Ever since I learned about Gua Shas from our article with Therapeutic Skincare Coach, Hayley Wood on her impressive line-up of skincare tools- I’ve been obsessed. I discovered an Instagram account a while back which has shared a few before and after side-by-side comparisons for Gua Sha. It’s the account for TCM practitioner Sandra Lanshin’s Brooklyn practice, Treatment by Lanshin, who I’ve since come to recognize as the Gua Sha Guru because she’s appeared to master the art. Women leave her practice looking revitalized and joyful through her expertise in acupuncture and herbal formulas. I watched her beginner tutorial, tried out a few techniques, and looked into the mirror and saw the same dramatic difference on myself that I had seen on her social media. I had to get more secrets from her about Gua Sha, and share it with you so you can start using it too!
Kendall: Who is Gua Sha for? Who should use a Gua Sha?
Sandra: Everyone. Seriously. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit.
Gua Sha is especially good for anyone who wants to have a natural beauty and wellness practice that elevates their skin health and their best self. Gua Sha benefits a wide spectrum of skin personalities – from dry, lackluster, tone-challenged mature skin…to congested, oily and acneic skin. It’s also great for anyone seeking a personal, meditative practice that helps them connect to their body and their self-awareness.
Those who have hypersensitive skin who develop rashes and irritation easily and often to new products or too much touching of their face should keep Gua Sha just to their neck and shoulders until their facial skin stabilizes.
K: What are some of the benefits of Gua Sha?
S: Facial Gua Sha restores healthy function to tissues and skin. This translates to a host of benefits and results that Gua Sha lovers and practitioners regularly report:
- Brighter smoother skin surface and complexion
- Contoured and lifted cheekbones
- Sculpted jawline
- Eyes lifted and appear bigger
- Smoothed out wrinkles and lines
- Less inflamed appearance of pimples and congestion
- Decreased puffiness
- Decreased appearance of eye bags and darkness
- Less tension in face and neck
- Often resolves headache and sinus congestion
- A sense of feeling more energized and calm simultaneously
Note that the results speak not only to beauty goals but improves health issues too. After all, for Chinese medicine – health and beauty are one and the same. That’s what I would say characterizes “C beauty” vs K beauty.
K: How do we prep our skin for Gua Sha?
S: Gua Sha should be done on freshly cleansed and moisturized skin. I recommend infusing skin first with water-based hydration using a hydrating mist or toner followed by a facial oil applied to face and neck. Gua Sha technique requires a bit of slip to the skin so the tool can glide easily.
K: We’ll share your foundational tutorial here for a through beginner’s routine. How else can we supplement this practice?
S: Based on my professional and personal experience, I strongly believe in this formula for best, next level skin:
FACIAL GUA SHA (or facial massage) + CLEAN, WELL-FORMULATED PRODUCTS = THE MOST HEALTHY, RADIANT SKIN
Gua Sha stimulates and amplifies the health of your skin and tissue by creating movement and improving circulation.
Well-formulated, clean skincare supports healthy skin function and feeds your skin from the outside in.
When you put the two together you can easily achieve that fresh, radiant glow your skin gets from professional facial work. At Lanshin we’re committed to helping people put the power of cultivating good health and beautiful skin in their own hands.
Another thing, you can really use the Facial Gua Sha routine as a beautiful personal ritual – that doesn’t take long – by making it special with a few easy additions. For instance, doing the routine in the evening with a few lit candles, some beautiful music and your favorite skincare is an easy way to have a beautiful, sensual moment with yourself. And those of you saying, I don’t have time – you do! The key is that you must practice making your needs as important as everyone and everything else, if not more.
K: When finished, how do we store our Gua Sha?
S: Wash with hot water and soap and store somewhere it won’t be likely to break.
K: Any additional resources you’d like to share?
S: Our next video special focuses on Gua Sha techniques for the neck – which is absolutely key to facial beauty and health. This will be up on lanshin.com in the next week or so.
K: We heard there’s a new tool in the works at Lanshin… we’d love to know about the new tool being launched!
S: I wanted to design a tool that could be like a Swiss army knife of facial Gua Sha that is both easy for non-professionals to use, and also has as many features as can fit in one tool. I also wanted it to be beautiful and reflect feminine curves. The first edition will feature the tool in luxurious black nephrite jade. It will be out soon!
Special thank to Sandra Lanshin!
Studio photos by Debora Francis Photography,
Gua Sha photos courtesy of Treatment by Lanshin