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Everything you Need to Know About Facial Massage Tools


While there are many facial massage tools currently on the market, they all have a few simple things in common. They are all meant to be used with an oil so that there is no tension on the skin. You want your tool of choice to glide smoothly across the skin without tugging or any discomfort. They should all be used gently and, at first, sparingly in order to see how your skin reacts. They are also all meant to be used in an outward sweeping motion - beginning at the centre of the face and moving outwards towards the hairline. The thought behind some of these tools (including the Gua Sha and derma roller) is to cause micro injuries to the skin, such as bruises or tiny punctures, to create a response in the body that may help to break up scar tissue. Below we’ll break down each tool to help you determine which one is best for your skin goals!


Gua Sha:


What is it:

This approach is an ancient Chinese healing technique, whereby you use a tool to scrape the skin (it feels better than it sounds). It is actually traditionally used on all parts of the body to ensure the energy in your body is freely flowing. It is said to reduce pain, improve health and wellbeing. The tool is typically made of jade or rose quartz stone.


What does it do:

It can help move blood flow along in order to reduce inflammation, or blood stagnation, which is thought to be the cause of pain, swelling and can even improve overall skin brightness. It also helps to relax the muscles of the face in order to decrease fine lines, and is wonderful for those who suffer from jaw pain or headaches in order to reduce tension in the face.


How to use it:

Prepare the skin with your face oil of choice - we recommend our Inner Glow Face Oil. Angle the tool parallel to the skin, place the fingers of your free hand close to the tools’ edge to provide some resistance in the skin, then gently sweep the tool up and out towards the perimeter of the face. At the end of each stroke, give the tool a little wiggle to release any tension at the edges of the face. Repeat each movement 3 times, and increase as you continue to practice. Ensure not to use too much pressure, and slowly work it into your routine in order to see how your skin is reacting.


Who should use it:

Almost anyone can benefit from Gua Sha, however those with inflamed skin (acne, rosacea, sunburnt skin, or those prone to breakouts) should avoid using it. It is great for those with headaches, jaw clenching, puffiness, and fine lines.


This one from Skin Gym is great because it has different sides so you can use it in many ways. 

Jade Roller:


What is it:

Jade rollers are, as you would assume, made of jade stone. They have two sides: one for smaller areas of the face, like around the eyes, and the larger sides for the rest of the face. These are a much gentler option than the Gua Sha, and thus don’t have as strong of benefits, but are wonderful for those just getting into facial tools or those with sensitive skin.


What does it do:

Releases muscle tension, improves circulation and thus brightens and reduces inflammation.


How to use it:

Similarly to a Gua Sha, you use it in outward sweeping motions along all areas of the face. Take care not to use too much pressure and to be extra gentle around the eyes. Place it in the fridge for an added cooling effect (which is really wonderful in the summer or on a tropical vacation). Again, always prepare the skin with an oil to reduce tension.


Who should use it:

The jade roller is suited to almost all skin types. Avoid using it if you have an active breakout or eczema.

This one from Shiffa is beautiful.


Derma Roller:


What is it:

This is one of the most complex - and most controversial - at home skincare tools. A derma roller is an at home micro-needling roller that is used to create tiny wounds in the skin in order to regenerate the skin. It is a small roller than has hundreds of tiny needles (0.22mm-1.0mm) all around it.


What does it do:

It is said to plump, firm and brighten the skin by boosting collagen. The theory is that it creates micro punctures in the skin, which sends signals for your body to boost collagen and elastin production. Studies have shown it to improve acne scarring, melasma, and have an overall plumping and firming effect on the skin. Unfortunately, we do not know enough as of now to draw many conclusions, so it should be used very carefully and hygienically. There are concerns of bacteria and infections, and the question has been raised of whether this repeated harm to the skin can cause long term scarring.


How to use it:

Cleanse the face thoroughly in order to prevent bacteria from spreading, then apply a toner or essence. Begin at the forehead and very gently roll the derma roller from the centre out, repeating this motion numerous times in the same spot before moving onto the next. Avoid the eye area. Be sure to thoroughly clean your derma roller after each use.


Who should use it:

Those who stand to benefit from derma rolling are those who have acne scarring, fine lines/wrinkles, melasma, and those looking to firm and plump the skin. Avoid derma rolling if you have any blemishes or breakouts, as it may cause the bacteria to spread. There are also derma rollers for the body, which can be a safer way to test this tool - they are great for stretch marks!

I love this one from Stacked Skincare. 


Your Hands:


What is it:

You can use your very own hands to perform wonderful facial massages at home - for free!


What does it do:

Like Gua Sha’s and jade rollers, a facial massage with your hands can help reduce inflammation and muscle tension.


How to use it:

Gently massage your face in outward sweeping movements towards the edges of the face - here is our video on how to perform an at home facial massage. Begin with a freshly cleansed face and face oil.


Who should use it:

Everyone can benefit from an at home facial massage, it is the lowest risk option, with great benefits, and can be done every time you apply your favourite oil!


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