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How to Clean Your Gua Sha (Yes, You Need to Keep It Clean!)

Photo by DevMarya/Getty Images

Now that you’ve already completed your skincare routine, can you just get on with the rest of your night or day? Well, almost! You’ve got one step left—you need to know how to clean your gua sha tool, just like you would your other beauty tools. While it may not seem necessary since all it did was touch your face and a little face oil, it’s actually pretty important. 

If using a gua sha tool is, in fact, not part of your skincare routine, let’s get you informed about this facial device. The glass-like stone (often in the form of rose quartz or amethyst) typically used for gua sha provides a facial massage effect. This helps penetrate your products, relax your face, and assist with lymphatic drainage. Like jade rollers, gua sha tools have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and they’ve become increasingly popular in American culture over the last five years. They’re applied to the jawline and cheekbones with moisturizer, facial oils, or other beauty products. The result can have a natural sculpting and contouring effect.

Keep reading for more expert info on the practice, how to clean your gua sha tool, and why it’s important to have a clean gua sha tool.

About the Experts: 

Taylor Nicole is a licensed esthetician based in Southern California.
Cassandra Bankson is a Los Angeles–based skincare expert and medical esthetician who is most prominently known for her content creation on YouTube.

Why It’s Important to Clean Your Gua Sha Tool

Think of a gua sha the way you would any other tool or applicator you use on your face regularly. Product buildup is unsanitary. “Properly cleaning your gua sha tool is extremely important,” says licensed esthetician Taylor Nicole. “Just like your sponges and brushes, gua sha tools can harbor bacteria and dirt, which can cause skin conditions such as sensitivity, irritation, and breakouts.”

A photo of a woman using a gua sha on her face
Photo by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

5 Easy Ways to Clean Your Gua Sha Tool at Home

1. Use What You Have at Your Sink

Cleaning your gua sha tool doesn’t have to require any special purchases. Nicole recommends using your favorite facial cleanser or a gentle antibacterial soap. Using a damp sponge or towel, she gently scrubs her gua sha for at least 20 seconds in a bowl of lukewarm water. Bankson echoes this tip, adding, “Make sure that you use an antibacterial wash versus a dish soap, because not all dish soap is antibacterial.” 

 2. Spray With Alcohol

Once the initial washing process is complete, Nicole dries off her gua sha tool with a clean towel, and then sprays it with isopropyl alcohol if she’s concerned about excess bacteria. Bankson seconds this approach, adding that you can quickly dunk your gua sha in rubbing alcohol or an antibacterial oil spray as a standalone cleaning method.

 3. Use a UV Light Cleaner

UV light cleaners became increasingly popular at doctor’s offices at the height of COVID-19. Bankson personally recommends these for sterilizing everything from cell phones and car keys to, yes, your gua sha tool. “They really are the best for cleaning items that can harbor tons of dirt and bacteria,” she says.

 4. Put Your Gua Sha in Boiling Water (If Metal)

While gua sha tools most commonly come in the form of glass-like stones, they are occasionally made of metal. If this is the case with your tool, Bankson says you can put it in boiling water the same way you would clean tweezers. “But do not do this with any of the stone or resin variations,” she says. “Additionally, make sure that you are using tongs to remove the metal tool from the hot water—metal holds on to heat and you don’t want to burn yourself!” 

 5. Place It in a Ziploc Bag 

To prevent additional bacteria from coming into contact with your tool, Nicole suggests placing it in an airtight bag in your regular fridge or a skincare fridge. If not in the fridge, make sure to store your tool in a cool, dry place.

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About the author
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer, who has a passion for hair, makeup, and skincare. She contributes regularly to Mane Addicts and her blog, Skyelyfe. Her work has also appeared on Glossy, People, E!, Sweety High and more.
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Article Last Updated December 22, 2022 12:00 AM