cheeks eyes facial massage forehead jaw skincare wellness Jan 29, 2024
How to use a Gua Sha for beginners

If you’re interested in holistic and natural approaches to skincare, I’m sure you will have heard of Gua Sha – it has become increasingly popular over the last few years (for good reason).

It’s also something I talk about a lot because Gua Sha is a wonderful complement to face yoga. It comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a form of massage that is usually done with a tool made from crystal.

As a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to start with Gua Sha to get the best results, so this blog will walk you through some simple techniques you can use to smooth the skin, reduce puffiness and inflammation, and leave your face looking bright, lifted, and toned.

If you find it easier to follow a video, I also demonstrate all these techniques over on my YouTube channel.

Getting Started

First, make sure you have a clean face and clean hands before starting your Gua Sha routine. Then, apply a few drops of serum to help the tool glide over your skin. I use the Fusion by Danielle Collins Pro Lift Moisturising Serum, which is specifically designed for use with face yoga and facial massage techniques, including Gua Sha.

You can use which ever Gua Sha crystal you feel intuitively drawn too. If you have sensitive or more mature skin or you know you’ll be doing Gua Sha mainly in the morning, you might opt for a rose quartz Gua Sha tool. Alternatively, if you’ll be doing Gua Sha mainly in the evening or are looking to soothe away stress, then you might find a clear quartz Gua Sha tool works best for you.

You can find these options in my shop. Of course, you may eventually have multiple tools so that you can vary depending on your skin’s needs, but as a beginner you just want to choose the one that feels right for you to start with.

Whatever you opt for, make sure you choose a tool made from high-quality, ethically sourced crystal. The ones I stock are from the Hayo’u Method, so I know they are the best quality.

Final thing before we start with some techniques; Gua Sha is a beautiful form of face massage and is suitable for most skin types. However, if you are in the first trimester of pregnancy, have recently had Botox or fillers, or have any easily aggravated skin conditions, please consult a medical professional before using Gua Sha.

If none of this applies to you, then you should be good to go. Just remember to always work to your own level, as with any of my face yoga or facial massage routines.

1. Press and Hold

We’re going to start by simply pressing the flat surface of the Gua Sha tool against the skin, with the S-shaped edge facing up and resting just beneath your eye. The rest of the tool presses against your cheek. 

This is a gentle way to soothe the skin, reducing puffiness around the eye area. You can make the effect even more soothing by keeping your Gua Sha in the fridge.

I also like to press and hold the tool across my forehead, on my cheeks, and against my jawline.

2. Lymphatic Drainage

One of the major benefits of Gua Sha is that it stimulates lymphatic drainage, helping to move waste away from your face. This leaves your skin looking brighter and healthier, as well as reducing puffiness.

Using the long concave edge of the tool, lightly stroke down the sides of your neck, starting just behind your earlobe and finishing at your collarbone. Give the tool a little wiggle when you reach your collarbone, then come back up and repeat a couple more times before moving to the other side.

Keep your Gua Sha tool at a 10–45-degree angle with your skin as you move it.

 3. Jaw

Next, use the S-shaped edge of the tool to smooth along your jaw, starting at your chin and working out towards your ear. Repeat a few times.

I like to place my index finger on the outer corner of my jaw while I do this move to hold the skin taut and prevent any dragging.

This is great for releasing jaw tension and lifting and sculpting the jawline. Make sure you repeat on the other side too.

4. Cheeks

Remembering to hold the tool at a 10 – 45-degree angle, use the long concave edge to smooth across your cheeks. You want to hold the tool vertically and move it in an upward swoosh, working out from your nose and following the curve of your cheekbone.

Again, if you find your skin is getting dragged a bit, you can use your other hand near your ear to hold it taut while you do this technique.

You’ll probably notice some redness (Sha) coming up on your skin – this is a great sign! 

Gua Sha is designed to boost blood circulation as well as lymphatic drainage, so the redness indicates increased blood flow to your skin. It will quickly fade once you finish the sequence.

5. Eye Area

Next, use the rounded corner where the S-shaped edge meets the concave edge to massage around your eye area. Start at the inner corner of your eye, then gently move down, under the eye, and up to your temple.

This is lovely for reducing puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.

6. Forehead

Starting in the centre of your forehead, stroke outwards three to six times, using the concave edge of the tool.

Repeat on the other side to smooth the skin.

Then, take the S-shaped edge and stroke upwards between your eyes. This is an area that often holds a lot of tension, so this technique really helps to release some of that, increase blood flow, and reduce number 11 lines.


Finish off your Gua Sha sequence by repeating the long strokes down the side of your neck that we did in step 2. 

This is just a taster of the many techniques that you can do with a Gua Sha tool. For example, you can also use the rounded corners on your acupressure points for a little acupressure massage. There are warm-up and cool-down techniques, moves for lifting and sculpting, routines focusing on lymphatic drainage, and more.

If you want to learn more, I’ve developed an entire in-depth course on facial Gua Sha with Katie Brindle, the founder of the Hayo’u Method, and Katie Blake, a Gua Sha specialist. 

As well as learning a huge range of techniques, the course teaches you about the role of Gua Sha in Traditional Chinese Medicine and certifies you to teach these techniques to others too.

You can find out more about it here