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    Face Mapping: 9 Things Your Pimples Can Tell You About Your Health

    Face mapping pimples on your skin is a useful technique that can shed light on the different zones in your face, since each zone develops zits reacting to different health events.
    We’re not just talking beauty here – face mapping can provide a deeper view of your skin concerns. The state of your skin can reflect your whole being. If you’ve been indulging in too much rich food and wine, the face mapping technique will show you the error of your ways.
    So, what exactly is face mapping?
    Face mapping or Chinese face mapping is a great tool to determine where skin symptoms such as blemishes, redness and pimples, connect deeper in the body. It’s a technique that reaches back thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.
    READ MORE: 8 Skin-Smoothing DIY Face Scrubs You Can Make In Your Kitchen
    This unique skin analysis divides the face into fourteen zones. Each zone is thoroughly examined centimetre-by-centimetre by analyzing conditions like congestion, breakouts, dehydration, pigmentation etc. Below, a breakdown of each zone.

    Zones 1 & 3
    The left and right side of forehead is regarded as the “sister” to the bladder and digestive system. If you breakout frequently in this area, it might mean that you need to improve your elimination by drinking more water and eating more “whole” foods.
    Zone 2
    The middle of the forehead, between the eyebrows, is related to the liver. Congestion in this zone can indicate over consumption of alcohol, rich foods, and possibly a food allergy (such as lactose intolerance).
    READ MORE: “I Tried My Mom’s Beauty Routine And Learnt 4 Important Lessons”
    Zones 4 & 10
    The ears are a highly sensitive area related to the kidneys. If you notice that your ears are very hot, you might be stressing them out – drink plenty of plain water and cut down on caffeine and alcohol.
    Zones 5 & 9
    The cheeks often give an accurate glimpse into any respiratory distress. Smokers or people suffering from allergies generally experience fine, broken capillaries or congestion in this area.
    Zones 6 & 8
    The eyes are truly a window to the body’s health because they’re related to the kidneys. Dark circles, while often hereditary, are made worse by dehydration and poor elimination of toxins.
    READ MORE: 7 Face Mists To Keep Your Skin Cool And Hydrated During The Hot Summer Days
    Zone 7
    A reddened nose can indicate heightened blood pressure, or the early stages of rosacea. Congestion around the upper lip can occur if you use comedogenic lipsticks or liners.
    Zones 11 & 13
    Look and feel for undersurface congestion and breakouts. Undersurface congestion can be due to insufficient cleansing all the way down to the jaw-line, leaving make-up and cleanser residue. If there are breakouts along the jawbone near the ear, check if you’re having problems with your back teeth (wisdom), or have had recent dental surgery or x-rays.
    Zone 12
    Breakouts or unusual hair growth can indicate hormonal imbalance, possibly caused by extreme stress. Premenstrual breakouts are also very common on the chin.
    Zone 14
    Don’t forget to include your neck in your treatment regimen – the skin on your neck is just as fragile as that on your face, so it definitely needs the benefits of moisturisation and sun protection. More

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    What is Gua Sha? Everything You Need to Know About the It Skincare Tool of 2022

    I know a thing or two about stress, and I’m (unfortunately) pretty well acquainted with the toll stress can take on the skin and body: acne, texture, dullness, and so much puffiness. My mom says it’s all the french fries I eat, but I certainly wouldn’t eat (as many of) the fries if I was relaxed!
    So I went on the hunt for products that could both help my skin and help me destress. I tried the spoon in the fridge (OK, TBH, that was painful!), tons of eye creams, and cutting out dairy (didn’t work for me, but it might for you!). My first obvious choice was a jade roller (how could you go wrong!), but the more I researched (AKA stalking all my favorite beauty bloggers on Instagram for hours), I decided to get in on a trend early.
    An Amazon Prime delivery and a month or so later, my gua sha stone and I are basically BFFs. Because I’m so obsessed with my nightly gua sha massage ritual, I’m giving you all the details about what it is, what it does, and how you can do it at home. 

