One Effective Anti-Aging Trend 20-Year-Olds Know About (But 40-Year-Olds Need To!) – SheFinds

While many effective anti-aging beauty endeavors often include surgeries, facelifts and other more permanent measures, there are still ways to achieve a youthful look in more temporary or less drastic ways. On Tik Tok, one ubiquitous trend many beauty gurus and influencers are utilizing is gua sha, as WebMD explains, “a traditional Chinese healing method” in which a “smooth-edged tool,” such as a jade stone is used to stroke the skin and lift it upwards (often revealing one’s cheekbones as seen in viral Tik Tok videos).

As countless 20-somethings swear by the method on the video-sharing app, we wondered, could anyone over 40 benefit from the practice as well? To learn more about gua sha and its anti-aging effectiveness, we reached out to Dr. Kim Harris, ND, Naturopathic Medical Doctor and skincare expert at Prescott Medical Aesthetics, Dr. Alexis Parcells, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of SUNNIE Skincare and Dr. Michele Koo, board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon and creator of Dr. Koo Private Practice Skincare. 

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First Off, How Does Gua Sha Work?

While the act of applying smooth stones to the skin in upwards motions is nothing new (and been around for thousands of years), gua sha’s recent popularity on Tik Tok has led to more interest in it across generations. Gen-Z Tik Tok users are certainly fans, but creators over 30 or 40 too have praised the practice on the app as well. Gua sha, or jade scraper, has been around for centuries, Parcells explains.

 “This healing technique was first documented in Chinese medicine back in 220 CE.” The idea of ‘sha,’ or ‘redness,’ she says, has long been attributed to skin healing. She notes that the principle behind gua sha is lymphatic drainage. “Strategically massaging your skin in a methodical motion can promote circulation and drain fluid trapped under the skin towards the lymph nodes to detoxify your skin,” Parcells adds, “Benefits can be seen at any age, and with a variety of health conditions, especially those that contribute to bloating.”

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What Visual Changes Can Gua Sha Provide? 

While this practice won’t permanently alter or lift skin, repeatedly engaging in it can instantly refresh or awaken your skin, Harris says, and this can offer many benefits regarding self-care and mental health. “From a medical perspective, I can say that gua sha is most certainly effective for anti-aging, regardless of age,” she says. “The reason it’s become so popular lately is likely due to the fact that it’s a relatively simple and affordable skincare treatment that can be done at home,” she adds. Gua sha can help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Harris stresses, as well as provide “a host of other benefits like improving circulation and lymphatic drainage.” 

Harris says that she would “absolutely recommend” gua sha to anyone looking for a “natural, non-invasive way to improve the appearance of their skin.” It’s a great way to promote skin health and can be used as part of a regular skincare routine, she says, as it isn’t as permanent or expensive as surgeries can be and can still provide an instant refreshing look before you’re headed out the door or before hitting the sheets to get your beauty rest. 

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What Tools Do You Need?

Koo advises using a jade or stone facial roller or flat stone tool. “The important part of gua sha is taking the time to relax, allowing your cortisol levels to drop (decreases inflammation) and the gentle massage,” she says.Facial gua sha is “wonderful for decreasing edema (puffiness),” she continues, as it increases “both arterial and helping lymphatic drainage.”

Both actions, she says, will help facial circulation, which will help cell turnover and renewal. “I love the ritual simply for the self-care component, she concludes, (as we all need to check in with and support ourselves at any age). “It is very important for skin health to relax and live in the moment to let go of the day’s tension.”

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