If you’ve ever gazed longingly at a beautiful, crystal-carved jade roller or ice globe roller and just wished it had a little more power behind it, you’re in luck. Vibrating facial massage tools — AKA, skin care devices that utilize sonic vibrations and micro-currents to amplify the effects of facial massage — are trending. But are they legit? Dermatologists say… kind of.
“Vibrating facial massagers have a temporary effect on skin,” Dr. Tanuj Nakra, a board-certified plastic surgeon, tells TZR. Some of those temporary effects are pretty enticing, though. Dr. Nakra cites “increased circulation and chemical signals that can lead to pleasant-appearing skin swelling and flushing.” In layman’s terms: plumper skin and a rosy glow.
How do vibrating facial massage tools differ from a typical jade roller or gua sha tool, you ask? Celebrity aesthetician Angela Caglia explains that vibrating ones deliver sonic vibrations while you roll, while conventional ones do not. "This technology amplifies the benefits of traditional face rolling, which include relaxed facial muscles, reduced puffiness, and the temporary reduction of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," she says. Additionally, she notes that it can make your skin look and feel "more toned, lifted, sculpted, and refreshed."
"The vibrations help stimulate blood flow and aid in lymphatic drainage while creating negative ions," says Jillian Dempsey, the celebrity makeup artist behind the Gold Sculpting Bar. (You may have seen her husband, Patrick Dempsey, massaging his face with it on social media). Boosted blood flow means that more nutrients make their way to the skin (hence, the healthy glow), lymphatic drainage helps eliminate built-up fluid and toxins, and the negative ions released by the sonic vibrations are said to produce positive vibes. Seriously. One scientific study found that "negative air ionization was associated with lower depression." (This definitely isn't conclusive evidence, but hey — it's worth noting, right?)
Another reason you might want to reach for a Gold Sculpting Bar or Vibrating Rose Quartz Roller instead of your manual massage tool: “The vibrations do most of the work for you,” Dempsey says.
Sonic vibrations are pretty safe, so you can incorporate them into your routine once or twice a day without issue. “I always recommend sculpting for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning — it will help iron out sleep wrinkles and also de-puff and sculpt the face prior to makeup application,” Dempsey says. “Feel free to vibrate again at night for another 10 to 15 minutes, if you want to.”
She stresses that it’s important to use these tools on clean skin; some of the materials used (like the 24k gold plating of her Sculpting Bar) can cause discoloration if they interact with leftover makeup. Another pro tip? It’s a good idea to apply a serum before massaging, Caglia adds, to help the tool navigate the contours of your face without pulling on the skin.
“While these devices are generally very low risk, there has been a limited association of nerve hypersensitivity with prolonged use,” Dr. Nakra says. You may want to keep most vibrating gadgets away from the under-eye area, too, per Caglia, as the skin here is more delicate. “For anyone taking blood thinners, I wouldn’t recommend it,” she says. So if you are, be sure to ask your doctor before testing out the trend for yourself.
Keep scrolling to shop five of the most popular vibrating facial massage tools on the market.
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