Look, no jowls but beware bleeding under the skin: Is gua sha really better than Botox?

Happy Talk: The latest Instagrammable trend, an at-home massage technique, has some surprising results

Gua sha: a massage technique that claims it’s better than Botox
Gua sha: a massage technique that claims it’s better than Botox

To paraphrase the late great Nora Ephron, lately I’ve been feeling bad about my neck. And my jawline. And the deep horizontal grooves on my forehead, which I blame on having spent my twenties and thirties on a never-ending series of terrible dates that required me to hold a both-eyebrows-raised “that’s really interesting” facial expression for several hours at a time. I’m paying for it now. So much so that recently, my old friend Anna, a dermatologist, suggested a little light Botox. She wasn’t joking. She offered me “mates rates”. I wondered for a moment if we could even be mates anymore. Aren’t your best girlfriends just supposed to tell you that you look wonderful even when you’ve got eye bags right down to your jowls?

I told Anna I’d think about it but the truth is I’ve always been frightened of Botox and even the thought of having it administered by someone I’ve known and loved for almost 30 years didn’t allay my fears. I just know I would be the person who ends up with a face like a Barbie that’s been left too close to the fire. It doesn’t help that I have another friend who did have a terrible Botox experience that resulted in a weirdly arched eyebrow that was definitely more Spock than Scarlett in Gone With The Wind.

So when I read an online feature touting gua sha facial massage as the new, non-invasive, side-effect-free alternative to Botox, I knew I had to try it. The article was accompanied by before and after photographs of the author highlighting a (very slightly) tightened jawline, (incredibly subtly) lifted brows and neck wrinkles magically melted away (in the right light). I was sold.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in