In between working from home and spending hours teaching myself new Tik Tok dances, I'm taking the time to give my skin some TLC. With being home and in my comfort place, it's a great time to add to my skincare routine.
I'm not gonna to lie, I missed the whole rose quartz roller trend, but Gua sha could possibly be the next best thing. It's no secret that a lot of skincare trends come from Asian therapy and wellness techniques and this is no different.
So, what the heck is Gua sha?
Gua sha (pronounced gwa-sha) is a natural therapy that involves massaging your skin with oil and an uniquely shaped smooth-edged tool (also known as a flat jade) to improve blood circulation. For centuries, it's been used for the body — mainly the back, arms, now it's showing up in facial routines on and offline.
Why should we do Gua sha?
Besides its ability to improve blood circulation in your face, the Gua sha technique also breaks down tension, reduces the appearance of bags under your eyes, wrinkles, and blemishes. And a huge plus is, you can save yourself a $75 visit to the spa and just do it yourself!
You're probably thinking, how is this any different from the jade roller? With Gua sha you have dedicated tools that cater specifically to each section of your face, instead of blindly rolling something back-and-forth on your face. Gua sha follows the natural shape and flow of the body to tighten and tone your skin.
How do we use Gua sha?
When I initially got my Gua sha kit, my thought was WTF is this? It was three weird shaped stone-like tools that I had no idea how to use. Remember when I said it has a dedicated tool to cater to the flow of your body? Well,that's why it looks so weird. Essentially, all three tools do the same thing, but you can choose which one is more comfortable for you.
Here's a step-by-step breakdown:
- Start on clean skin and prep your face with oil.
- Also start with clean tools, we're not trying to spread bacteria.
- Start at the neck and work your way up to the forehead in a smooth but firm motion.
- Use upward and outward strokes on the neck, jawline, chin and mouth area.
- Sweep across the cheeks.
- Once you get under your eyes, switch to an even gentler upward motion.
- End with upward strokes from your forehead to your hairline.
*A pro tip is to always go in upward motions. My mom used to say use upward motion on your face for youthful skin, downward motions equal aging.*
Lastly, how many times should you do Gua sha?
You'll see better and faster results if you do Gua sha often — it's not a one and done method. Three times a week is recommended, but there's nothing wrong with easing the method into your nightly routine.
Shop The Post:
*Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase a product through the link, xoNecole may earn a small commission.
Facial Gua Sha Empress Collection
Gracious Om Gua Sha 3-Piece Kit
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here to receive our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Shutterstock
- 10 Self-Care Items Under $100 - xoNecole: Women's Interest ... ›
- Skincare Trends 2021: What's In & New In Skin - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Black Woman Skincare & Facials - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Gua Sha Facial Tool: Everything You Need To Know About Gua Sha ... ›
- How to Use Gua Sha on Your Face | InStyle ›
- How to Use Gua Sha on Your Face | InStyle ›
- What Is Gua Sha? ›
- What is gua sha ›
- Gua Sha Is the Chinese Facial Practice That Will Clear Your Skin ... ›
- Gua Sha Is the Chinese Facial Practice That Will Clear Your Skin ... ›
- Gua Sha Facial Massage, Technique, and Tools - Gua Sha DIY At ... ›
- Gua sha: Uses, benefits, and side effects ›
- What Is Gua Sha? All You Need to Know About Gua Sha Benefits ›
- Learn Facial Gua Sha from a Chinese Medical Skincare Professional ›
- Gua Sha: Benefits and Side Effects ›
Freelance writer, content creator, and traveler. She enjoys the beauty of simplicity, a peaceful life, and a big curly fro. Connect with Krissy on social media @iamkrissylewis or check out her blog at www.krissylewis.com.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
'Queen Charlotte' Star Arsema Thomas Worked At The United Nations Before Landing Her Breakout Role
Actress Arsema Thomas (Arséma Adeoluwayemi Hamera) may be new to the acting scene, but the star's standout performance in Netflix's limited series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is already leaving a lasting impression among many.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, a prequel to Bridgerton, follows the young queen's life as her marriage to King George of England sparks an epic love affair and a societal shift.
In the drama, Thomas portrays the role of a young Lady Agatha Danbury, a close friend and confidant of Queen Charlotte, and it also depicts Lady Danbury's journey.
The series showcases the struggles Lady Agatha Danbury experienced in her lifetime. The list includes being forced to partake in a loveless marriage to a former African king Herman Danbury, becoming a widow, and possibly losing her estate and title following her husband's death.
Since Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted on Netflix earlier this month, it has dominated the streaming service's top ten charts and piqued fans' interest in the show's stars, including Thomas.
Although many may not know a lot about the Atlanta native, who goes by she/they pronouns, and how she became one of the breakout stars in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, still, with the recent promotional tour Thomas has been doing for the show, she has shared some shocking details about her life.
Thomas' revelations within the past several months include details about her educational pursuits, previous work experience, her African culture, the steps she took to prepare for her role as Lady Agatha Danbury, and many more.
