REVIEW! Gua Sha: Legitimate Ancient Modality or Total Gimmick?

When you’re growing up, your parents try their best to teach you not to succumb to peer pressure. However, as you age, people come into your life who influence you because their opinions carry more validity than others. One of the most credible ladies I know is my friend Hallie. Not long after starting RSLS, she sent me an email raving about Gua Sha and a skincare line I had not heard of, Odacité. She recalled a girls weekend she had just spent in Palm Springs where her friend performed Gua Sha on her face. Hallie said she looked so radiant that her husband even noticed a difference when she got home. Hallie’s husband is extremely level-headed. This testimonial, between two people whose union gives me optimism for the future of our great Republic, was sufficient enough for me to try it out for myself. I immediately filled up my virtual shopping cart and hit order before I replied back to her. Don’t worry, Mom, it’s not like I would have immediately booked a perm if Hallie’s email had been her informing that straight hair was no longer in. Although, I wouldn’t be completely opposed to it…

Of course, I didn’t want to go into trying this aspect of traditional Chinese medicine with rose-quartz colored glasses on. I quickly dove into learning the proper techniques of facial Gua Sha. This is a really helpful video I watched before my order arrived. The alleged benefits of facial Gua Sha include alleviating puffiness, tightening, and increasing blood circulation which helps improve skin tone.

Odacité serum, tool and two free oil samples. Serum is $95 and rose quartz tool is $45. I received an extra jade tool for free with the purchase of my tool and the serum.

It is important to note that body Gua Sha is practiced differently than what is done on the face. When administered on the body, generally to ease muscle pain, it is much more aggressive and the ‘scraping’ can cause bruising. A Gua Sha facial is meant to be done with a much more gentle approach. You can cause capillaries to break or bruising to your face if you apply too much pressure. Do not try facial Gua Sha on your own if you have hyper-sensitive skin or if you generally cannot withstand a regular massage.


I was diligent about doing this for an entire month in order to provide you all with an honest review. Many outlets said maximum benefits will be achieved if done morning and night. My mornings are pretty hectic, so I always made time to do it at night. I had not intended on sharing these picture publicly so I want to apologize for not curating better before/after pictures! I pieced together a timeline through what I had taken on iPhoto. Thanks, Apple. The picture below was taken the day after I got Hallie’s email and had placed my order with Odacité. I am not wearing any make-up and had not had Botox since November. We are our own worst critics, but to me my skin looks bumpy in this picture and my skin tone looks so dull and uneven. I didn’t realize I had such a Resting Forlorn Face.

March 2nd.

Make sure you have enough serum (I use two small drops) to not cause friction between your face and the tool. Again, you don’t want to press too hard, so be careful. Case in point, this is me after using it for the second time. I had a lot of redness from being too vigorous.

March 4th. Notice the redness compared to the area around my eye.

I took this picture the morning of my Botox appointment. I am not wearing any make-up and looking back at this picture, my forehead looks a lot less bumpy than in the pictures above. My skin also appears a lot less dull than the first picture.

March 8th. Maybe it’s just me, but my skin looks brighter even after the first week.

March 8th. Right before I got stuck with a needle.

This was sent to my dad a week before we left on vacation. I was asking for his advice regarding a breakout I was experiencing around my nose during that time of the month. Sorry that it’s blurry. It is also a week after I had gotten Botox but I can’t help but notice how much better my skin tone looks.

March 12th. Post-botox and in the middle of a hormonal breakout.

I began to notice a difference on vacation when I felt comfortable enough to not wear foundation or a tinted moisturizer every time we went out. Gua Sha helps increase blood circulation so the fact that my complexion looked brighter made sense. This was taken before the best facial ever. I am wearing lip gloss and eye makeup, but the moisturizer I have on is not tinted.

March 17th. Brighter, right?

This is a picture taken before dinner after I had gotten the best facial ever. I am a bit sun kissed, despite wearing sunscreen and staying in the shade, but I am not wearing foundation or tinted moisturizer.

March 18th. Post-best facial ever and two weeks after Botox. Sun-kissed but no facial make-up.

This was taken at the end of our trip. I took this because I recognized the benefits of all the self-care I had given myself and because my make-up never goes on this even.

March 20th

I was obviously more relaxed while on a parent-only vacation and sleeping much more than I usually do. However, I was drinking alcohol at practically every meal and eating extremely decadent food too. I genuinely believe the attention I had been giving to my skin counteracted any potential effects from these indulgences.

Aside from topical differences, I have noticed a lot less discomfort in my jaw when I wake up. I must not be clenching my teeth as much at night when I sleep. I haven’t been doing anything else so I think it’s possible there is a direct correlation between the pain in my jaw being alleviated and starting Gua Sha. There are some practitioners who call it “natural Botox”. As previously mentioned, I get minimal Botox (20-25 units) on my forehead and 11’s but I wouldn’t be surprised if noticing a difference in fine lines is something other users have noticed. I may even forego my next appointment to see if it does make a difference.

This picture was taken last night. Please ignore the sign on my forehead of a looming hormonal breakout. You may not notice a difference, but I really do!

Taken last night!

Ultimately, I don’t think Gua Sha is a gimmick at all. I love the serum and tool from Odacité too. I haven’t had any adverse reactions to the serum or the free oil samples. I also appreciated all of the informative reading material that came with my order. However, I think someone who is established in their skincare routine will benefit the most from incorporating something like Gua Sha into their regimen. If you are partying a lot and getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night, or if you’re still forgetting to wash your make-up off before bed, then this is probably not right for you to try yet. I think this should be considered a beneficial supplement to your existing program, rather than as a miracle quick fix.

If you have any questions send me a DM on IG @reinesoleillesoin

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