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TikTok has quickly become one of the go-to platforms for burgeoning makeup and skincare trends. If a mascara, lip pencil, or moisturiser is sold out online, chances are you can blame it on a TikTok trend. So what does the social-media platform say the biggest skincare trend is going to be for this year? According to a recent SkinStore report, Gen Z is increasingly obsessed with the gua sha.
Gua sha, pronounced gwa sha, is a treatment that involves gently scraping or pulling a flat jade or rose-quartz stone along the skin to relax facial muscles, boost circulation, and encourage lymphatic drainage. Many of us have been put on to the gua sha in recent years, but it's a time-tested treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Originally used to treat viruses in the body and heat stroke, the gua sha stone was later discovered to have cosmetic benefits as well. Studies have shown that it helps increase circulation, which aids in the skin’s ability to purge dirt, sebum, and buildup in the pores that leads to acne.
Because gua sha is especially popular on TikTok right now, there are countless tutorials for eager new gua sha users to learn from — but not all of them get it right. According to Lanshin, a licensed acupuncturist who has made a name for herself posting gua-sha tips and tutorials on TikTok, prepping your skin is important. Adding moisturising oils to the skin helps the tool glide more gently. Soaking the stone in warm water before using increases circulation even more.
Also, mind the angle: The gua-sha stone is designed to lie relatively flat against your skin as you gently scrape it across your face. Always pull in a lifting, upward direction when using the gua sha on your face. There is more flexibility when using it on your neck and chest, which can be great for headaches and lymphatic drainage, but as far as the face is concerned, always move up and away. Remember not to use too much pressure — it will tug at your skin and could even cause bruising.
Learning how to properly use a new beauty tool is half the fun of trying new things. With a few educational tutorials and mindful use, you’re well on your way to not only the glowing skin and better circulation that gua sha promises, but the benefits of a natural headache and muscle-tension solution, too.