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Face Cupping or Gua Shas - Which is the right one for me?

Face tools are the new talk of the town and becoming a coveted must have for absolutely everyone. With its roots dating back to ancient Chinese culture and medicine, Face cupping and Gua Shas have helped shape our lives (and skin), quite literally! Read on to unfold the secret to beautifully healthy skin using traditional techniques that have taken over our lives!

Two of these tools that are stirring up some buzz are face cups as well as gua shas. Let us break them down for you!

What is Face Cupping? What is Gua Sha?

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    While both techniques aim at toning our face and lifting the skin, face cupping is used to stimulate the skin by applying intense pressure and creating a vacuum by suction, to promote blood circulation, increase cell  regeneration and instantly lift the skin. Gua Shas on the other hand, act by applying pressure and scraping the skin upwards using a stone to release tension and relax the facial muscles.

    Face cupping works by drawing blood to areas of the skin targeted by the cup. The pressure increases Collagen production and plumps the skin that helps to prolong the ageing process and control sebum production. Unlike body cupping, face cupping uses much smaller cup sizes that are in constant motion to ensure that no marks are left behind. 

    While bruising is a major concern we all have when it comes to cupping,  like all other treatments, there are certain dos and don'ts while performing face cupping. Keeping those in mind, will ensure that you do not damage your skin in the process. For instance, remember to avoid the delicate area under the eyes, avoid blood thinning medications before the process and use the appropriate cup size for different parts of the face. To know more about the procedure, we recommend you to read this article here

    Similarly, Gua sha too, helps to increase blood circulation and targets ageing by lifting the skin away from the gracvital forces. Other than fighting ageing, Gua Shas are a great technique to treat cystic acne and its scars, boost immunity by encouraging lymphatic drainage, reducing puffiness and dark circles. Each curve and shape in the stone is used to treat a specific concern. While Gua Sha for our body differs from that on our face, check out our article here to learn all about Gua Sha and how to incorporate it in your skincare routine.

    What makes them Similar and yet so Different?

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      We can draw a number of similarities between Gua shas and Face cupping, that are:

      1. They are both used to sculpt and tone the face 

      2. They help release tension and relax tight facial muscles 

      3. They aim at detoxification, increasing blood flow and improving overall glow

        So, what makes them so different from each other? And how can you choose the technique right for you? Before choosing the tool to use, let us consider the following: 

        1. Movement

        The motion used for both techniques is key to attain the results you desire.

        A) Face cupping: It uses a constant gliding motion across the face using a suction method to draw blood to the area of the cup and then releasing the flow. It focuses more on downward motions. 

        B) Gua sha: On the other hand, uses directionality and long strokes with upward scraping motions to disseminate blood flow. 

        2. Results

        A) Face cupping: Increases oxygen-rich blood circulation to treat acne, plumpens the skin, boosts Collagen production and strengthens connective tissues.

        B) Gua sha: Aims to contour the face and smoothen fine lines and wrinkles 

        3. Skin Type

        A) Face cupping: Those having sensitive skin, active acne or rosacea should avoid this method as cupping may over stimulate the skin and break the already weakened protective barrier. Those exposed to harsh or direct sunlight regularly should avoid it too.

        B) Gua Sha: Those with dry skin should avoid scraping the skin further, and remember to use a face oil that is nourishing and lubricating. Read more about how to find the right face oil for your skin type here.

        Those undertaking surgery, blood thinning medication or facing blood clotting disorders must consult with a professional before performing such routines. 

        4. How Often to Use it  

        A) Face cupping: It should be performed not more than twice a week, at regular intervals as over cupping can lead to sagging over time.

        B) Gua Sha: On the other hand, you must use a Gua Sha at least thrice a week to achieve desired results. Either at night to relax muscles or in the morning to reduce puffiness. 

        5. Material Used 

        A) Face cupping: Uses small cups made of  medical grade Silicone material. 

        B) Gua Sha: Uses semi precious stones such as Jade, Amethyst, Quartz and Black Obsidian to sculpt your face. 

        What are the Steps involved when performing Gua Sha and Face cupping?

          Following the right steps and using your tools correctly will leave you with flawless looking skin. The first 3 steps are the same for both techniques, so grab your tools and let's begin! 

          For Both

          Step 1: Cleanse

           Always begin my cleansing especially when you are going to be scraping away your skin with your gua sha or tugging at it with your facial cups. Ensure that your tools are well sanitised and safe to use. You can also refrigerate your Gua sha for a calming effect in a skincare fridge such as the House of Beauty Beauty Fridge. We recommend the Shankara Deep Cleanse Facial Ubtan that draws out impurities and soothes the skin.

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           Step 2: Hydrating Mist

          A great way to prep, is by using an alcohol free mist that helps to hydrate the skin to give you that perfect glide. The Dear, Klairs Daily Skin Hydrating Water contains 45% Green Tea water which is full of antioxidants that calm and soothe the skin.

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          Step 3: Face Oil/Serum

          Choose an oil or serum as per your preference, to allow smooth, uninterrupted movements. This will assist in maintaining a flow without damaging or tearing the skin.

          A) Oil:

           Natural Vibes Ayurvedic Beauty Oil with 24 Karat Gold Flakes is a blend carefully formulated to address all your skin care needs. It is an aromatic elixir infused with Rosemary, Orange Peel, Tea tree, Patchouli, Chamomile, Rose, Pomegranate, Sandalwood, Lavender, Rosehip, Saffron, Lemon grass, Olives and 24K Gold Flakes.

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          B) Serum:

          Swisse Hyaluro Natural Skin & Facial Hydration Serum with Senna Plant Extract & Almond Oil is a natural botanical alternative to Hyaluronic Acid to provide intense hydration. 

          For Gua Sha

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          Step 4: Gua Sha

          Now grab your Sublime Life Jade Gua Sha with the curved part facing your face and place it at a 45 degree angle with the flat part resting on your skin. Continue gliding by pulling in the skin in upward motions and follow the steps mentioned in our article here

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          Step 5: Moisturiser

           Finally massage the residues of the oil/serum left on the skin or simply apply the Daughter Earth Eternal Youth Phytonutrient Moisturiser to lock in the hydration.

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          For Face Cupping

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          Step 4: Massage

          Prep your skin by gently massaging your face with the tips of your fingers to remove preliminary tension present in your facial muscles. 

          Step 5: Face cup

          Now take your House of Beauty Face Lifting Silicon Cups and place a small cup at the bottom of your face. To begin, squeeze the cup gently and let it rest in the targeted area for 3 seconds. Move your way up following the same motion and swap the cup to match the area. To know more, follow the guidelines given in our article here.

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          Step 6: Remove Excess Oils

          Take off the residual product left on the surface of the skin by using a damp warm cloth. 


            These new age Instagramable trends have a long lasting profound history. Though there are a wide range of similarities drawing both Gua Sha and Face cupping together, we cannot ignore its differences. With a clear picture presented before you, we hope to help you choose the right tool for your face. 

            -Howrah Lookhmanji

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