Link to share article here:

Ask A Dermatologist: Does Gua Sha Really Work?

Crystals have become a popular skincare tool, and you’ve probably seen numerous Reels of someone rubbing one on their face, followed by a shot of them looking glowy and sculpted. The claims made online are generally that gua sha can ‘lift’ the face, reduce puffiness and even smooth out wrinkles. The Dermatologists at Skin + Me HQ are here to tell you whether you should give gua sha a shot.

What is gua sha?

Gua sha is a Chinese medicinal practice which essentially involves scraping the skin with a firm object – traditionally a piece of bone, horn or even a spoon. The main purpose historically was to revive workers suffering from heatstroke or exhaustion, and gua sha is supposed to be painful and intense.

The modern style of gua sha that beauty gurus use on their face is very different. While the principle of scraping the skin is the same, the pressure is much less and the effects are very different. The goal is to improve lymphatic drainage and reduce any puffiness in the face.

Is gua sha actually useful for skincare?

Traditional gua sha has been shown to help with chronic neck pain, while studies have shown that facial gua sha can improve circulation. Lymphatic drainage may not sound very glam, but it can have a significant effect on your appearance, as it can lead to less puffiness, brighter skin and relaxation of your facial muscles.  The effects, however, are only temporary so it is advisable to practice lymphatic drainage regularly for optimal effect. 

Our Dermatology Team’s Conclusion 

Don’t expect any miracle transformations from gua sha, but it can be a nice way to pamper yourself by adding a facial massage into your routine. In the immediate aftermath skin looks brighter and jawlines more sculpted, but this lasts around two hours at most. 

New to Skin + Me? Get your first month of personalised skincare for £4.99 with promo code DOSE – complete our quick consultation here.

Looking for a routine refresh? Add the Dream Routine to your Skin + Me subscription.

In need of a restock? Head to The Skincare Shop for one-off purchases of your Routine Essentials.