Jade rolling. Skin gyms. Face yoga. No matter what you call it (or which form of it you practice), facial massage ranks up there with glass skin, pink eye makeup, and crystal-infused products as one of the biggest breakout trends of the past few years. It’s not that the practice is new, exactly — in fact, it’s one of the oldest beauty treatments in the book. Facial massage has long spanned generations and cultures, with techniques stemming from France, Japan, China, India, and beyond.
For American audiences, however, facial massage has historically been reserved for pricey spa treatments, not something you can do for yourself every day. But thanks to a more recent proliferation of Instagram-friendly jade rollers and microcurrent devices, and a stable of other innovative gizmos for home use, that’s all changed. Now, it’s not a matter of
if we should incorporate 30 seconds or more of face massage into our routine, but how.
Ahead, five renowned skin pros share their favorite facial-massage tools and how to use them.
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We’ve experienced the instant lift that microcurrent devices like this one can give jawlines, cheekbones, and browbones, and we’re not the only ones who love the massager’s tightening effects. “This is by far my favorite at-home skin tool, which is inspired by professional electric muscle stimulation machines that have been used on the face and body by pros for decades,” says celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau. The only catch? Regular usage is key. “It’s like doing sit-ups for the face, but if you stop using it, the muscles will return to their original state.”
NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device, $199, available at Sephora
“Many will claim that facial rolling helps with lymphatic drainage to reduce puffiness, but true lymphatic drainage requires a specific technique that will ‘drain’ your face, and the average facial roller isn’t really going to know how to do that,” says Rouleau. “A stone using the gua sha technique can be more effective for doing this.”
Ann Marie Cilmi, VP of Education and Innovation at
Face Haus, agrees: Adding a few passes with the stone can also relax tension in the face. Her favorite way to incorporate the stone? Put the gua sha tool on ice for a few minutes (this will prime it to constrict the blood vessels to better tone the skin), then use it to do a 30-second massage after applying serum. “This is especially beneficial around the delicate eye area and a total savior after a night out,” she says. Odacité Crystal Contour Gua Sha Blue Sodalite Beauty Tool, $45, available at The Detox Market
“Facial tools like this one can help de-stress, de-puff, and decompress before bedtime,” says Savor Beauty founder Angela Kim. Apply a few drops of your favorite serum or facial oil (like the brand’s
Raspberry Seed Serum) and use light pressure to glide the rose quartz nubs across your face in outward strokes to trigger lymphatic drainage. “Be careful not to drag or tug the skin,” she says — the tension can break capillaries, damage collagen, and cause fine lines and wrinkles. Mazz Hanna Beauty Rose Quartz Face Massagers, $65, available at Mazz Hanna
Makeup artist Jillian Dempsey used a version of this Japanese-designed vibrating tool for years before convincing the manufacturer to build one for her namesake line. “For me, it’s as essential as an eyelash curler,” she says of the tool she uses on celebs like Emilia Clarke and Julia Roberts. “As I prep a client’s skin when I do events, I use it to sculpt the cheekbones and under the jawline. It relaxes tension in the face and pushes circulation in the skin.”
After adding a drop or two of moisturizer to the skin, the makeup artist starts at the lower corners of the mouth, then pushes the tool toward the ears, moving up the cheeks for three or four minutes before moving to the other side of the face. “It feels so relaxing,” she says. “It’s like getting a mini massage.”
Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, $195, available at Jillian Dempsey
Facial rollers feel especially indulgent when taken right from the freezer, which is why the brand suggest storing yours in the ice box. (That said, we found the stone roller stays refreshingly cold to the touch even at room temperature.) But it doesn’t just feel good: As Rouleau points out, “Facial massage will increase circulation to help bring fresh blood and new nutrients to the skin cells. I’m a big believer in boosting blood flow to the face, especially as you get older.” Though there are certainly cheaper rollers out there, we like this one for its sturdy construction.
Cosmedix Rose Quartz Crystal Facial Roller, $35, available at Cosmedix
Dry brushing for the body has been around for years. Now, this affordable new tool brings its benefits to the face without the scratchy abrasion. According to celebrity facialist and Tweezerman brand partner Angela Caglia, who makes rose quartz facial-massage tools of her own, dry brushing the face is a great alternative for those with sensitive skin and rosacea. “Sometimes a roller can be too cold, especially if you keep it in the fridge. This is gentle enough to move all the lymph drainage without the cold sensation,” she says. “Use this on a clean, dry face with the same movements as you would with a roller. The dry-brush experience uses a bit more pressure than a roller and is more invigorating for blood flow.” Tweezerman Dry Brush, $14, available at Tweezerman
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