Gua Sha: Is This Beauty Trend Better Than Botox?

Gua Sha has been getting a lot of hype in the beauty world recently – some say it’s even better than botox! So we did some digging to uncover the truth about this ancient healing technique and beauty trend.

Is it really better than Botox? Can it actually soften fine lines + signs of aging, naturally plump skin and promote an overall youthful appearance? Keep reading below to find out why you should ditch Botox for good and if Gua Sha stands up to all the hype.


Botox may seem like a quick, easy, relatively risk-free and even fun option (Botox parties have pretty much replaced Tupperware parties at this point) to conceal the appearance of crows feet, forehead lines and frown lines – but like with most temporary fixes, it can often lead to long-term side effects.

And this injectable is no exception.

While Botox is also used medically to treat multiple health conditions (like hyperhidrosis, migraines and muscle spasms) it’s an incredibly common cosmetic treatment as a short-term solution for lessening the look of wrinkles.

Keyword: short-term solution.

Sure, it effectively erases fine lines and signs of aging by inhibiting the movement of facial muscles – and therefore, facial expressions and any sign of emotion – but at what cost? More than just the reoccurring bill from the Med-Spa, the side effects of Botox can be costly.

Botox (Botulinum Toxin Type A) is a known neurotoxin that targets the nervous system and blocks communication between your nerves and your muscles.

It’s even been referred to as a “miracle poison”, paralyzing the facial muscles for months at a time.

While some believe that Botox is actually a preventative treatment for premature aging and can diminish deeper lines in the skin over time, the reality is, since this injectable literally freezes the facial muscles and stops all form of movement (which we know is essential for strong, healthy tissues), the treated areas will weaken over time and inevitably cause the muscles to atrophy – aka waste away.

Freezing. Atrophying. Numbing. No, thanks.

Since the visible effects of Botox are only temporary and tend to wear off after about 3-4 months, to maintain a wrinkle-free complexion, repeated treatments are required. And with consistent exposure to this neurotoxin, the toxic buildup in the body becomes a real threat – and the effects last long after the Botox has worn off.

This drug has been around for decades and is actually derived from the toxin found in Botulism (a serious illness that attacks the nerves, causing paralysis throughout the body and in some cases, can be fatal) and through various research and studies, Botox has been linked to a number of serious health risks. This injectable has the potential to spread to other areas of your face causing adverse allergic reactions, impaired vision, severe muscle weakness, difficulty breathing and swallowing, compromised immunity and other life-threatening side effects.

Is filling your face with poison to temporarily minimize a few facial lines really worth it?

The decision is ultimately up to you, but since we’re all about naturally supporting your beauty + well-being, we suggest ditching Botox for good.

But that doesn’t mean you have to accept fine lines as your fate! There’s a natural alternative to Botox that’s sweeping the beauty industry and is even proven to reverse premature aging and visibly plump the skin – no needles necessary.


As the dangers and negative long-term effects of Botox have started to surface, Gua Sha is taking its place as the new natural facelift. From New York to LA, this holistic remedy has already begun to replace Botox in professional beauty treatments and personal skincare routines.

This ancient healing technique + smooth gemstone tool is rooted in age-old Chinese medicine and works with the skin and underlying tissues through light pulling and lifting massage motions.

While Botox is intended to block all lines of communication between the nerves and the muscles, the purpose of Gua Sha is to literally open up pathways of communication – clearing blockages, promoting drainage of excess fluid + cellular waste and supporting the optimal flow of blood, oxygen and vital nutrients.

Lack of flow, stagnant lymph, and accumulation of buildup is actually what leads to aging skin and several other conditions – not only the formation of fine lines, sagging skin and hyperpigmentation but inflammatory issues such as acne, rosacea and sensitivities – as it hinders the skin from receiving the support it needs for optimal health and healing.

Rather than freezing fine lines and numbing facial muscles, Gua Sha forms new pathways of blood flow and nutrients to soften signs of aging and support youthful skin over time.

The result? Detoxifying, depuffing, softening fine lines + wrinkles, sculpting facial muscles, brightening skin tone, and releasing tension.

Yeah, Gua Sha is that good.

Not only does Gua Sha visibly rejuvenate the appearance of skin, but the repeated massage movements melt muscle tension. (TMJ, anyone?) Believe it or not, tension is one of the top contributors to aging.

Tightness works just like a traffic jam – it creates less space for optimal flow and blocks nourishment + oxygen from efficiently getting to the skin. Gua Sha moves out waste material and sluggish lymph to nourish skin more deeply and allow vital nutrients to flow more freely, uninhibited.

Remember Botox’s anti-aging strategy? Inhibiting any and all movement.

Gua Sha’s strategy? Not so much.

It’s through movement that the skin is fed and the muscles are strengthened – creating a more toned, lifted, and sculpted appearance. Think of Gua Sha like yoga for the face. It actually restores mobility and elasticity in the tissue, softens depressions in the skin and repatterns those pathways from repeated facial expressions.

While it may take several months to see pronounced wrinkles and premature aging start to diminish (unlike the neurotoxin alternative that freezes the muscle within just a few days), this natural alternative is not about freezing the aging process but actually reversing signs of aging by holistically rejuvenating the skin. Deeper lines become less noticeable and healing begins to happen on a much deeper level.

However, with the stone’s intentional design for smoothing, contouring, clearing, depuffing and plumping, its effects are actually experienced almost immediately (the before + after pics are proof!) and continue to build over time. Light, downward strokes drain, detoxify and depuff, while gentle, upward strokes lift, firm and tighten.

Plus with its rhythmic, repetitive massage movements, Gua Sha powerfully supports stress levels by sedating the sympathetic nervous system (our fight/flight response – which is active all too often in our culture today) and tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest/digest) to allow the body and mind to enter a state of relaxation, focusing on reparative functions + restoring overall health. Because one of the biggest causes of premature aging is chronic stress, a consistent Gua Sha practice helps to not only address stress-induced skin conditions, it creates a calm, quiet mind.

We’d like to see needles try to do that. 😉

Gua Sha may sound like some magic formula or just too good to be true, but ultimately, this holistic approach to youthful skin is all about living well. Building a consistent beauty routine on the foundations of a healthy lifestyle to support skin that truly glows, from the inside out. And while this natural alternative may take more time and intention than a typical injection, it’s long-term side effects include smiling for decades to come.

While we deeply believe Gua Sha is better than Botox, here’s the real truth we want to leave you with: the lines on our face are not meant to be something we resent when we look in the mirror. Each one speaks to the emotions we’ve felt, the memories we’ve made and the lives we’ve lived. The lines of life are proof of your strength, your resilience, your beauty, your struggle and the gift of life you’ve been given. And there’s no beauty treatment we would want to ever want to erase that. XO

Shop our pure jade Gua Sha stones here!

**Already have Botox but want to give Gua Sha a try? Be sure to wait at least 4 weeks before trying this holistic alternative to avoid moving the injection to other areas of the face. After a month has passed, you’re in the clear and we can’t wait for you to experience the difference!


Can Gua Sha really reverse premature aging + naturally plump skin? Find out why you should ditch Botox for good and if Gua Sha stands up to all the hype! | Primally Pure Skincare

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Courtney O’Connor

Courtney Joy O’Connor is Primally Pure’s In-House Holistic Esthetician and Content Curator. Being in the beauty industry for over a decade, her experience + expertise with pure products, the healing power of touch and holistic skincare rituals are at the core of all she creates. She has trained extensively with industry experts across the country to offer her community the most educational content and transformative treatments. Courtney lives at the beach with her plant babies and loves road tripping, blending superfood bliss balls and exploring our big, beautiful world.