    In this article

    What is Gua Sha?
    Gua sha (pronounced gwa-shah!) is a tool (or tools) used to scrape the skin to promote circulation. Ancient Chinese medicine utilized the gua sha tool thousands of years ago to increase blood circulation and heal the body. 
    When you give yourself a gua sha massage, you’re essentially scraping all of that water and lymph under your skin to the edges of your face and pulling it down your neck to drain. It’s kind of gross but also super cool, huh? It moves all the blood around under your skin, so after a gua sha session, your face is plump with fresh, new blood to the surface.
    In Chinese medicine, gua sha came in the form of soup spoons and other items (which isn’t exactly what all the gua sha stones you see on Instagram look like). Generally, gua sha is made of either jade or rose quartz stones (jade is known for purifying and healing your energy).
    Here, I’m discussing gua sha as a facial tool for massage. However, there are larger tools that can be used for gua sha on the body. I’m dying to find an acupuncturist to see all the amazing things gua sha could do for my body now that I’ve seen how it helps my face!

    Benefits of Gua Sha

    Improves circulation
    Gua sha is the tool if you want to increase blood flow in your face. Circulation in itself has so many benefits, from decreasing inflammation, adding a glowy look to the skin, anti-aging, and more.

    Aids in lymphatic drainage
    Suffering from extra fluid in your face? Gua sha can help with that. Lymphatic fluid is basically all the fluid coming from your lymph nodes that hasn’t quite made its way back to the cardiovascular system. Massaging the skin helps drain that fluid from your face (yuck), and gua sha is the best tool to get that all to come out.

    Source: Pavel Danilyuk | Pexels

    Relieves muscle tension
    As you scrape the gua sha across your skin, you’ll start to feel your face instantly relax. For years, everyone thought I had TMJ because of my jaw issues, but it turns out, I clench my jaw while I’m sleeping when I’m stressed (so basically all the time). As soon as I started using gua sha, I immediately noticed that my jaw felt less tight, and I was able to relax it more than ever.
    The scraping motion you do with a gua sha stone breaks up the muscle tissue, called fascia, which brings circulation and causes the muscles to relax more. If you are dealing with stress and can feel it in your face, gua sha is a super-easy way to bring some relief while adding some awesome self-care to your day.
    An added benefit: fewer headaches!

    Can help with skin dryness
    Stop the presses—gua sha might save all of you dry-skin gals! Yet again, when you push all of those toxins out of your face, your skin begins to plump up with moisture since it isn’t weighed down anymore.

    Reduces breakouts and helps with anti-aging
    Yep, gua sha is basically a miracle worker. All that lymphatic drainage lurking in your skin is bound to cause some buildup, which is what can lead to acne, texture, and dullness in the skin. The massage, therefore, brings elasticity and brightness to the skin. Using firmer pressure can even help you tackle fine lines and wrinkles.

    Adds facial contours
    No need for expensive contour powders with your gua sha! As you scrape your gua sha stone across your cheeks, you’ll start to notice facial contours you never knew you had. While this slimming effect is only temporary, over time, getting the blood circulating and moving around all that lymphatic drainage can only help if you’re trying to slim down your face.

    How do I do it?
    [embedded content]
    You can do gua sha massages after either the serum, moisturizer, or oil step of your routine. I prefer to do my gua sha after I’ve applied all the products to my skin because it helps the stone glide across the skin effortlessly.
    Each gua sha tool is shaped differently, so find the side that works best for the different contours of your face. I first use the side with the divot on mine to fit the contours like under my eyes, on my cheeks, and on my chin, and then I take the curved side for my forehead and down my neck and chest.
    Because you’re about to push all these toxins out of your face (sounds amazing, right?), I like to make sure my neck is decongested before I start pushing all the gunk down it. In three different sections (both sides and directly under my chin), I run the tool toward my face for about five to 10 strokes.
    Then, in a sweeping motion, I scrape the gua sha tool from the middle of my chin to right under my ear on my jawline and repeat five to 10 times depending on how excited I am to hop into bed. I do the other side and then continue up the face, scraping the gua sha from the corner of my mouth to my ears, under my ears, and just above my eyebrows. It sounds like a lot, but it’s so relaxing that you’ll be wishing you could rub that thing over your face for hours (If you can’t tell, my gua sha and I are in a serious, committed relationship right now).
    If you need a visual, the video above is a great tutorial! Once you start gua sha-ing away, you’ll get into your own groove of how you like to do it.
    As you’re massaging, don’t be afraid to add some firm pressure. Obviously, we’re not trying to bruise ourselves, but if some redness or little red dots appear, that’s normal. Redness means that the gua sha is bringing blood to the surface, so it’s doing its job!

