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The art of facial massage has come a long way. With origins in ancient techniques like gua sha and timeless skin-care tools like jade rollers, massaging your face has gotten a high-tech upgrade in recent years. Brands are now producing a wide range of face massager tools to match different skin conditions, price points and treatment intensities.
Do face massagers work?
Before you buy a face massager, it’s important to “set realistic expectations,” says celebrity facialist Candace Marino, who’s worked with everyone from Mandy Moore to Giuliana Rancic. “While face massagers can be a great — and fun — addition to self care, they’re not the end-all be-all for anti-aging. A good skin-care routine should be prioritized, because what you put on your skin regularly is what’s going to give you results and maintain the health of your skin.”
Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, echoes this statement, mentioning that facial massagers should be used to complement “but not substitute good product selection [or] for anything that you’re going to do in the office.”
If you do have a lot of facial puffiness, though, Hartman advises that face massagers can help with added drainage, “especially if your skin is dry and sensitive,” he says.
Top Face Massagers
- Best New Launch: TheraFace Pro
- Best Overall: NuFace Advanced Facial Toning Kit
- Best Vibrating Facial Massager: TriPollar Stop Vx Face Massager
- Best Gua Sha Face Massager: Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool
- Best for Eyes: Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand Face Massager
- Best Microcurrent Device: Foreo Bear Microcurrent Facial Toning Device
- Ziip Beauty GX Series Microcurrent Facial Device
- Best Face Massage Roller: Mount Lai The De-Puffing Jade Facial Roller
- Jenny Patinkin Rose Face Roller Petite
- Best for Sculpting: Skin Gym Facial Roller Face Sculptor Massage
- Best Budget Face Massager: Pur Botanicals Ice Roller
- Most Luxurious: Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar
- Shani Darden Facial Sculpting Wand
- Best Ayurvedic Facial Massager: The Ayurveda Experience Kansa Wand Face Massager
- Best Cryotherapy Face Massager: 001 Skincare Cryopress
- Aceology Original Blue Ice Globe Face Massager
The different types of face massagers
To learn the full benefits face massagers may offer, it’s important to break them down by tool type.
- Kansa Wands are made of Kansa, the Indian name for the metal also used in Tibetan gongs. The metal has alkaline properties that have been shown to balance the skin’s pH and may reverse signs of aging when massaged onto skin.
- Gua Sha are best for facial sculpting, lymphatic drainage and increased circulation.
- Jade and Rose Quartz rollers are designed to help with depuffing, smoothing and revitalizing. Jade rollers are thought to detox and clear skin, while rose quartz versions shine for sensitive skin. “When used properly, the gua sha tool may accomplish a lymphatic drainage massage that can decrease facial puffiness for up to 24 hours,” says NYC-based dermatologist Hadley King.
- Microneedling targets skin texture and aids with product absorption.
- Microcurrent devices send out low-level electric pulses to stimulate the muscles in the face. With an electric face massager that has an FDA-approved microcurrent or radio frequency, you can achieve what Chrissy Dress, owner of Cure de Repos in Philadelphia, calls at-home face lifts. “Microcurrent is great, because we do not exercise our face or neck,” Dress says. “Being able to stimulate 65-plus facial muscles in one session — and to be able to do that at home — is amazing.”
- Ice rollers utilize cold therapy (or cryotherapy) to help you achieve temporary glowiness by boosting circulation, bringing blood to the skin’s surface, encouraging optimum cell function and reducing puffiness and redness.
Although there is scientific debate about whether or not these face massage tools actually live up to their skin-care claims, Hartman mentions that at the very least, they can have therapeutic benefits. “They can make us feel good simply by using them,” he says.
No matter which tool you may end up going for, as a general rule of thumb, “don’t overdo it,” Hartman warns. “It shouldn’t be that you are applying so much pressure with your tool that you start to have other skin issues you didn’t have in the first place.”
Below, we rounded up the 15 best face massagers for different skin needs and budgets, so you can find a face massager that fits your lifestyle and routine.
Best New Launch
There are a lot of benefits to facial massage and finally, we have a device that takes all of the hard work out of the practice. Introducing Therabody’s newly launched TheraFace Pro, an 8-in-1 (yes, 8!) facial tool that combines Therabody’s percussion therapy technology with three different massage heads into one handheld device. The trio of massage heads — a flat top, a cone shape and a flat head with micropoints — are made from a malleable rubber material that somehow feels soft and gentle on the face, even on the tender eye area, and allow for a wide range of uses and techniques. The cone shape gives targeted pressure for areas you want to relieve stress, especially around pressure points, while the micropoint and flat head are great to use all over the face to reduce jawline tension, relax facial muscles and stimulate circulation and blood flow. Plus, you can choose between three massage intensities, making it perfect to use on super stressful days when you just need a good release.
NuFace Advanced Facial Toning Kit
NuFace’s Advanced Facial Toning kit is among the fastest and most beloved facial massagers on the market. This tool is designed to cover lots of surface area to tighten, tone and lift your face in a short amount of time.
TriPollar Stop Vx Face Massager
Best Vibrating Facial Massager
King loves TriPollar’s electric face massager for its multitasking ability that uses radio frequency to stimulate collagen production and electric vibration to help tone and lift. “When used properly, the face is divided into three areas, and each is slowly massaged for four to five minutes,” she says.
Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool
Best Gua Sha Face Massager
Gua sha tools have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia. Traditionally used to firm and lift, jade is also thought to introduce extra cooling and firming effects. This version from Mount Lai is made with authentic Xiyuan jade, known for retaining its coolness for long periods of time.
Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand Face Massager
Best for Eyes
Marino swears by Joanna Vargas’ Magic Glow Wand for its targeted temperature and massage settings. “You can heat up or cool down the tissue, which adds a med-spa like experience to your daily routine,” she says. “The cool setting is great for inflammation and bringing down the temperature of the skin. I especially love this around puffy eyes in the morning— it’s an instant fix.”
Foreo Bear Microcurrent Facial Toning Device
Best Microcurrent Device
The Foreo Bear is the perfect pocket-sized “face lift.” Paired with its conductive serum, this is the smallest (and perhaps most powerful) workout for your face. Not sure what to do with it? Don’t worry. Foreo has a handy app to guide you through your very own facial workout at home.
Ziip Beauty GX Series Microcurrent Facial Device
The Ziip GX series uses nanocurrent and microcurrents to sculpt and tone your face. The best part? You choose the treatment using an app, and the massager does all the work for you.
Mount Lai The De-Puffing Jade Facial Roller
Best Face Massage Roller
Another traditional tool of Chinese medicine, the jade face massage roller helps with puffiness, jaw tension and lymphatic drainage. It’s one of Kochman’s must-haves. “We keep these in the refrigerator for a quick treatment to cool and soothe irritated or inflamed skin and calm and depuff,” she says. “The reason this Mount Lai tool remains my favorite is that it’s so easy to use and safe for all skin types.”
Jenny Patinkin Rose Face Roller Petite
Similar to the jade roller, Jenny Patinkin’s rose face roller aids in lymphatic drainage, but it has one major advantage: its size. The Petite model is perfect for use around the eyes. Pop it in the refrigerator to help decrease puffiness in the morning.
Skin Gym Facial Roller Face Sculptor Massage
Best for Sculpting
Not quite ready to invest in a microcurrent device? The Skin Gym Face Sculptor is just as well-loved and a fraction of the price of most microcurrent tools. It works to emulate the effect of a deep-kneading professional facial massage to sculpt as well as firm and tone, making it a great face massage device for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.
Pur Botanicals Ice Roller
Best Budget Face Massager
With an average 4.6-star rating on Amazon among over 5,000 reviews, it’s no wonder Pur Botanicals’ facial roller flies off shelves. It’s affordable and built to reduce the appearance of pores, depuff and stay cold for a nice long facial massage. Reviewers are asking, “How did I go so long without this?”
Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar
Most Luxurious Face Massager
For a truly splurge-worthy option, consider investing in Jillian Dempsey’s luxe sculpting bar made from 24 karat gold. Delivering 6,000 vibrations per minute, it’s made to depuff, lift and contour the skin.
Shani Darden Facial Sculpting Wand
Shani Darden literally invented the facial sculpting wand. Yes, we’re serious. This vibrating facial massager uses sound wave therapy with options for seven different treatment zones and three intensity levels. This tool brings the benefits of Darden’s celeb-favorite spa treatments straight to your home.
The Ayurveda Experience Kansa Wand
Best Ayurvedic Face Massager
Kansa wands use an ancient healing metal from India to massage marma points (also known as energy points) and remove excess Pitta (or the substance that generates heat internally, according to Ayurvedic medicine) from the body. This practice is designed to tone skin as well as reduce congestion and inflammation. These tools, like this version offered by The Ayurveda Experience, are also believed to help increase in lymphatic drainage.
001 Skincare Cryopress Face Massager
Best Cryotherapy Face Massager
001 Skincare’s Cryopress is so popular among customers, that all 81 who reviewed it on the brand’s website gave it a five-star rating. Many mention their skin has never looked better, thanks in part to the device’s unique cryo-therapy technology.
Aceology Original Blue Ice Globe Face Massager
Don’t let the name fool you — Aceology’s ice globes don’t even need a freezer. Pop them in the fridge for 10 minutes before you plan to use them, and you’ll still get all the benefits. These globes work to reduce under under-eye darkness, stimulate circulation and soothe sinus tension.
More info on face massagers
Of course, as facial massagers have become more popular, knock-off devices that don’t live up to the hype — and that may prove disastrous for your skin — are making their way onto Instagram feeds and search result pages. With ancient techniques, it’s vital to purchase authentic materials.
“The market is flooded with facial massagers made out of imitation jade and rose quartz,” says Terrie Absher Kochman, founder of Total Glow Spa in Silicon Valley. “Authentic jade and rose quartz is important to achieve optimal benefits in conjunction with the physical massage component. If you are buying a Kansa Wand, be very careful that the metal used is what is stated. You want the right metal to help detoxify and gently massage the marma (or energy) points.”
Wondering how to use your face massager? Tools, especially traditional ones like gua sha, come with specific instructions for use. Make sure you follow these in order to achieve the tool’s full benefits, King says.
How to clean your facial massager tool
Once you have your skin-care routine set, “always use the massager in an upward motion,” Dress advises. Regularly clean your tools after each use with antibacterial soap and water. Here are a few rules of thumb to follow:
- Wash before and after use.
- Gua sha and jade rollers can both be cleaned with water and soap, but water temperature is important. Check how much heat your roller can withstand.
- Do one good scrub weekly with antibacterial soap. King recommends getting in there with a toothbrush.
- Kansa wands should be gently wiped with a soft cloth and tea tree oil (the head can be immersed, but nothing else).
“Dirt, oils, caked-on makeup, bacteria and yeast can all be found on dirty massagers,” King warns. “Acne has multiple causes, and bacteria also play a role in contributing to breakouts. Yeast is naturally found in our environment and on our skin, and an overgrowth of yeast can cause skin irritations and red scaly or raw patches.”
Bottom line: Keep those face massage tools clean.