If you're thinking of treating your skin to something really good, take this as your sign that it's time. You may think that a massage or a facial at a spa is worth the splurge, but we're here to introduce you to face massage tools. They can help you maintain that same level of sculpted glow from the comfort of your own home.
Best Face Massage Tools
- Best Jade Roller: Herbivore Botanicals Jade De-Puffing Face Roller
- Best Value: DANGSHAN 4-in-1 Beauty Bar 24k Golden Pulse Face Massager
- Best High-Tech Face Massager: NuFACE Mini Face Massager (2 piece)
- Best Cleansing Massager: FOREO LUNA 3
- Best Face Roller: Jenny Patinkin Rose on Rose Face Roller Petite
- Best Radio Frequency Massager: TriPollar STOP Vx
- Best Ice Roller: ESARORA Ice Roller Face Massager
- Best Lifting Massager: Nurse Jamie UpLift Facial Massaging Beauty Roller
- Most Luxurious Massager: Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar
- Easiest to Use: Skin Gym Face Sculptor Beauty Roller
- Best Gua Sha: KORA Organics Rose Quartz Heart Facial Gua Sha
- Best Cryo Roller: BeautyBio Cryo Dual Roller
- Best Targeted Massager: FOREO IRIS Illuminating Eye Massager
Face massagers come in all different types. There are tools built for sculpting and cleansing, while other ones vibrate and use microcurrents to help stimulate the skin. Some are rooted in ancient Eastern medicine like gua sha and jade rollers, while others are ultra high-tech. But no matter your skin concerns, there's a face massage tool out there for you. The skincare experts we consulted agree these handheld gadgets can help stimulate blood flow and drain your lymph nodes, leaving your face depuffed, sculpted, and way more radiant.
How to Use a Face Massage Tool
Whether your beauty rituals take a few minutes or upward of half an hour, facial massagers are the perfect low-key addition to upgrade your daily skincare routine. Research even shows you'll gain the most from using a face massage tool for just 5 to 10 minutes a day.
But, how do you use them correctly? Well, it all just depends on the type of face massage tool you own:
- Battery-powered options like the PMD Clean are simple to use: Press a button, and the device's vibrations will help massage your visage.
- On the other hand, manual tools like the MZ Skin Roller and Joanna Czech Face Roller create a lifting effect when you're using a gentle upward rolling motion.
Speaking of a gentle technique, you can pamper your skin while you massage by incorporating a slip agent like a lightweight serum, oil, or moisturizer, advises Dr. Alain Michon, M.D., the medical director of Ottawa Skin Clinic. He notes that utilizing a slip agent helps prevent any surface-level bruising.
“The skin on the face is much more sensitive and delicate than the rest of the body, so it’s important to be gentle when using the devices,” he says. Just remember that if you use a facial cleansing massager like a Foreo Luna, it's best to use your favorite face wash in place of a slip agent.
What to Consider
When shopping for a face massage tool, you should think about two main components: the materials and technologies available. You should also evaluate your skincare goals, and decide if you want surface-level or skin-deep improvements, based on the severity of your skin issues.
A face massage tool should be made of smooth materials with no rough edges because “those tend to be easiest to clean and travel with, as they don't carry bacteria,” says Palomino.
Gua Sha, a traditional Chinese medicine practice of self-care, and jade rollers both utilize face massage tools made of jade, a green stone, or rose quartz, a pink crystal. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, M.D., points out that both “smooth and poreless” materials are naturally cooling. They help soothe your skin, and offer a mild anti-inflammatory effect. They’re also good at treating puffiness, adds Palomino.
King is also a fan of two other common and easy to sanitize materials: stainless steel and silicone. They're both smooth, and silicone has the added bonus of being non-porous and antibacterial.
High-Tech Versus Manual
Not all face massage tools are built the same, and that’s okay. Palomino advises evaluating your skincare goals before shopping. Here, we summarize the main differences between high-tech and manual face massage tools, and what that means for reaching your skincare goals.
- These face massage tools are best when you want to go skin-deep by “activating your facial muscles” and targeting specific skin concerns like wrinkles, explains Palomino, who “loves” her NuFace massager.
- In general, these battery-powered tools are made from stainless steel, silicone, or sometimes both.
- You can easily spend a few hundred dollars on these luxe face massage tools — the most expensive option on this list will cost you a casual $630.
- These face rollers and gua sha stones are helpful for your surface-level beauty needs like depuffing, says Palomino.
- They are made from jade, rose quartz, stainless steel, or silicone, and require you to do the leg work by incorporating an upward rolling motion to sculpt your face.
- Starting at around $20, these affordable face massage tools are enticing for budget-conscious shoppers or beginners looking to experiment with new beauty treatments.
Types of Technology
Looking for a higher-end face massage tool to help turn back the clock, or right before a big event? Consider utilizing a device boasting one of these impressive technologies.
- Vibration is a gentle trembling sensation that both feels good and offers functional benefits like “getting your blood flow going,” notes Palomino. “There is some limited data that supports the idea that vibrations may help stimulate collagen production,” explains King. “Vibration can also enhance circulation to the skin and improve product penetration. It may also improve lymphatic drainage.”