    I already have a jade roller. Do I need both?
    Depending on your needs, both a gua sha stone and a jade roller can be beneficial. In my experience, a jade roller is amazing for helping products like serums and oils sink more deeply into the skin. I love using a jade roller to apply my eye creams at night as well as on top of sheet masks to help all that goodness soak in (one of my fave skincare hacks!). Gua sha, on the other hand, is more for massages than products. It helps you pull out all those toxins in your skin at a deeper level than the jade roller.

    Shop Our Favorites:

    I’ve Tried Hundreds of Beauty Products—and the NuFACE is the Real Deal More

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    The Holy Grail Treatment That Has Made My Sore Muscles Disappear

    While I’ve had quite the run of working out from home (thanks to Obé Fitness and a well-stocked cabinet of workout gear), since I got back in the gym, my workouts have been a complete step above. I’m lifting heavier, going longer, needing fewer breaks—to say I’m thriving would be an understatement. But what comes with harder, more intense workouts? Feeling sore AF. I won’t complain that my body feels sore from my workouts because we all know that bittersweet feeling that we actually accomplished something when we wake up with shaky legs after a day of heavy squats or a long run. But when you get really sore, it can make even the simplest of tasks (like sitting on the toilet) feel like the most laborious chore.
    If you’re looking for a quick fix, massaging your body with a gua sha tool is probably the highest on the list, and it’s the only method I’ve found useful for both relieving and preventing soreness. 
    Gua sha is the act of scraping at the skin to promote circulation. “Gua means ‘scrape’ and Sha means ‘petechiae’ (tiny, flat red or purple spots) in Chinese,” said Dr. Ervina Wu, PhD, LAc, co-founder of YINA. “It’s commonly used in Chinese medicine to scrape the skin (mostly on the upper back) to invigorate blood flow, release heat-toxins, stimulate lymphatic drainage, activate various points of the body, and stimulate an immune response bringing helpful cells to the area.” If you haven’t tried it yourself (likely with a jade or rose quartz stone on your face), you’ve probably seen it on TikTok labeled as a natural way to sculpt and massage your face. It’s been used in ancient Chinese civilizations for centuries to bring out redness and treat ailments all over the body, using sharper objects like coins or scrapers. In Western culture, we’ve seen jade and rose quartz-shaped stones to lightly massage the face, moving around lymphatic drainage and sculpting the face.
    However, most of us are forgetting that one of the best ways to utilize our gua sha tools is on the body. I’ve added body gua sha to my nightly routine for the last two months. Here’s how I use it, what I use, and the Equilibria CBD products that have totally changed my gua sha routine.

    In this article

    Meet the expert
    Dr. Ervina Wu, PhD, LAc
    Dr. Ervina Wu is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and registered TCM Dermatologist and the founder of YINA, a beauty and wellness brand by two AAPI founders and doctors.

    Using Gua Sha With CBD
    When I want to really help my sore muscles, I pair a gua sha body massage with Equilibria’s CBD products, specifically the Relief Balm and Daily Treatment Oil. To get the gua sha moving around the skin, you always have to apply some kind of slippery product so you’re not tugging at your skin, and opting for CBD doubles the sore muscle-fighting powers. The Relief Cream is already my favorite product from Equilibria for relieving menstrual cramp pain and treating migraines, but it quite possibly works its best when used for sore muscles. It massages very deeply into your skin, and you can almost immediately feel it making a difference. When I use it with a gua sha stone, it glides beautifully. The stone itself is great for massaging the skin and relieving some of that soreness, but the Relief Balm actually feels like it’s taking away the soreness rather than just treating it.
    When I don’t use the Relief Cream, I’ll use the Daily Treatment Oil. Since my soreness is pretty prevalent right now, I’m trying to use my gua sha every other night before bed in my nighttime routine, and for the sheer sake of saving every last drop of my Relief Balm, I turn to this oil for everyday treatment. It’s a lot lighter obviously, so it goes a long way. A tiny bit of this covers practically my entire body. It’s definitely not as strong as the Relief Balm, but for an everyday massage, it still makes a bigger difference than using a regular body oil. The added benefit of this oil is that it makes my skin feel so soft and supple after I use it. I haven’t even been using my usual body lotions since I added this to my routine.