Arsema On Her African Heritage
Thomas, who is Nigerian and Ethiopian, is the daughter of diplomats.
The 28-year-old's parents, consisting of an Ethiopian mother and a Nigerian father, worked in the government to improve Africa's economic development.
Due to her parents' professions, the actress moved around a lot and lived in various countries like Kenya, Benin, Comoros, Uganda, and India, which exposed her to social issues. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Thomas opened up about having conversations about politics and government at a young age.
"Dinner table conversations were about politics, about African governance. I realized that in a lot of the countries I lived in, the effects of colonialism and imperialism were so blatantly obvious. That became the driving force for what I thought I should be doing as an adult," she said.
Later Thomas would ultimately reveal that her parents' work had inspired her to become a "doctor or something" because she wanted to make them proud.
Arsema Attended Carnegie Mellon University and Yale University
Prior to pursuing acting, Thomas revealed to Shondaland that she was a college graduate.
In 2016, she received her bachelor's degree in biophysics from Carnegie Mellon University. Following her graduation, Thomas interned at a mobile health clinic and a refugee camp in Kenya for over a year.
Around the same time, the star would continue her education by getting her master's in epidemiology and health policy at Yale University. Thomas disclosed that despite the educational success that she has achieved, acting became her main priority when she realized that this is something she could envision herself doing "100 percent of the time." This decision led Thomas to relocate to Paris, South Africa, and then to London to study drama.
"I packed up everything and moved to Paris because I wanted to do acting 100 percent of the time," she stated. "It was always something I had wanted to do, [but] I didn't think I would be able to. I thought it was going to be a hobby or a thing that I'd have to suppress in myself for the rest of my life."
Thomas would land her first role in 2021 as a guest star on the television series One Touch. Shortly after, she would participate in the 2022 film Redeeming Love as the character Rebecca. The rest would be history because, around that time, Thomas would receive the life-changing role of Lady Agatha Danbury in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
Arsema On How She Prepared for Her Role In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
When the opportunity for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story came along, Thomas took various steps to transform into Lady Agatha Danbury.
The actress, who has admitted to never seeing Bridgerton in the past, told Cosmopolitan UK's Up Close series that because she wasn't familiar with the fictionalized character, she decided to find things that she thought Lady Agatha Danbury would resonate with.
It includes reading books about women by well-known female authors who have made history in their own right, creating a Spotify playlist with music that Lady Agatha Danbury could listen to, and having waist beads made for her character.
"There was a lot of stuff I needed to get into this role because the character is fictional. So I read a ton of books about women or by women, that I thought that Agatha Danbury would resonate. So I read 'Ain't I A Woman' by Bell Hooks. I read Angela Davis' autobiography. I read Assata Shakur's autobiography, 'Tar Baby' by Toni Morrison, 'Eyes Are Watching God,' and 'Vaga Bonds' by Eloghosha Osunde. I made an extensive Spotify playlist, and I got waist beads made for Agatha," she explained.
Further in the interview, Thomas mentioned that she had waist beads made for Lady Danbury and wore them throughout the filming process because it helped ground her as she portrayed the character whom she described as entirely different from who she is as a person.
"It was a Nigerian woman threading these beads, and I asked her to thread beads specifically for this character, and I wore it throughout the entirety of filming," she said. "Because it was just kind of was a physical grounding point to this woman that is really, really actually far from who I am as an individual."
Thomas shared that talking to her grandmother, who had a similar background to Lady Danbury, such as having an arranged marriage at a young age, also helped her prepped for the role.
"I also talked to my grandmother a lot. I didn't realize how similar she was to this character. Because she was also married off when she was quite young," she revealed. "It was really interesting to kind of talk to someone in my life who I've known, who’s gone through something that is essentially the stripping away of their freedom, and someone who doesn't have any resentment or harbored anger towards the situation."
Arsema Worked At The United Nations
Thomas' work experience is an interesting one. Despite interning at three different health organizations, she previously worked at United Nations Population Fund, according to her Linkedin profile.
United Nations Population Fund's site states that the organization is part of the United Nation's "sexual and reproductive health agency." The gathered information on Thomas' profile says that she was an associate for the company from 2017 to 2018.
Some of Thomas' responsibilities included conducting "policy analyses" for United Nations Population Fund's sustainability and "supporting the regional desk specialist" in the program's division.
Arsema Speaks Five Languages
On top of Thomas' overwhelmingly impressive resume, the actress also speaks five languages.
According to the African publication Bella Naija, Thomas speaks English, Amharic, Yoruba, French, and Spanish. Although Thomas hasn't publicly talked about what inspired her to become multilingual, many can assume it is because of the various locations she has lived in throughout her life and her interest in learning.
Thomas may be a rising star now, but with the facts provided above, the actress has displayed through her work ethic and drive that she can soon become a household name.
Thomas' latest work Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, is now streaming on Netflix.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images