On the other hand, some people prefer to gua sha in the evenings. There’s a practical reason for this: You might not enjoy slipping on an oil in the mornings—especially if you’re going to layer on makeup that day. (Remember: You should always apply a face oil before gliding your stone, so you don’t tug at the skin.) While we believe high-quality facial oils are for everyone (and you can find fairly lightweight options), you might not feel as comfortable patting on a heavier occlusive in the a.m.
But the main reason you may want to gua sha at night, according to Yang, is to help break up stagnant qi that accumulates throughout the day. If the morning is about stimulating blood flow and awakening the skin and spirit, the evening is about calming everything down. “If I do gua sha at night, then my intention is so smooth qi and blood that stagnated during the day, reduce stress and tension, and calm the mind as well as spirit,” Yang notes. “The qi and blood can stagnate throughout the day due to stress, screen time, and ‘stuck’ emotions.”
That being said, if you do want to smooth qi with an evening gua sha, you’ll want to use downward strokes to encourage blood flow in that direction. “This helps calm the mind and spirit, as well as return any congested qi and blood to the body to then be processed by the other internal organs. I also imagine putting my face to rest/sleep when I do this,” says Yang.