Is Facial Yoga or Gua Sha Right For You?
Facial yoga and gua sha are big beauty and health news.
In a world filled with beauty products and invasive procedures, it’s no wonder many women are seeking natural anti-ageing alternatives to enhance their skin's radiance, firmness and overall appearance.
We love yoga for our bodies, but have you heard about facial yoga or the use of a Gua Sha tool with the devotees sounding potential for both revitalizing the face, and promoting a sense of well-being.
Both are techniques of hopefully gentle facial massage and exercise that stimulate the muscles, skin, and lymphatic system of the face. But heh, lets face it, it fair to say no treatment is not going to change your face structurally but it will it help to subtly lift and firm the face?
I personally love gua sha and just incorporate it in with my everyday nightly massage. So I thought we may take a deep dive into the genuine possibilities and look at how facial yoga or gua sha may unlock some radiant natural beauty.
What Is Face Yoga and Gua Sha?
They are both designed to soften and relax your face muscles to help ease tension, stress, and worry.
There is also an aspect of muscle memory where practice may stop you making the facial expressions associated with these feelings.
While quite different in many ways, at their most basic, they are about improving the structural appearance of your face by strengthening the muscles of the cheeks and face and detoxifying.
While Facial Yoga uses hands and fingers, gua sha involves using a smooth, handheld tool to gently glide across the surface of the face and body.
What are the benefits?
The claimed benefits of incorporating them into your daily beauty routine include:
✔️ Face-lifting, tightening, and sculpting at home. It appears these exercises may promote muscle tone temporarily. Devotees say regular practice can help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving you a more youthful appearance.
✔️ Like any exercise, relaxing and strengthening the facial muscles over time, will work to reliving stress, improving blood circulation and skin tone.
✔️ An increase in blood flow and oxygenation helps deliver vital nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells. This increased blood flow nourishes the skin, promoting a healthy and radiant complexion.
✔️ It certainly resonates with me that a reduction in stress can help fight premature ageing and skin dullness. Facial yoga uses deep breathing and relaxation to promote stress reduction and a sense of calm. I love this because not only is it good for your skin but great for your overall well-being.
Both practices have also been suggested to subtly open the eyes for those with hooded eyelids
What is lymphatic drainage?
The lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system, plays a crucial role in removing toxins and waste from the body. Lymphatic drainage is a form of gentle massage that fosters the flow of lymph fluid around the body.
Facial yoga movements are said to stimulate lymphatic drainage, helping to reduce puffiness and fluid retention, giving your face a more sculpted and defined look.
Incorporating a Gua Sha may also help release stagnant lymphatic fluid, reducing puffiness and promoting detoxification. By gently gliding (with a little soft pressure) the tool along muscular and nerve structures, you can encourage the elimination of toxins, leaving your skin refreshed and revitalised.
What is the secret of effective practice?
Sound worthwhile incorporating facial yoga and gua sha into your routine?
Here is a basic routine:
✔️ Prep the skin – As we are going to be massaging I like to start with fresh, clean skin as this will ensure maximum absorption of products and prevent any dirt or impurities from clogging your pores
✔️ Relieve tension and Warm-up exercises: I like to take a few deep breath, do some gentle neck stretches, open and close my eyes and move around my jaw, opening and clenching my mouth.
✔️ Facial yoga routine: Targeting the different areas of your face begin the massage techniques then move onto the neck and head.targeting different areas of your face, neck, and head.
✔️ Incorporating a Gua Sha technique: It is important to apply a facial oil or serum to your skin to as this will help with the slip of the tool and prevent dragging on the skin.
Start at the base of your neck, place the Gua Sha at a 15-degree angle and gently glide it upwards and towards your jawline. Next repeat the gliding on the face using upward strokes and give it a little jiggle at the end of each stroke.
Remember to use light to medium pressure, focusing on areas of tension or congestion.
Mini Gua Sha Contour Massage Tool
What is the evidence of the benefits?
Like many complementary therapies, even ancient ones, the door is still open on their benefits.
There in not a huge number of studies to say either are proven methods to enhance your skin or reverse ageing. Clearly more work would be good.
This has not stopped a recent global obsession, especially for Yogies. If you look at the hashtag #faceyoga on Tik Tok you will see that it has some 1.7 billion views!
Gua sha is more traditional and been practiced for centuries.
What do I think?
I think it comes down to expectations.
If you are like me, I prefer a more natural improvement, low cost and a little bit of work (nightly massage and a consistent skincare routine) to an effortless, expensive invasive treatment with shorter term significant results. It also comes down to technique, especially for facial yoga.
It appears the medicos are not 100% convinced of sustained benefits. Loss of collagen and ageing facial structures and skin take a lot to change. For example, creating greater fullness in the face, it’s something that may be largely dependent on genetics and body weight (losing too much weight can age you dramatically).
Also, the muscles and skin in the face are fairly delicate and require gentle treatment. Vigorously stretching these muscles and skin may actually do more harm than good.
Facial yoga and especially Gua Sha may potentially assist if you are looking to enhance your natural beauty, have a good gentle technique, patience and sensible expectations. They offer a holistic approach to skincare, promoting muscle tone and improved circulation to some extent and relaxation definitely.
By incorporating them sensibly into your daily routine, like I do, you may feel healthier, without resorting to invasive procedures or harsh chemicals. However, I definitely recommend leaving rigorous muscle work to the gym!