Gua sha is my favorite new self-care beauty ritual, thanks to the effortless brilliance of Joyce Piper, my favorite Face Yoga and natural beauty expert.
I had a lovely session with Joyce on Zoom where we created space for much more sacred self care. It was a special event to have a sense of the deeper meaning of the gua sha as well as learning Face Yoga techniques that have become a part of my daily self-care.
The ancient history of gua sha is rich and you can learn all about it at ChinaCulture.org. As with all ancient self-care and beauty techniques I’ve learned, gua sha has an impact on mind, body and energy. It’s not just a surface beauty practice.
To do my morning gua sha on days that I use it, first, I wash my face with gently cleanser. I love the $1.00 bar of Ayruvedic soap from Chandrika that I found at Erewhon grocery store many years ago. It is, hands down, my favorite face soap.
Now, I connect with my gua sha tool. Mine is jade, but you can find many different gua sha tools made of rose quartz and other crystals that may resonate more strongly with you. Jade feels incredibly balancing and strong to me, so it’s a good match for my morning gua sha ritual. I like to hold it in my hands to warm it up and, as I do, I set an intention to connect with the stone and welcome more balance into my life.
Next, I apply a great face oil. I started off using plain jojoba oil. Soon, I graduated to something far more enriching for my skin: Owaci Moon Dreams face and body oil. It’s a blend of oils including grapeseed, sunflower, jojoba, meadowfoam, lavender and vanilla essential oil. Owaci elevated my gua sha ritual into a deeper morning pause for self-reflection. I use just shy of a pump of the oil, warm it by rubbing it between my hands, and lightly spread it over my chest, neck and face before I start the practice. The key here is to use just enough oil to have the gua sha tool glide over skin, yet not enough for the oil to make your face very slippery.
Owaci sent me two of their oils to try, and I have used them both as body oils straight out of the shower as well as for my face. That said, if you are sensitive to essential oils on your face, which is common, you may have more success using a luxury oil like this as a body oil.
While I didn’t record my initial session with Joyce because I wasn’t thinking ahead, I found this routine which is incredibly good to get started:
After using the gua sha, I do a quick dry brushing routine (more on this here) before hopping into the shower.
Gua sha leaves my face feeling more awake, lifted, plump and defined. But, for me, moderation is the key.
I do gua sha two times a week, and that’s optimal for me. I was doing it daily, but I felt many detox symptoms as a result because this ritual can create profound lymphatic drainage. Now, it’s a special self-care treat that leaves my skin glowing, and, most importantly, my whole body feeling more aligned and flowing. If you have any health issues at all, I would recommend talking with your healthcare provider before diving into these types of practices.
You can make all of your self-care more sacred in simple ways. Whether you smile in the mirror in the morning, take an extra moment to breathe as you apply lotion or oils, mix up your own bath salts or learn techniques such as gua sha, the results will be more layered and lasting as you fully engage in the process.
Embracing and loving yourself is the ultimate self-care secret. Prioritize more joy and you’ll feel the ripple effects in your whole life!