Usually when celebrities tout a new skincare tool or treatment, I always assume it’s out of my budget and brush it off. But back in May, during an Instagram Live with Shani Darden, Jessica Alba whipped out a facial massager I could not stop thinking about. Not only did it look bizarre, but, to be honest, it looked fun to use. She pulled the massager out and nonchalantly rolled it around like it was a common activity during a video call.
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. After a little research, The Facialift appeared, hailing from British celebrity facialist Sarah Chapman’s line.
Other than the anecdotes from 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 you 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.
What Is The Facialift?
According to the website, The Facialift does the following:
- Brightens the skin
- Lifts the skin
- Drains toxins
- Reduces puffiness
- Gives an immediate glow
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.
This new addition is my third skincare tool, following a rose quartz roller and gold bar massager. To say I’m obsessed is an understatement. I also found a review on the brand's website that really sealed the deal. While there were plenty asking about sculpted jawlines and lifted cheekbones, I found it intriguing one person said the massager helped alleviate pain from teeth grinding. As someone who unknowingly developed bruxism, I was sold. My teeth-grinding habit was painful and if this could help with that and my skin, why not?
While I wasn’t expecting anything miraculous (how was a facial massager going to cure my grinding?) a small part of me was hopeful it would make a difference. Even if the effects of my dedicated massaging don’t pay off in the long run, the practice itself seemed soothing. Upon arrival, I noticed the massager itself is a bit flimsier than anticipated. But, after trying it, it packed a lot of power and certainly got the job done.
How to Use The Facialift
Though the site doesn’t say it’s necessary, I found applying a facial oil or moisturizer beforehand made it easier to roll around my face and neck. And although unproven, I also felt like it was helping my serums better penetrate into my skin.
Technically, it’s recommended to do each direction 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.
My boyfriend once walked into the bathroom while I was using the roller, displaying a look of bewilderment, and, overpowered by curiosity, tried it for himself. While he found his 10-second go of it relaxing overall, I haven’t seen him try it since (who knows though, he could be doing it behind my back). The routine of it is 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). 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).
In terms of my bruxism, I still wear a mouthguard—okay, sometimes, wear a mouthguard—to bed, but 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.
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.
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.