Debunked: What is Gua Sha and does it actually give you a cutting jawline?

Spoiler alert: Sort of


Gua Sha is one of those “alternative therapies” that sits firmly in the same realm as CBD and chlorophyll extract, in that nobody seems to really know if they work but people will sure as hell throw their money at it to find out. You’ve likely already seen people on TikTok rubbing a plastic Gua Sha device over their face and in the following days claiming that they got the jawline and cheekbones of their dreams. But does it work?

Taking TikTok influencers on their word isn’t good enough for people like you and me – why part with my hard-earned £10 for a chunk of plastic that might not instantaneously give me the jawline I always wanted? We’ve all seen the videos showing the incredible results that seem to be achieved from using a Gua Sha tool, but is this actually true or a load of rubbish? Let’s find out.

@harperkaminskithank god for chinese medicine!!! i’m in love with my gua sha now #guasha♬ originalljud – S U P E R M O D E L S

What is Gua Sha and does it actually work?

It turns out there is some truth in massaging the face to reduce puffiness and make facial features more defined.

According to this study, facial Gua Sha can assist with circulation in the face, and it is also agreed that the practice can massage muscles to relieve tension and can clear the sinuses/lymphatic system to reduce swelling. People who have used it themselves have said it is a short-term fix for puffiness, although there is unlikely to be any long-term benefit.

High-profile influencers have promoted the use of Gua Sha, but it seems that it won’t do anything that a facial roller or massage couldn’t. Essentially, if you wake up and want to make yourself look more awake and less puffy, facial Gua Sha is for you. If you want long-term effects such as a stronger jawline or more defined cheekbones, it is not for you.

@jordyn.bobishGet one now!! ##guasha ##swollen @devonkelley_♬ More Than A Woman – From “Saturday Night Fever” Soundtrack – Bee Gees

Although there still appear to be positive uses for Gua Sha on the face, less can certainly be said for its use around the rest of the body. Traditional Chinese Gua Sha involves scraping the device all over the body to produce bruising, with the desire to oxygenate these areas and have them heal as healthier muscle tissue.

This practice is often administered alongside fire-cupping, another controversial Chinese medical practice that involves placing vacuumed cups around the body. Gua Sha on the body has not been found to have any medical benefit whatsoever, and it can even cause severe injuries.

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