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Can Gua Sha Cause Acne? (Everything You Need to Know)

Gua Sha, a traditional Chinese practice, is a popular facial massage tool and technique. Using a gua sha tool, typically made from rose quartz or jade, individuals scrape the skin's surface in upward strokes.

This method is supposed to promote blood and lymph circulation, reduce puffiness, and even reduce fine lines and wrinkles. However, many skin care enthusiasts ask, "Can gua sha cause acne?"

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Gua Sha, rooted in traditional Chinese practices, promotes blood circulation and lymphatic drainage through gentle skin scraping.
  • While beneficial, Gua Sha should be used cautiously, especially for those with acne-prone skin.
  • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of the Gua Sha tool are crucial to prevent bacterial buildup and ensure skin safety.
  • Exposed Skin Care products can seamlessly integrate with Gua Sha routines, offering a comprehensive skincare solution that combines ancient rituals with modern science.

Woman getting gua sha treatment in a salon

The Gua Sha Technique: How It Works

Before we dive into the central question, it's essential to understand the gua sha ritual and how it interacts with our skin.

The Gua Sha Tool

The primary instrument in a gua sha facial is the gua sha stone, often made of materials like rose quartz or jade. Each gua sha tool is uniquely shaped to adapt to the contours of the face and neck, enabling a deep massage without pulling on the skin.

The Technique in Action

A typical gua sha routine involves using the gua sha tool on clean, bare skin, preferably lubricated with face oil to help the tool glide smoothly. The tool is used to massage the face with light pressure, stimulating blood circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage.

Gua Sha and Acne: Connecting the Dots

Acne can arise for various reasons, such as clogged pores, excess oil production, and bacterial growth. So, can gua sha cause acne, or can it help clear it?

One of the primary benefits of gua sha is enhancing blood flow and lymph circulation to the face. Improved circulation can help eliminate toxins and clear acne by moving impurities away from the skin cells.

Woman performing gua sha on herself

Facial gua sha helps in relaxing facial muscles, thereby reducing facial tension. Moreover, lymphatic drainage can reduce puffiness, which is often a concern alongside breakouts.

The Possibility of Breakouts

While gua sha can help in many ways, there's a possibility it might cause breakouts in some cases. For instance, if you use your gua sha tool on areas of your face with active breakouts, the practice might spread bacteria, leading to more acne.

Precautions to Take: Ensure Your Gua Sha Journey is Acne-Free

To ensure that you don't counteract the positive effects of gua sha, here are some tips to follow:

Always Start with Clean Skin and Tool

Always cleanse your face thoroughly before a gua sha massage to ensure no dirt or grime on the skin's surface. Also, washing your gua sha tool before and after every use is crucial.

Choose the Right Face Oil

Not all oils are suitable for every skin type. For those prone to acne, non-comedogenic oils are a must. This ensures the pores don't get clogged while you massage your face.

Woman wearing a towel selecting facial oil to use

Avoid Active Breakouts

While gua sha can help in circulation and reducing facial tension, it's advisable not to use the gua sha tool directly on active breakouts to prevent the spread of acne-causing bacteria.

Other Considerations in the Gua Sha Ritual

Depth of Pressure and Skin Type

How deep you press the tool and the type of strokes you employ might differ based on your skin type. For instance, those with cystic acne or capillary concerns should use very light pressure.

Gua Sha Frequency

While some people incorporate gua sha into their daily skincare routine, others might do a weekly session. The frequency often depends on individual skin needs and how one's skin reacts to the massage.

Exposed Skin Care: Unveiling the Secrets to Acne Management

As you navigate using gua sha and traditional Chinese medicine, you'll uncover numerous ancient Chinese rituals that promise radiant skin. But, while gua sha and facial tools have their charm, modern solutions like Exposed Skin Care should be included in your routine.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here's how Exposed Skin Care can benefit you:

  • Targeted Action: Specifically designed to tackle acne scars and promote healing, ensuring your skin naturally regains its flawless texture.
  • Complementary to Gua Sha: Just as a gua sha expert would recommend using the right tool, we emphasize incorporating Exposed Skin Care into your daily gua sha practice. This combination aids in cleansing the skin, preparing it for a gua sha session.
  • Holistic Approach: Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive solution that addresses the causes of your skin concerns.
  • Safe & Effective: Manufactured to ensure every drop helps improve skin health. Just as you'd hold your gua sha tool with care, we tend to hold the quality of our products to the highest standards.

Exposed Skin Care brings the harmony of modern science and ancient wisdom to give you everything you need to know and everything you need for luminous skin.


Gua sha is a skincare technique deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. It has swept across the beauty community due to the numerous benefits it promises. Using one gua sha tool, users gently rub the skin, stimulating blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.

This method, which involves a series of specific movements and pressures, can be a therapeutic addition to any skincare routine. The holistic approach of gua sha brings tranquility and ancient wisdom, harmonizing with the body's natural ability to heal itself.

As with any regular facial tool, it's vital to use it with care, ensuring that the pressures applied suit one's skin type. The continuous motion of the tool against the skin helps to improve circulation and relieve tension.

However, while there are many benefits, cleaning and maintaining your tools is crucially important. Any tool, whether a flat gua sha stone or another type, should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after every use to prevent bacterial buildup.

Products like Exposed Skin Care perfectly complement techniques like gua sha, offering a comprehensive solution to skincare needs. Combining ancient techniques with modern solutions can create a harmonious balance, promoting radiant and healthy skin.


What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese massage technique using a flat tool to scrape the skin, promoting blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.

How does Gua Sha help with skin health?

Gua Sha improves blood and lymph circulation to the face, potentially aiding in toxin elimination and reducing puffiness.

Should I use Gua Sha on active breakouts?

No, avoiding using Gua Sha directly on active breakouts is advisable to prevent the spreading of acne-causing bacteria.

How often should I clean my Gua Sha tool?

It's essential to clean and disinfect your Gua Sha tool before and after every use to maintain hygiene.

How does Exposed Skin Care complement Gua Sha?

Exposed Skin Care offers targeted solutions for acne management, and when combined with Gua Sha, it can amplify skin healing and rejuvenation.