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There is no limit to the number—or extremity—of things we’ll do to our faces in the name of anti-aging, so when compared with the rest of them, facial massaging is extraordinarily tame. Silly, yes—but tame. Kate Moss employs a technique that is executed from inside the mouth, at the hands of London-based celebrity facialist Nichola Joss; Sienna Miller prefers an “intense facial massage” experience that involves freezing ice masks “that make you feel as if your brain is going to fall out of the top of your head.” Delightful.
Facial massage devotees swear that it boosts circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage for brighter, tighter, younger-looking skin—a natural facelift, if you will. But in the real, non-celebrity world, a standing appointment with a pricy, massage-trained facialist isn’t always in the cards, nor is the time, patience, or knack for following instructions required for giving yourself a thorough DIY version (as in, rubbing your own face with your own hands for twenty minutes at a time).
This is where the handheld facial massager comes in. The selling point is rather appealing: You can forget about expensive facials or having to figure out exactly where to place your fingertips on the part of your jaw where your lymph nodes are to get maximum drainage of, well, whatever’s under your skin.
The good news is that with the addition of these types of tools to the market, you, too, can now get a facial massage from the comfort of your desk, where you’ve been stagnating for the past nine hours. But should we all be rushing to get our hands on them in the pursuit of smoother, clearer, younger-looking skin? Maybe not so much. “There really isn’t much solid data to indicate that facial massagers offer any significant benefits to the skin,” says Dr. Julia Tzu, the founder and Medical Director of Wall Street Dermatology. “Massaging the face, in general, may help stimulate circulation, [especially] in the morning, to help speed up the resolution of the ‘puffy’ look that some people get when they wake up.” Still, Dr. Tzu notes, “This is often already performed when one washes the face.”
The placebo effect, however, is alive and well, which is to say that facial-massaging tools feel great and are therefore not purely B.S. If you believe in them, and want to see a difference, your brain might just be kind enough to trick you into thinking you do. Regardless, celebrities and customers of the below devices swear by them, so why not give one of them a shot yourself?
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ReFa Carat Ray Face Massager
This premium beauty tool is designed with two double drainage rollers to promote lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness of the face, neck, and chest. It’s engineered with microcurrent technology to reduce swelling, soften the look of fine lines and stimulates circulation by accelerating collagen production. “Not only does this make your face look less inflamed (or “puffy”) but it is both relaxing and invigorating (depending on how you use it),” says one fan of the tool.
Armice 3D Electric Facial Roller
This two-in-one pulsating facial massager stimulates blood flow to the skin for a healthy, rosy glow while also lifting and firming your jawlines for a defined contour. One end of the massager features a T-shaped electric-powered (six-hundred vibrations per minute) tool to enhance circulation, while the second 3D-shaped side gives you an instant lift. According to one customer review, “I never even knew that I had so much tension in my jawline until this massager. It has helped with headaches as well.” Talk about multipurpose.
Sarah Champman Skinesis The Facelift Facial Massager
This facial tool may look like a torture device, but trust me, it leaves you seriously looking snatched. Also, it’s Liv Tyler-approved. “I wanted this ever since I saw YouTube video of Liv Tyler and her face caring routine. She uses it, and she looks amazing! It is few days since I got it and it just feels amazing,” says one review on Amazon
NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device
Using this lifting and contouring face tool is basically just like giving your facial structure a full-body workout. Fans of the NuFace truly swear by it (myself included). The NuFace Trinity device harnesses the lifting anti-aging powers of microcurrent technology, which stimulates blood flow, tones your contours and minimizes fine lines. You’ll see a slight difference after just one use. ” I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks and definitely see a difference in my skin. The biggest difference is my eyes. They are open and lifted and are not laying on my eyelid,” says one customer.
Angela Caglia Vibrating Rose Quartz Sculpting Roller
Believe me—this isn’t your basic jade or rose quartz facial roller (because frankly, I’m not convinced the typical ones of this type do anything for your skin). This sonic sculpting tool was designed by Celebrity-beloved esthetician, Angela Caglia who’s known for her lifting, cheek-sculpting facials, and this snatching tool helps you recreate the results from home.
RÉVOLVE Contouring Massage Roller
This luxe facial massager not only feels like a dream (it’s cool to the touch, so it’s amazing for de-puffing), but it also truly seems to work. The massager is made of Zamac, which is a premium alloy material that contains minerals beneficial to the skin, including Zinc and Magnesium. One “obsessed” reviewer of the tool says “I’ve loved using my roller in the morning before I leave for work. It’s amazing how effective it is.”
Nurse Jamie Uplift Facial Roller
Designed by celebrity dermatologist Nurse Jamie, this lifting and contouring face roller has become a bona fide cult favorite, beloved by celebrities and beauty influencers alike. The tool features a hexagon shape and features 24 massaging stones that instantly revive and lift the skin for a more chiseled appearance. “So I ordered this after seeing a bunch of posts on Instagram from lots of people who love the product. I was a bit skeptical, but now I’m a full-on convert. I adore my Uplift roller!” says one enthusiastic fan in her Amazon review.