The Best Facial Oils To Use With A Gua Sha

Gua sha, also known as coining, is a popular skin care routine performed by smoothing skin with a special massage tool, according to WebMD. You scrape the skin in particular motions with a gua tool, which can be performed at home or by a professional. A key ingredient to proper gua sha is massage oil. But what is the best facial oil to use with gua sha? That depends on your skin type. 

The practice of gua sha is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and is believed to have a variety of health benefits. The long and short strokes used are meant to increase circulation and blood flow, performed in a downward motion, per Healthline. And while a gentler version is performed on the face, the technique is intended for many parts of the body. Gua sha can be done on the back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs.

The goal is not just to smooth skin, but rather to address stagnant energy called chi and release its resulting inflammation (via Healthline). The amount of pressure applied depends on comfort levels, but massage oil makes the entire process go more smoothly. Here's what you need to know about choosing the best oils for your skin.

Oils to use with gua sha for dry skin or oily skin

In general, gua sha can be a great help when treating and managing dry skin. When massaging your skin with the gua sha stone, you are moving the water and lymphatic fluids stored in your face down to your neck where they can drain. And when the toxins are out of your face, fresh blood and healthy moisture can take their place and plump your skin, as The Every Girl explains. But a good oil can certainly increase those benefits. 

If your skin tends to be on the drier side, you'll want to choose something that absorbs quickly and is very hydrating to the skin. Denise Vasi's curated website, MAED, recommends choosing a product with both of these qualities.

While applying oil to skin that already feels oily to the touch may sound counterintuitive at first glance, your skin will still benefit from the right products. As long as you pay attention to the ingredients and don't apply it too often (per Glamour). And if your oil-prone skin tends to lead to acne, gua sha and a good oil, like grapeseed oil (via Complete Home Spa) could work well.

Further, gua sha is known for its acne-fighting benefits as well. As Well+Good explains, gua sha has the potential to fight blackheads by removing toxins down and away from the face, where such toxins would otherwise build up and eventually lead to breakouts.

Incorporating gua sha into your skincare routine

No matter your skin type, you can reap the benefits of gua sha, even combination skin (via MAED). And if your skincare routine is focused on reducing the effects of aging, you'll want to choose a serum with anti-aging properties. With a little bit of research into what oils and serums will best serve your skin type, you can incorporate scraping by a gua tool (or gua stone) and receive benefits from both. 

Aside from improved complexion, sticking to a skincare routine can also boost your mental health. A 2018 study published in Lancet Psychiatry found that people with daily routines, such as exercising and skincare regimens, are less likely to suffer from major depressive and bipolar disorders, mood problems, and feelings of loneliness and sadness. So get yourself a gua tool, find a facial oil or serum that serves you, and get to scraping. Your skin and your mind will thank you.