    Source: Equilibria

    Shop My Favorite Gua Sha Tools

    Bian Stone Body Gua Sha Tool
    This is the body gua sha I’ve been using, and it’s a game-changer. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to invest in a bigger gua sha to use on your body if you already have a stone you love for your face. But I love the rippled edge on this and also love that it’s a little bit bigger than a gua sha stone you’d use on your face so you can cover a lot more surface area in one swipe. Plus, it was developed by doctors of Chinese medicine and the brand’s founders are AAPI, and when buying a product that is so focused on a practice in Chinese culture, it’s important to support them.

    Gua Sha Body Scraping Tool
    For a less expensive alternative that you can use to really get into your muscles (especially your legs and calves for runners), this stainless steel tool will be your best friend.

    Benefits of Body Gua Sha
    I’ve seen so many benefits since I added this practice to my nighttime routine. “Gua Sha is especially effective at relieving muscular tension and breaking down fascia adhesions, [making it] perfect for those with tight muscles, sluggish circulation, and tech necks,” Dr. Wu said. Here’s what I’ve experienced so far:

    Better Sleep

    Because I do my body gua sha at night, I feel so relaxed that I fall asleep easier. But what I really love is how much deeper, longer, and more comfortably I sleep after using gua sha. Because I’ve relieved some of the tension in my muscles, I’m not tossing and turning all night trying to find a comfortable way to sleep.

    Softer Skin

    Thanks to my nighttime oil from Equilibria, my skin feels softer and smoother. It’s a reminder to use a moisturizing oil before bed, when I otherwise would scroll on my phone and avoid spending some extra time on myself, and my skin is thanking me for it. 

    Less Soreness Over Time

    Using gua sha on my sore muscles has actually made me get less sore over time. Because the gua sha increases circulation to those areas, they heal faster and are more prepared to recover on their own after a workout.

    Releases Tightness

    The gua sha massage breaks up tension because you’re massaging out those muscles and moving that lymphatic drainage around your body. When I use it on sore muscles, I notice an immediate difference: Those muscles feel energized and recovered. Dr. Wu also suggested trying gua sha on your legs and ankles for long flights to reduce swelling or keeping it at your desk to relieve shoulder tension, text thumbs, and achy keyboard hands. 

    More Relaxed Nighttime Routine

    Rather than feeling the scaries or anxiety before starting my night routine, I feel relaxed and excited to get into my gua sha massage.

    If you’re pregnant or menstruating, you should avoid using gua sha on your abdomen. If you tend to bruise or are on blood thinners, Dr. Wu recommended using lighter pressure. Also, you should avoid broken skin, wounds, scrapes, and any sensitive areas. 

    Source: Stocksy

    How Often Should You Gua Sha?
    You can gua sha anywhere from daily to once or twice a week. When I first started, I was only doing it as needed when my muscles felt a little sore, but I’ve started doing it just about every night before bed and have noticed the most results that way.

    How to Gua Sha on Your Body
    You can gua sha your entire body or just the areas you’re feeling sore and tight. Here’s my routine:
    Apply Relief Cream or Treatment Oil to my skin. I do this section by section so the oils don’t absorb into the skin before I can make it to that area. I don’t rub this in too much—just enough to get it spread out.
    Start at the top of your body and go down the rest from there. You can even gua sha your scalp like you’re combing your hair to feel extra relaxed. Follow this by doing your neck, chest, arms, abdomen, legs, and feet. Don’t forget the soles of your feet, ankles, and palms of the hands. According to Dr. Wu, you should move to another area once it starts to turn pink or warm. 
    Start with minimal pressure, and tailor your experience using all sides of the gua sha. When I want something more intense, I’ll use one of the sharp edges. When I want a larger surface area, I use the longest edge. My gua sha has a rippled edge as well, which I like to use on bigger muscle areas, like the tops of my arms, the shins, hamstrings, and top of the back.
    Do anywhere from 10-20 swipes for each section. This is pretty intuitive, so I focus on where I need the massage most and what feels most effective for me.
    Finish the massage by running your hands over each area, rubbing in any excess oil or balm.
    If you experience any redness from your gua sha, that’s normal! Especially if you use a firmer pressure, gua sha can bring up lots of redness and inflammation in the body, but it should go away in a few hours.

