9 easy-to-use face massagers for better skin

PHOTO: Shape

While fashion trends tend to be cyclical, the beauty industry's R&D departments seem to be falling over themselves in their search for the next breakthrough anti-ageing technology. Just look at how corsets (or waist trainers, as the Kardashian clan calls the restricting garment) are making a return in the fashion world, and then look at the latest aesthetic treatments like Ultherapy and lasers to hit the beauty market.

But on the other side of the coin, we're also seeing a resurgence in the popularity of simple face massaging tools that require little to no expertise to use. The best part is that these are not electrically powered, saving you the hassle of having to charge them. One way of looking at it is that urbanites like Singaporeans are looking for simple solutions in our increasingly stressful lifestyles - thus the inclination to put complicated devices aside in favour of simpler tools.

Another is, if you would have it, that 50 per cent of Singaporeans are stressed out by the thought of doing nothing, according to a recent online poll of 600 participants done by Sentosa. So even while we are watching Netflix, we'd prefer to actually do something else - something more productive, like massaging our face for better skin. As Net-a-Porter's global beauty director Newby Hands observes, "part of the [tools'] success is they now tend to be simpler to use; they have to pass the Netflix test - can you use them while watching TV - if the answer is yes, the better it sells".

Either way, the sole beneficiary is our skin, as the face massagers stimulate better circulation which aids in skin rejuvenation, leading to glowing, youthful-looking skin. Many of them are also made from minerals or gemstones such as jade and rose quartz, most of which are said to have mood-boosting effects because they help balance your body's energies. Whether or not you have to use the massagers with skincare products such as serum, moisturiser or face oil depends on the tool, but a general rule of thumb is that if you find that the tool is tugging too hard at your skin, it's best to reduce the friction with a cream or lotion. But apply your skincare to your face - not the massager - to ensure even distribution of the product.

PS: Since you're going to use these on your face, always remember to wipe them down with a clean cloth (either dry or damp, it doesn't matter) to remove any traces of skincare products and sebum. You can also dip the devices into warm, soapy water before rinsing and wiping it dry with a clean cloth. If there are moving parts, make sure to place your face massager in a well-ventilated area to air dry it properly.

Here are nine to try:

REFA RHYTHM FACIAL ROLLER, $420

PHOTO: Refa

If you find that your facial expressions are stiffening (whether due to ageing, stress or excessive chewing), this is the facial massager for you. Fifty protruding knobs evenly distributed across the two spherical moving parts of the roller soothe muscle fatigue and diminish facial tension while boosting blood circulation and lymphatic drainage - this will help ease water retention in your face, to make you look less puffy.

A solar panel installed on the massager generates a mild microcurrent, which supposedly promotes collagen production, for firmer, younger-looking skin. This massager is also waterproof, so you can use it in the shower - just take note that the wood panelling might discolour if you do so.

Available at Refa and Sephora

LU MING TANG RUYI FACE MASSAGER, $35

PHOTO: Lu Ming Tang

Made of rose quartz, which is said to have emotional healing properties, this face massager helps relax facial muscles. Pop it into the refrigerator for five minutes before gliding the broad side of the spatula-like head across your cheeks and forehead from the centre of the face outwards, to gently ease away tension and help diminish the appearance of fine lines. You can apply a serum to reduce friction and any tugging of your skin if you find that the tool is not gliding as smoothly as you would like it to. Use the narrow end of the massager which has a spherical shape to massage in your eye cream to help de-puff your under-eye area.

Available at Lu Ming Tang at Level 1, Tang Plaza Beauty Hall

JADE ROLLER BEAUTY JADE ROLLER SPA, $68

PHOTO: Jade Roller Beauty

The bigger end of this roller helps relieve tension and tone the cheekbones. It is made of jade stone, which helps reduce inflammation and puffiness. The massaging action, like the rest of the massagers on this list, also helps boost cellular turnover for smoother and younger-looking skin, and diminished fine lines. The smaller end helps massage areas such as under the eyes and the sides of the nose, that are harder for the bigger end to manoeuvre over.

Available at Sephora

MOUNT LAI DE-PUFFING AMETHYST ROLLER (MINI SIZE), $47

PHOTO: Mount Lai 

The smaller size of this roller won't strain your arm muscles as you glide it across your face contours while watching TV. Its size also makes it easy to tote around and bring it along on your next holiday. It's made of amethyst, which like rose quartz, is said to have a soothing effect on your mood.

Available at Sephora

HERBIVORE BOTANICALS JADE FACIAL ROLLER, $44

PHOTO: Herbivore Botanicals

Many of the face rollers you see on the market are designed like this one from Herbivore Botanicals, but this is one of the more reasonably priced one. Its rolling parts have smaller girth compared to the Jade Beauty Roller and Mount Lai ones on this list, so it's better for people who prefer less chunky rollers. This is made from jade, and again, helps boost circulation and lymphatic drainage for more youthful-looking skin. Use the bigger end on wider areas such as your cheeks and forehead, and the smaller end on the under-eye area.

Available at Sephora

ANGELA CAGLIA ROSEBUD EYES TREATMENT SET, APPROX $88

PHOTO: Angela Caglia

If you think this looks like something lifted straight off a facialist's tool set, you're not exactly wrong. The creator of this beauty brand is popular US-based facialist Angela Caglia, who counts celebrities such as supermodel Helena Christensen and actress-singer Minnie Driver among her list of clients. These rose quartz eye massaging bud-like tools help depuff and brighten the delicate skin around the eyes. Keep these in the fridge to maximise the de-stressing effect, and prep skin with your favourite eye cream before gliding the tools across your skin.

Available at Net-a-Porter

SARAH CHAPMAN SKINESIS FACIALIFT, APPROX $51

PHOTO: Sarah Chapman

From popular London-based facialist Sarah Chapman who is rumoured to have the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle on her list of clients, this facial roller is almost foolproof to use. Just position the rollers on your chin and push upwards and let the rollers massage your jawline. There are eight heads, with 48 protruding knobs, that help improve lymphatic drainage, relieve muscular tension, and reduce puffiness for that desired V-shaped face.

Available at Net-a-Porter

NURSE JAMIE UPLIFT MASSAGE BEAUTY ROLLER, APPROX $97

PHOTO: Nurse Jamie

Set with 24 tourmaline quartz stones (which is said to help balance yin and yang energies), this wand-like hexagonal-shaped massaging tool is designed to mimic facial massaging techniques to stimulate blood circulation.

The effect: To uplift and improve overall complexion. Because of the unique rhythmic action that the wand creates, it is recommended that you massage each area for 30-45 seconds. Hollywood celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Emily Ratajkowski and Lea Michele are fans of this massager (just take a look at its Instagram account to see for yourself). And if you have cash to burn, there's a luxe version of the tool that's set with 24-karat gold beads, which is said to have anti-inflammatory effects while stimulating collagen production, at a hefty price tag of approx. US$1,105.16 (S$1,498.61) too.

Available at Net-a-Porter

HAYO'U ROSE QUARTZ BEAUTY RESTORER, APPROX $72

PHOTO: Hayo'U 

Shaped like a guasha tool, this rose quartz is designed to hug your facial contours. You can stash it in the fridge before use to help reduce puffiness, or warm it up between your palms to help improve the absorption of skincare into your skin. Because this is not a roller like many others on this list, we suggest you use it with a facial oil or luxurious face cream to prevent tugging on skin.

Available at Net-a-Porter

This article was first published in Shape.

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