The Ancient Chinese Beauty Secret Is Out


Enter Gua Sha

Tayla Powell

There’s something about ancient beauty traditions that captivate. Years of knowledge treasured and passed down through generations and still celebrated to this day within their cultures. I mean, Cleopatra was way ahead of the acid treatment curve with her infamous milk baths. They didn’t need modern lotions and potions to become radiant; they were armed with knowledge, powerful botanicals and technique.

Ancient Chinese women favoured one particular treatment for thousands of years:

GUA SHA (gwa-sha): A natural therapy in traditional Chinese medicine which increases circulation by scraping the skin with a massage tool, usually made of jade.

You’ll see grotesque pictures of blood red skin on the body when you look it up. It’s rather stomach churning but don’t be alarmed, it’s a much gentler affair on the face. While the body is all about going hard to break down tissue blockages and stagnation, the face is about lymph drainage and blood circulation which requires a lighter hand.

The biggest benefit of Gua Sha, seen by generations of women, is the powerful anti-aging properties. In fact, it’s actually nicknamed the Eastern Facelift or Eastern Botox. Give me a relaxing facial massage over needles and scalpels any day.

The Gua Sha ritual:

  • Boosts circulation by 400% for a bright, radiant complexion

  • Stimulates collagen production for elasticity

  • Relaxes facial muscles

  • Eases head and jaw aches

  • Lifts sagging skin

  • Detoxifies

  • Enhances the absorption of skincare products

  • Depuffs face and under eyes

  • Smooths fine lines and wrinkles


Interest piqued yet? Mine was so I dug deeper and searched for an instructional video to see if it’s something I could realistically be bothered doing every night. Lazy, I know. I came across one from a Chinese medicine professional who shows how simple the process is. After watching, a quick check of the description revealed that she was 43. FORTY THREE! I was in shock, someone almost double my age had nicer skin than me and I’d spent the whole video thinking she was in her early twenties. I couldn’t stop showing everyone and getting them to guess how old she was. Consider me 100% sold on the idea of daily Gua Sha and spreading the secret to others.

Now to just decide between the material of the tool. Jade was traditionally used by the elite Chinese women due to the high value their culture placed on the precious stone whereas rose quartz is said to have been favoured by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians to help them retain their youth and beauty. There’s even stainless steel options but we’re a sucker for the beautiful crystal varieties and their supposed healing properties.

It’s all about relaxation and self-care and a nightly Gua Sha might just be the perfect way to freshen up that puffy morning face after a night of salty food, crying or one too many glasses.

Now excuse me while I wait eagerly by the letterbox for my Gua Sha tool to arrive.