treating the face, you also end up treating the body and balancing out the nervous system due to nerve endings and the fascia network transporting the impacts of the treatment to tissues all over the body.
Most of the questions I get on gua sha are about treating acne and rosacea. People have heard about the positive effects for both conditions, but wonder how to go about it, as it’s common sense that inflamed skin and impurities shouldn’t be rubbed directly with the tools. So how should you treat acne or rosacea with gua sha?
The first and most important tip for treating acne and rosacea with gua sha is never to pull the gua sha tool directly over the symptoms. Work around problem areas to treat the surrounding skin. If most of the symptoms are on the cheeks, treat the décolletage, back and front of the neck, chin, around the ears and eyes, and the forehead and scalp. Treat areas that are free from symptoms with regular gua sha as shown in the Yin Your Skin® online course.
It’s particularly important to treat acne, rosacea or any other skin issue below the problem area. If symptoms are mainly found around the cheeks and chin, make sure to treat the front and back of the neck and the décolletage. The front of the neck and décolletage are a gateway to the face, connecting it with the body. Gua sha will improve the flow of circulation and lymph fluids beneath the symptoms, rinsing away cellular waste, dead cells and pathogens from connective tissue. This leads to improved function of fibroblasts that produce collagen, elastin and the matrix as well as tissues receiving nutrition and oxygen – the skin working better all around. Lymph fluids flow downward due to gravity, and tissue below getting cleansed leads to metabolic waste flowing more freely. There are plenty of lymph nodes on the décolletage and front of the neck that filter lymph fluids. Fluids are drained into the “main sewage” in the notch of the collarbone.
In treating acne and rosacea, focus on extra gentle strokes and pumping motions. The pumping motion should not be stronger than the weight of the tool and shouldn’t be directed “inside” the skin. The motion should be directed downward tilting the stone. The best tool for the job is the Yin Your Skin® gua sha spoon – the curved shape makes pumping easy. The shape ensures the tool is gentle, while the end provides the right amount of firmness for treating wrinkles and saggy skin. Apply a pumping action from the sides of the nose towards the base of the ear, over the bottom edge of the ear and behind the earlobe over the bottom part the ear. Then apply downward and outward strokes above the ear along the back of the ear towards the dip behind the earlobe, then down the sternocleidomastoid down to the crevice of the collarbone and continue with a pumping motion there. Stroking action, too, needs to be gentle without additional pressure than the weight of the stone, as extra force isn’t targeted directly on lymph nodes. Leave swollen or sore lymph nodes untreated.
A gua sha treatment for acne and rosacea is available in the Yin Your Skin® online course.
Although I advise to work around problem areas, the right pumping motion won’t cause mechanic damage to blemishes like other rubbing and stroking gua sha motions, so you could give it a go carefully.
Always treat the scalp as well. The spoon is a good choice, but also a gua sha comb will work.
Do the treatment about three times a week. To start with, you could do the treatment every day for three weeks before taking a break. No treatment should be done on a daily basis in the long term, as skin needs time to renew in peace.
At the start of the summer, I launched a three-week gua sha challenge. The participants experienced astounding results, including a person with acne who took part and was kind enough to let me share the results. She has suffered from impurities since 2012 and acne since 2017. During the gua sha challenge, her skin began to show visible signs of improvement for the first time, and by the end of the three-week challenge, the transformation was remarkable.
When you begin treating your skin with gua sha, remember to be gentle (90% apply too much pressure because the method looks more forceful than it actually is) and keep an eye on the condition of your skin. Gua sha shouldn’t result in any side effects, but if you notice any, take a break. Keep in mind that the treatment may result in impurities temporarily, though.
Gua sha pictures Ina Nordbäck