Known for its sculpting effects, gua sha has taken the Instagram beauty community by storm with videos of the gentle massage going viral. If you’ve seen an influencer using a carved gemstone like rose quartz or jade and running it along their skin, you’ve likely seen a gua sha technique. But, beyond improved circulation, a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and lymphatic drainage, gua sha can also help heal acne.
According to Well+Good, gua cha can specifically help with those pesky blackheads. Since you’re actively stimulating and releasing toxins underneath the skin, it makes sense that this technique aids in the reduction of acne. Holistic facialist, Britta Plug explains to the outlet, “What it comes down to is working on the lymphatic system and drainage. Of course, the lymphatic system has so many different functions and health benefits in the body, but in terms of your face, it’s about how [the lymphs] are the septic system of the tissue.”
By stimulating the flow of blood and this system, it can more effectively remove toxins that can cause inflammation and breakouts. “When we’re able to stimulate that flow and optimize it, then we’re going to be able to remove waste so much more efficiently from the tissue—and what that results in is less blackheads, less breakouts, and less hyperpigmentation over time because all that junk is being cleared out from below the surface of the tissue,” Plug adds.
You may break out at first when doing gua sha
On the other side of the coin, adding this technique to your wellness routine may dislodge various toxins — making them appear on your skin at first. According to Mindbodygreen, getting things moving with your tool is like stirring up the muck — helping it release, but coming to the surface. The outlet suggests using downward strokes if you notice this effect to help soothe and release any of these particles. Plus, it also exfoliates the surface of your skin, Well+Good notes, meaning that it may cause breakouts initially.
While the evidence for gua sha’s positive effects on acne is mainly anecdotal, many have reported a dewy complexion combined with a more sculpted-looking face. If you’re really looking to drain toxins, use thick strokes from your ears to your collarbone to effectively move congestion. The outlet explains that it’s vital to continue a healthy routine outside of this practice as well to keep your lymphatic system humming along. Getting regular exercise, optimizing your digestion and resting well will also help your skin show off a clearer, more relaxed complexion.
Grab a gua sha tool and your favorite facial oil and have at it! Take note of how different your skin feels and if you notice fewer blemishes after a few days.
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