This ancient self-care ritual of using a Gua Sha stone is a simple yet effective act of strategically massaging your face with the therapeutic stone to result in a relaxed and more chiseled look. Who knew just a stone could do that? However, if not used properly, the stone may not give you the desired result or even worse, may end in certain complications because it ultimately involves the lymph nodes. Here are 7 of the most common mistakes people make when using a gua sha stone and how you can avoid them.
#1 Not using a face serum or a face oil before the massage
Our face and neck (or even body) should be slippery and moisturised for the tool to work its wonders without causing any irritation. This ensures that minimal damage due to friction is done to the skin while you perform a Gua Sha ritual. Always make sure to apply a serum or a moisturiser before using the Gua Sha tool to massage your face. Additionally, make sure that if you use a face serum instead of an oil, it should be sticky but oil-based so that the Gua Sha stone can glide smoothly on your skin.
#2 Holding the Gua Sha tool incorrectly
Using the tool incorrectly can lead to wear and tear of your facial muscles. For the basic Gua Sha stroke, hold the stone so it creates an acute angle with the surface of the skin, somewhere between 15 to 45 degrees. Doing so maximizes the contact between the tool and your skin, and is also the most efficient for lymphatic drainage.
#3 Not providing your skin with adequate support
Most people tend to use a Gua Sha tool with one hand which may create friction and prevent you from making the most out of your pamper session. Make use of both hands — one to hold the stone and the other to hold your skin firmly. Doing this gives the right push to your skin ensuring proper sculpting. This is the most important technique to follow especially when using the stone around your cheeks.
#4 Skipping the neck
When learning facial massage, understanding that the neck is like the highway to the face is key. Both sides of your neck serve as important lymphatic drainage pathways. Make sure you always start your facial Gua Sha downwards on each side of your neck.
#5 Applying too much pressure
When we use a Gua Sha stone, it naturally causes redness due to increased blood flow and breaking of small vessels. And while this temporary redness is part of the practice, too much pressure can cause permanent damage. Aggressive pressure could result in more permanent broken vessels. The fix? Be gentle with your skin. Use light to medium pressure and always apply a facial oil or balm to the skin to allow for slip — don't drag the skin.
#6 Massaging your skin in the wrong direction
Another common mistake that most people make while massaging their face with a Gua Sha tool is not using it in the right motion. Always pull the tool upwards and outwards (never downwards) on both sides of the face. Also, when massaging on the neck, start with downward strokes on each side of your neck and finish after 3-4 strokes. Here’s our blog which covers the right way to use a Gua Sha.
#7 Not cleaning your Gua Sha regularly
Like every beauty tool you may use, your Gua Sha needs cleansing and care as well. The Gua Sha stone can be washed with warm water. Make sure you store your stone away from dust and moisture after use and also in a pouch for hygiene purposes. Here’s our detailed blog that talks about looking after your Gua Sha.