- October 17, 2021

3 Tools for Manual Face Massage + How to Use Them

There are several techniques for manual facial massage, and you could use nothing at all but your hands, but I love using tools!

When I’m using a tool for facial massage, I have more control over how deeply I can stretch the facial muscles. Tools help with lymphatic drainage, decreasing puffiness, stimulating circulation, reducing inflammation, and improving the skin’s overall look and feel. Plus, when used intensionally and consistently, tools help lift and rejuvenate the skin.

Ideally, you want to give yourself a facial massage 3 to 5 times a week, either morning or night. I usually grab my jade or ice roller in the mornings to wake my skin up or de-puff my face quickly. And in the evenings, I spend anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes enjoying a meditative gua sha massage.

Using tools for facial massage takes things to the next level. The three tools below are my favorites, and they work well for all skin types.

Gua Sha

Facial gua sha has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, and it’s become one of my most essential skincare tools. Sometimes known as a jade scraper, it is excellent for de-puffing, moving stagnant energy, releasing facial muscle tension, increasing the circulatory flow of blood, stimulating lymphatic drainage, and it helps create a more defined jawline and chiseled cheekbones—if you use it regularly, of course.

Best for: Sculpting and defining your features

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How to use:

  • Start with clean skin.
  • Press your favorite oil onto your skin
  • Start with one side of your face. Repeat at least 5 strokes for all areas. When it comes to the forehead and neck, you can stroke those areas twice as many times.
  • Neck strokes: Start where your neck meets the middle of the right collarbone and use light to medium pressure to move the tool up along the neck until you hit bone. Right behind the ear.
  • Under the chin: Gently glide the tool up the throat towards your face, along the soft area under your chin.
  • Chin: Gently press and hug the middle of the chin and guide the gua sha out along the jaw bone until you meet the earlobe.
  • Cheek: Sweep the tool from the corner of the nose out to the middle of the ear.
  • Under-eyes: Be extremely delicate here. Move purposefully and slow. Guide the stone tool over the under-eye area out towards the hairline.
  • Under eyebrow: Avoid pressure to the actual eye or eyelid. Focus on the brow bone instead. Start from the inner brow bone and sweep the tool over, out and down toward the temple.
  • Third eye: Comb the center of the eyebrows up towards the hairline.
  • Lower forehead: Press the tool into the center of the forehead above the brow bone and with a long stroke, move out toward the temple.
  • The big sweep: Sweep the tool from the center of your forehead, under your hairline, down and over your temple to your ear and then down the side of the neck to the terminus area. You can perform this “big sweep” movement several times.
  • Now repeat all of these steps to the other side of your face.

Jade Roller

Jade rollers have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It was my grandmother who introduced it to me when I was in my teens, waaaay before jade rollers became trendy in skincare circles. Use it to boost penetration of your skincare products, increase circulation, decrease puffiness, and promote collagen production.

Best for: De-puffing and lymphatic drainage

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How to use:

  • Start with clean skin.
  • Press oil or serum to your whole face. 
  • For lymphatic drainage, roll from the bottom of the ear onto the neck, towards the center of the jawbone.
  • Start at the center of your face and work the roller toward the hairline, ears, and alongside the jaw, using upward strokes.
  • Roll for about 3 minutes, twice a day.

Ice Roller

Ice rolling is kind of like a cryotherapy session you can do at home. Store your ice roller in the freezer and use it whenever you want to reduce redness, swelling or depuff when you’ve eaten a little too much salt. Because ice contracts the blood vessels, it can make pores appear smaller and tighten your skin.

Best for: Bringing down inflammation and redness

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How to use:

  • Start with clean skin.
  • Begin at the center of your face and move outward.
  • Roll in an upward motion, using gentle pressure.
  • You can gently roll under the eye area, but don’t roll over your eyelids.

Challenge: Pick a tool to incorporate into your skincare routine and use it consistently, 3 – 5 times a week.

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