Facial gua sha is growing in popularity and you may have started doing it this year after I published my huge facial gua sha 101 article that explains the science of why you’d want to do it and how it works to promote lymphatic drainage, reduce muscle tension, reduce puffiness, fade lines and wrinkles, and bring a healthy glow to the complexion.
The original video that I recorded as a companion to my article went viral. In the video, I mentioned that you don’t have to use a gua sha board or gua sha stone to do facial gua sha, that you can do it with a humble ceramic soup spoon.
The number 1 request I got on that video was to please do a demo video showing how to do facial gua sha with a spoon, and I finally did it! I made not one but two new videos that I will embed below for you.
Facial Gua Sha Results and Benefits
Even though with a spoon you only have a few surfaces to work with to do the massages, you can still have profound results. Just take a look at me before and after I recorded these videos:
The things you can see clearly in the photos include a lifted droopy eyelid and brow (left side of my face in the photos), a sharp reduction in dark circles under my eyes, reduce puffiness in my cheeks (aka cheek sculpting), my lips are fuller, fine lines on my forehead are less visible, and my face overall has a healthy glow.
The things you can’t see include reduced brain fog (which I believe has to do with aiding the drainage of the glymphatic system out of the brain vis a vis promoting lymphatic drainage), no more headache, deep relaxation, and sharp mental focus.
How to Prep Skin for Facial Gua Sha
The absolute bare minimum that you need to do is cleanse and moisturize with a facial oil. I prefer to do a full skincare regimen that includes cleansing, prep (with an essence), treatment with a serum, protection with a cream-based moisturizer, and finally an oil.
My skin absorbs facial oils much better if I use a cream-based lotion underneath them - I experimented a lot with this to figure it out!
As far as cleansers go, I commonly find that many people use very stripping cleansers that are inappropriate for their skin type and they don’t even realize it! That’s because that is how many of the inexpensive non-toxic cleansers on the market are formulated.
If you have normal or dry skin I cannot say enough good things about the Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil, which is formulated with bakuchiol, the non-toxic and equally effective alternative to retinol (read my review of Countertime and more about the science of these ingredients here).
Runner up: Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm (which can be used in place of an oil for gua sha! Bonus for double duty).
For gentle exfoliation, the 5YINA Divine Bio-Adaptive Cleanser is the best I have ever used, it has mother of pearl powder in it.
If you are dealing with oily or acne-prone skin, I suggest the Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser (which is more drying, has lovely biodegradable jojoba beads) or the Charcoal Cleansing Bar (I use this when I need a clarifying cleanser; lasts an excessively long time, 6-12 months).
For facial oils, I recommend several brands of properly blended facial oils that come in a variety of formulations for all skin types, whether you are looking for anti-aging, have dry skin, have oily skin, or have normal skin with no real concerns.
For anti-aging, my favorite is the 5YINA Quiescent Oil, with the runner up being the Beautycounter No 2 Plumping oil. The new Primally Pure Plumping Oil is also a top pick (and you can take 10% off your first order there with my coupon code CURIOUS).
If you have age spots, sun damage, hyperpigmentation from old scars, or even melasma and want to fade the appearance, I strongly suggest using the Beautycounter No 1 Brightening Facial oil, which contains vitamin C. I have seen it work wonders on my clients’ skin!
Types of Gua Sha Tools
There is nothing wrong with having a soup spoon as your go-to gua sha tool. It was the only thing I owned for gua sha for years!
But if you’d like to get some additional tools, here are the ones I recommend:
Primally Pure Gua Sha stone
The new Primally Pure gua sha stone is my top recommendation for your first tool because it has a comb edge, which you can use to buff out lines and wrinkles.
If you have never ordered from them before, take 10% off your first order with my special coupon code CURIOUS
I will be recording a demo with this tool soon, so stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you see it first!
Rose Quartz 3-piece set on Amazon
This is the beginner’s set I used to suggest as my top option, but due to the lack of comb edge on any of the tools, it is now #2. You can still do a robust routine with these tools which I demonstrated in this video.
Video Demonstration for Facial Gua Sha With a Ceramic Soup Spoon
This first video is long but thorough, and contains a handy table of contents so you can easily navigate the video to the parts you want to watch or go back and reference later. The first part explains in depth how to prep your skin, and the second part I narrate in detail how to do the strokes and what sensations to notice and try to achieve. I really suggest starting here and then watching the short version 2nd to use as your reference for doing it.
This second video is a SHORT one that only shows you the gua sha stokes. No talking, no background, no skin prep, just the strokes.
Got questions? Let me know in the comments!