- Microcurrent causes muscle contraction, which helps tone your face and jawline, according to King. Notably, she cautions against using one if you have a cardiac pacemaker or a metal implant where you’re using the microcurrent device. The tech was once a red carpet secret among the Hollywood set thanks to celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas’ Triple Crown Facial, but now you can also enjoy the A-List beauty experience with help from at-home microcurrent devices like NuFace and ZIIP.
- Radio frequency utilizes thermal energy (aka heat) to penetrate your skin. This helps to contour your face and minimize the appearance of wrinkles, according to studies from 2017 and 2018. It can also help improve absorption of active ingredients and stimulate collagen production, says King. Notably, you stop producing collagen in your late-20s, making a radio frequency face massager an especially worthwhile investment for your preventative anti-aging routine.
How to Clean a Face Massage Tool
If you skimp on cleanliness, you run the risk of breakouts and skin irritations, such as red, scaly, or raw patches popping up on your face, cautions King. She suggests washing your face massagers with antibacterial dish soap at least once a week. Just add a drop on your fingers or on a toothbrush, and be sure to scrub the crevices. After, rinse with warm water, and then allow it to air-dry overnight. If it's a face massager that can't get wet, it should be wiped clean after each use.
Now that you have the 411 on all things facial massagers, we put together a list of options that will help you maintain all the hard work your esthetician put in. Find the best face massage tool for you now.
Not all face rollers are built the same. This jade roller slides and glides easily, without fear of getting stuck. It helps stimulate blood circulation and boosts lymphatic drainage, as well as helps your face products penetrate far more deeply. Plus, this pick from Herbivore is pretty, making it a handy tool you'll want to show off on your beauty shelf.
This four-in-one kit gives you all the vibrators, a rose quartz face massager, and a unique, drip-shaped piece that is unlike anything else in your collection. It is a great entry point for those who aren't quite ready to spend a ton on a face massage tool.
This palm-sized powerhouse is the closest you’ll get to a facelift without getting invasive. It uses electrical microcurrent technology to stimulate the surface of the skin, working to tone face muscles and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a 5-minute facial, all in the comfort of your own home.
Running low on time? In as little as 60 seconds, one-half of this double-sided facial massager scrubs away pore-clogging debris — sweat, oil, and dirt — while the other half offers 16 pulsating intensities to customize your massage.
The Luna 3 is also practical for traveling, thanks to its compact size and long battery life. A single charge offers up to 650 uses.
This pretty pink face roller is made of rose quartz, and has earned a recommendation from King, who highlighted the fact that it stays cool in the fridge. When you use a cool face massager, it helps "constrict blood vessels to decrease puffiness," she says.
The New York-based dermatologist also appreciates its small size, which she considers “perfect” for using around the eye area. “Gentle rolling under the eyes from the midline toward the sides can help decrease fluid accumulation,” adds King.
Spending more than $600 on a face massager is certainly an investment, but King argues that this option's high-end tech is worth considering.
“The TriPollar Stop Vx is a particularly multitasking facial massager that uses radio frequency to stimulate collagen production and electric vibration to help tone and lift,” she says. “When used properly, the face is divided into three areas, and each is slowly massaged for four to five minutes.”
This kit also includes a conductor gel to add some necessary slippage while you massage your face.
If you're the type of person who loves rolling a can of soda across your face for cool relief, an ice roller is exactly what you need. Not only does this ice roller do the job of promoting lymphatic drainage and settling inflammation, but it's also great for battling a headache or sunburn.
This is a unique tool that looks straight out of a wizarding world. It’s hexagon-shaped and covered in 24 “massaging” stones made out of black tourmaline. You can expect lifted, brighter skin with this magical wand.
The stones and the motion were designed to replicate celebrity skin expert and registered nurse Jamie Sherrill's signature facial massage techniques, and you'll wind up with tighter, more radiant skin. This wand can help uplift your spirits in the same way it uplifts your face.
Celebrities love it, estheticians love it, and it's perpetually sold out at Sephora. On top of it all, this vibrating sculpting T-bar is made of 24k gold, making it luxurious and beneficial, with results that you can see immediately.
It's safe for all skin types, and recommended for concerns of loss of firmness and elasticity.
This user-friendly and effective face massage tool will have you looking light and refreshed after just 5 minutes of use. Plus, the dual orbs will really massage your face — meaning they can also help with facial tension, and allow you to stop holding onto whatever it is that's making you tense up.
Gua sha is an ancient Eastern practice — “gua” means scrape, and “sha” means sand in Chinese. It has multiple benefits, such as promoting blood flow, lifting and contouring the face, and relieving facial tension — all while promoting brighter, tighter skin. Sculpting out your face never seemed so easy.
Cryotherapy — aka that thing they do on the Real Housewives while they subject their bodies to subzero temperatures — has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it's no surprise it's found a way to pop into skincare, too.
Cryo tools, like this dual-ended face roller, use professional-grade stainless steel to bring the skin down to 45 degrees — which is the temperature BeautyBio says is “known to help increase micro-circulation and collagen production, as well as flush out toxins.”
If you want an ice roller but don't have space or won't remember to keep it in the freezer, you'll love the fact that this dual roller chills in literally 2 minutes.
Your undereyes will never love you more than after a session with this eye massager. It's designed to reduce visible signs of crow's feet and dark circles, while also protecting the sensitive skin under the eyes. Apply your favorite eye serum or cream, and get to massaging.