Gua Sha vs. Jade Roller: Understanding the Differences and Benefits of Both

Many of us have seen the Facebook ads, TikToks, and influencers preaching the wonders of gua sha and jade rolling, but even though the art of utilizing facial skincare tools has gained significant attention over the past few months, it still remains a new concept to many. Some of these social mentions only provide a quick glimpse into the rich world of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Naturally, we’re curious folks who want to understand the ins and outs of these products surfacing in mainstream culture. Is it worth the hype? Let’s find out together.

Aren’t Gua Sha and Jade Rollers basically the same thing? 

One of the most frequently asked questions we get (and that Google gets) is the difference between gua sha and jade rollers—a fair question, given that they’re both products that you use on your face and appear to produce similar results. 

We’re going to break down the core differences between these two products and the slightly different ways both can benefit you.



Do Jade Rollers and Gua Sha produce the same results? 

Yes and no. Both tools provide lymphatic drainage, but gua sha is meant more as a deep facial massage, allowing you to take your time and investigate each part of your face and neck with care. With jade rollers, you can still make it a self-care activity, but think of gua sha as more of a yoga practice for your face, whereas jade rollers are more of a quick skincare pick-me-up you can use at any time.

What are the benefits of Gua Sha?

There are many benefits of gua sha that impact both your body and mind, leaving you feeling refreshed physically and mentally.

Tension relief

One of the biggest benefits that comes with using gua sha is the release of tension in your neck and face when performed correctly. It can help relieve stress and tight, overworked muscles (that you didn’t even know you were using!). The action of applying deep pressure in places such as your forehead, jaw, neck, and shoulders will help you relax and feel at peace. It’s the perfect way to end a stressful day and prepare yourself for bed, or start your day feeling relaxed and anxiety-free.

Lymphatic Drainage

You’ll also find that your lymphatic system is activated through gua sha, causing the lymph fluid flowing all over your body to move out of your face and neck. The lymph fluid is made up of salts, proteins, and other substances that are carried throughout the body. We tend to hold a lot of this fluid in our face and neck, and when we stimulate the lymphatic system the result is the fluid leaving the face and neck, leaving you with a less puffy face.

Better Complexion

Yup, it’s true. You’ll likely find yourself looking a little more glowy post-gua sha. As you clear out the toxins from your skin, issues like blackheads and breakouts are being attacked and eradicated. Additionally, your blood flow and oxygen are stimulated, meaning there’s a possibility that you can lessen the appearance of fine lines, decrease hyperpigmentation, and improve your skin’s elasticity. 

Reduced Stress & Anxiety

If the powerful physical benefits weren’t enough to sell you, perhaps the mental ones will. Acting as a “mind detox,” it’s common for gua sha users to feel more concentrated, energized, and revitalized after using gua sha or receiving a gua sha facial. It makes sense – don’t you feel like a new person after you get a massage? The good news is that you can do this on yourself whenever you want. 

Want to learn more about how to use gua sha? Check out our easy steps at the end of this post, or read our Gua Sha Scraper article to learn more. 

What does a Jade Roller do?

Similar to the gua sha stone, a jade roller is a facial massage tool. The benefits seen from using a jade roller include an increase in blood circulation, flushing out toxins, toning facial muscles, lymphatic drainage as well as greater serum absorption. The benefits are similar to those of the gua sha, but some might find the jade roller a bit more approachable as there isn’t as much of a learned technique involved. Jade rollers are also known for being more cool-to-touch.

To use a jade roller, begin at the middle of your face rolling outwards. Apply a light pressure as you roll, feeling around for points of tension on your face. Roll up and down along your forehead and jaw. Use very light pressure as you roll the area around your eyes. For harder to reach areas on your face, use the smaller end of the roller.

Should you use Gua Sha or Jade Roller first?

This all depends on your situation. We recommend using the gua sha if you want a more personalized experience and don’t mind taking the time to learn how to use the stone. If you’re looking for something that will produce similar results and doesn’t have as much of a learning curve, perhaps the jade roller is more suitable for you. However, you can’t go wrong with either purchase, and if you’re like me and like to have options—get both!

Gua Sha and Jade Roller: You Can’t Go Wrong

As mentioned earlier, you really can’t go wrong with the gua sha or jade roller. Their uses and benefits are similar enough that regardless of which one you go with, you will look and feel differently after using either tool. Remember to be consistent in your use to see the best results. You’ll be glowing a little brighter in no time and receiving compliments all year long. 

5 Easy Steps For How to Use Gua Sha Correctly 

To get the most out of your gua sha scraper, you should know how to properly use it. Follow our step-by-step instructions for a satisfying facial, neck and shoulder massage.

Step 1:

Apply oil. Apply an oil to wherever you plan on using your gua sha (head, neck, shoulders, etc.). Oils high in antioxidants, like Marula Oil and Rose Hip Oil, will leave your skin feeling soft while also helping to get rid of blackheads and blemishes. Avoid using the gua sha on your bare skin, as this causes unnecessary stretching and pulling. If you apply oil as a last step in your skincare routine, gua sha will help lock in the previous products you applied.

Step 2: 

Begin by using the gua sha on your neck and shoulders. The placement of the scraper is key: make sure to hold the gua sha tool flat against your neck and work in downwards motions. This will encourage lymphatic drainage while also acting as a tension-releasing massage.

Step 3:

Move up to your jaw and cheeks. Lightly apply pressure and stroke upwards, starting with your jaw and moving on to your cheek bones and inner cheeks for the best results. If you’re someone who struggles with TMJ or chronic jaw tensions, you’ll feel some powerful relief that you can’t mimic with a hand massage.

Step 4:

Press the tool flat against your under eyes. This will help drain fluids in your eye bags and give you a less puffy look. Because the skin is sensitive to any pulling in this area, be wary of stroking the stone under your eyes.

Step 5:

Lastly, you’ll focus on your forehead. Make horizontal strokes, starting in the middle of your forehead and working your way across each side one at a time.  Bring it into your brow bone and pull downwards for an intense middle-of-the-face massage. You’ll likely be “ooh-ing” and “ah-ing” uncontrollably at this point, as the sensation is enough to make anyone reach a state of total tranquility. Additionally, this can provide great relief for chronic migraine and head pain sufferers.


Writer: Evan Neuhoff