    This post is sponsored by Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    I Tested 6 of TikTok’s Most Hyped-Up Skincare Products

    For better or worse, I became addicted to TikTok in 2020. More specifically, I became addicted to skincare TikTok. I followed beauty influencers like Skincare by Hyram and found myself buying products that actually fit into my budget: $7 “brightening” serums and $10, 16 oz. facial cleansers that barely fit on my counter because the bottles are so large. My main concerns are dryness, dull texture, and acne scarring from a six-month stint on Accutane. While the drug successfully purged my skin of all the acne I was destined to have for the rest of my life, it left me with a good bit of dark spots and an uneven tone. I was committed to improving it; and now after months of testing, I have found a lineup that has genuinely changed my skin—while simultaneously making my routine a bit more affordable in comparison to my impulse purchases from Drunk Elephant and Estée Lauder. An effective routine that doesn’t break the bank? What more could I want? Thanks to TikTok, here are the products that I now call my tried-and-trues! 

    Hydrating Facial Cleanser

    I am a Glossier addict, so I had been using Milky Jelly Cleanser for the past four years. Then on a whim at Target (after a TikTok binge), I grabbed the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser—and boy am I glad I did. This face wash has a striking resemblance to Milky Jelly, both in consistency and gentleness. The ingredient formula highlights ceramides (which can prevent wrinkles) and hyaluronic acid, which both help to lock in moisture and protect your skin—an essential in the Chicago winters. As the temperature has been dropping and the heater in my apartment has been on full blast, I’ve been extra dry and patchy on my forehead. This cleanser has been keeping that at bay. I might just go full force and purchase the giant tub of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream as well.

    The Ordinary
    AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

    Being fully transparent, I had tried this product before. But upon downloading TikTok, I discovered I was using it completely wrong… at the risk of burning off a layer of my skin. I like to call this “the blood mask” because I always see pictures of influencers with this maroon goop layered heavily on their skin. In applying the product in such a way, you’re going to be uncomfortable, itchy, and could even be damaging your skin. Using too much of a highly-concentrated AHA can cause redness and flakiness. Not the vibe. So, I followed the rules of TikTok and added a light, almost pink-toned layer. The mask didn’t burn anymore, just had a light tingle. And after a few weeks of bearable use, I noticed the texture of my skin had evened out, my acne scars were beginning to lighten, and my face was so soft. Score! AHAs and BHAs are key for safely removing dead skin, improving dull and uneven patches, and plumping up your skin for a youthful glow. Since you only have to use a pea-sized amount, this $7 mask will last a long time.

    Ice Roller

    As an avid user of jade and rose quartz rollers, this $10 Amazon ice instrument was naturally my next purchase. Just pop the tool in the freezer, and in the morning, rub the icy goodness all over your face. As I would use my jade roller, I like to use this one after my skincare routine to allow my products to sink in better. This tool has little beads inside so the rolling ritual is like a luxury facial massage at home. Plus, if you’re anything like me and you’re trying to get used to an early-morning routine, this roller is the perfect wake-up call.

    Super Glow Serum

    My biggest skin concern is scarring and texture; so, whenever I see a new product claiming to fix those things, I run to the store (or my computer) for a bit of retail therapy. So naturally after several TikTok recommendations, I went to my favorite brand Glossier to test out their vitamin C. Turns out, it’s true: The ingredient will gradually fade scars and smooth out texture. It also has anti-aging benefits. I’m only 22, but best to start early, right?

    Faded Gel

    I’ve been using this product for only about a week, but I am already a huge fan. After four uses, I swear my scars have significantly lightened and my skin looks brighter. My chin was covered in little spots due to my new enemy “maskne,” and thanks to this product, the dots are barely noticeable now. The formula features exfoliating acids and niacinamide, ingredients that are proven to fade scars. It’s also dye-free, fragrance-free, and vegan, making it super gentle. No burning here! Whether you have acne scars, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, this product is sure to come to your rescue.

    Lash Lift Kit & Brow Lamination Kit

    I have dark, thick eyebrows with several patchy spots, and I’d also like to note they are completely different shapes. I swear the hairs on my left eyebrow grow straight up while the hairs on my right grow to the side—and I think one might even be slightly higher than the other. But I digress. My makeup routine consists of layering multiple brow products to get the effortless, bushy look à la Lily Collins. With this regimen, my life and brow routine are way easier. The lamination kit allows you to shape your brows semi-permanently. After cleansing the area for product and oil, you add the gel, shape your brows, cover with cling wrap, and leave on for eight minutes. And there you have it: beautiful, bold brows! This kit can also be used for eyelash lifting.

    By using all of these products, my skin concerns have become, well, less of a concern. And my bank account is happy, all thanks to TikTok. More