Usually, when celebrities tout a new skincare tool or treatment, I always assume it’s out of my budget and brush it off. But that all changed during an Instagram Live with Shani Darden when Jessica Alba whipped out The Facialift ($50). Not only did this facial massager by Sarah Chapman look bizarre, but, to be honest, it also looked fun to use. Alba nonchalantly rolled it around her jaw like it was a common activity during a video call—and I was intrigued.
It's clear Alba has stunning skin. It’s glowy, supple, and looks super moisturized and bouncy practically all the time. Though she most likely has access to some top treatments (and stellar genetics), this one product seemed easily accessible. But I had to wonder: Does it actually work on non-celebrity, mere mortal skin like my own? There was only one way to find out.
Keep reading for my full product review of the Facialift.
Sarah Chapman The Facialift
- Best for: All skin types; however, if you have any skin condition, it's best to consult your doctor before use.
- Uses: Drains toxins, reduces puffiness, brightens and lifts the skin.
- Star Rating: 3.5
- Potential allergens: None, but discontinue use if you're experiencing any pain or irritation.
- Price: $50
- About the brand: Sarah Chapman is known for her eponymous skincare line of luxury products and devices. Her Skinesis Clinic is one of the most sought-out boutiques in London.
About My Skin: Relatively firm (for now)
This new addition to my skincare tool arsenal makes number three, following a rose quartz roller and gold bar massager. As you could imagine, I'm obsessed with products that come with the promise of tight, firm skin. But, that's not to say that I've got a lot of fine lines and wrinkles or sagging skin that I'm obsessing over (but when I do, c'est la vie). It's just that nowadays, it's all about staying ahead of the skincare game. That means giving the largest organ of your body some serious TLC via a proper routine—because, who knows? The right tools and products may even help to plump and lift skin, reduce puffiness, and brighten your complexion. And as it just so happens, the Facialift aims to do just that.
The Feel: A mini massage therapist
Upon arrival, I noticed the massager itself was a bit flimsier than anticipated. But, after trying it, it packed a lot of power and certainly got the job done. The handle of the tool has two branches that have eight heads with 48 massaging nodules. These nodules basically serve as little wheels that get that blood circulating in your face and work against gravity. All in all, it's a breeze to use and is rather comforting—sitting on the couch after work and rolling it around mindlessly is a nice, healthy way to get your mind off things (and do something nice for your skin, too).
How to Use: Push, roll, and tap
Although it’s not a must, I found applying a facial oil or moisturizer before using my massager helpful. For one, it made it easier to roll around my face and neck, and secondly, I also felt like it was helping my serums better penetrate into my skin.
Technically, it’s recommended to massage each area (the chin to the ears, either side of the neck, and all over the face) at least six times, but once you get caught up in the trance of it all, it’s easy to end up standing in front of the mirror for 15 minutes gazing at your flushed cheeks and funny expressions. The end of the handle is a small round paddle, which the brand recommends tapping around your face and eyes to increase blood flow (and really get that plumpness going). This isn’t nearly as fun as the massaging, though. After you're done, make sure to clean the tool with warm water and soap.
The Results: A defined jawline
Though I can’t say my cheekbones are that much more refined, I've noticed my jawline always looks way more defined after the fact (i.e. the lymphatic drainage is working). It makes me believe in facial workouts as a viable alternative skincare treatment—kind of like facial cupping—to fillers or a facelift.
Interestingly, another unexpected benefit of using the Facialift had nothing at all to do with skin, but rather, pain relief from teeth grinding. As someone who unknowingly developed bruxism, I welcomed this result. And while I still wear a mouthguard—okay, sometimes, wear a mouthguard—to bed, I’ve noticed a significant difference in other ways. Although it’s a tad painful on nights when my jaw is especially tight, The Facialist is like a mini massage therapist for these parts of my face, working out a day’s worth of knots and tension.
Other than the anecdotes from Jessica Alba, myself, and some happy reviewers, is there proof facial massagers like this one bring about real benefits? Thankfully, yes. One study from 2018 found they increase and improve blood flow to your face, and another study conducted in 2017 showed using a massager with an anti-aging cream boosted the effects of the product. Even the Byrdie team has a large range of favorite massage techniques and tools that they swear by. So, don’t just take it from me, even science backs our wacky (and much-loved) contraptions.
The Value: Accessible luxury
Compared to to other facial massagers and sculptors on the market, this one falls into that sweet middle category where cost meets quality. While it may not be as luxurious or as effective as, say, an NYC spa facial treatment, it definitely wields noticeable results—not to mention, it's much more affordable.
Similar Products: You've got options
Jillian Dempsey’s Gold Sculpting Bar: We were delighted to review this luxurious facial massager. It works ace at de-puffing and sculpting, and after using, you see results pretty much immediately. Still, at $195, the price point is steep, which gives the Facialift a one-up.
Skin Gym Face Sculptor: This is more compact than the Facialift but packs quite a punch. However, priced at $69, it's also a bit more expensive. A few user reviews also mention that since its rollers aren't totally affixed, they may come loose.
Yeamon 2 in 1 Face Massager: Don't let the $20 price tag fool you, this multi-purpose massager—with over 4,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—works. It comes with a dual roller and a T-shaped electric massager that can be used for both face and body.
If you're looking for a facial massager that plumps, lifts, and contours—with the added benefit of jaw tension relief—then look no further than The Facialift by Sarah Chapman. While it's not the most affordable facial sculptor on the market, it's also not the most expensive, either. Consider it your smart skincare investment.
Short- and long-term effects of using a facial massage roller on facial skin blood flow and vascular reactivity. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2018;41:271-276.
Caberlotto E, Ruiz L, Miller Z, Poletti M, Tadlock L. Effects of a skin-massaging device on the ex-vivo expression of human dermis proteins and in-vivo facial wrinkles. PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0172624.