I Tested Out Vibrating Face Rollers For a Week — Here’s What Happened

I Tested Out Vibrating Face Rollers For a Week — Here’s What Happened

Celebrity skin care secrets are always so fascinating. In part, it’s because these revelations are a window into the private lives of ones so adored, and partly because their celebrity status sometimes gives them access to products and tools that us regular Joes don’t get the opportunity to try. The latest celebrity skin care secret is singer Tony Braxton’s face massage routine, which she accomplishes with the help of a drugstore vibrator. Purchased specifically for her face, Toni uses said vibrator, which she calls a “face tingler,” to activate her facial muscles. In the short duration of the 9-minute video, she brings her audience along with her as she goes through each step of her face routine, completing a simple yet comprehensive makeup look that accentuates every feature of her already-beautiful face.



Toni’s innovative use of a vibrator as a face massager got me thinking about how sonic vibrations could boost the already-beneficial effects of using a tool such as a jade roller or gua sha stone. It also reminded me that I had employed Toni’s trick in the past for a different reason: Whenever I’ve had an upper respiratory infection or sinus headache in the past, I’ve used a bullet vibrator (used singularly for that purpose) on my sinuses to break up congestion, drain the infected contents, and achieve relief. It works every time. So combined with what I already knew about beauty rollers, I decided to embark on a week of testing, using a variety of vibrating face massage tools.


Face Massage Benefits

First things first, let’s go over what these tools are and their possible benefits. Face massage is not a new development in skin care. In actuality, it dates back to 13th century China where it was employed in Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. The gua sha method, which is quite popular lately, was used to activate the body’s circulatory system in an attempt to treat ailments.



Flashing forward to the 21st century, face massage is achieved with modern roller tools which now come in a variety of shapes and material compositions. Face rollers are touted to increase circulation, aid in lymphatic drainage, ease muscle tension, and tone skin. The better your massage habit, the better the benefits. Jade rollers, ice rollers, rose quartz and metal massage wands are just some of the options available for purchase from an ever-expanding list of sources.


What I’ve Tried in the Past

The ice roller is the very first kind of face massager that I purchased when I started to explore the trend. Usually consisting of a plastic barrel attached to a head made out of silicone or metal, the ice roller is designed to take advantage of the effects of icing skin. Ice rollers do the double duty of de-puffing skin and providing a jolt of alertness thanks to the extreme temperature. While other face massage tools like jade rollers and sculpting wands can also help to eliminate puffiness, what sets the ice roller apart is that the frozen barrel works great for tissue recovery, easing pain from oral surgery, and other medical procedures. Icing is also great for soothing a sunburn, and the same anti-inflammatory benefits that banish AM puffiness reduces acne swelling and can help it feel less painful.

I’ve also tried the plastic Korean roller massager, which may be a familiar sight for anyone who watched K-dramas in the mid-2010s. In comparison to newer massage tools, they’re a unique design, usually available in a Y-shaped configuration with rows of flower-shaped barrels spaced out in three rows on arms that frame the face. In my opinion, this style is more suited towards a smaller face, since the arms aren’t adjustable and it can pinch too tight on a wider face. There are also many nooks and crannies for water or other fluids to be caught in, and I find that it takes forever to dry when I clean it. The plastic is a bit of a worry as well when it comes to sanitizing, and so I think I’ll be sticking to metal tools.


Vibrating T-bar Massager

To start, I tested a vibrating T-bar face massager, comparing it with the results I got from the ice roller to see if it measured up. The T-bar massager is great for travel, requiring only a single AA battery to operate. No need to worry about how to keep your massage tool frozen, and it’s a lot less bulky too. In contrast to the ice roller, this tool requires some sort of skin care product to be applied to the surface of the skin before it’s used, or else it tugs somewhat painfully, dragging across the planes and contours of the skin. I’d suggest applying a serum or oil first, or using it over a sheet mask.

While the sensation can take some getting used to, it’s not uncomfortable and can feel really good on, say, your jaw area, if you suffer from a condition like Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (also known as TMJ). Using this, I’d wager that the same pain-relieving effect could be replicated with other kinds of facial pain, in the same way that an ice roller could aid in the post-operative recovery process.

I can also attest to the improved absorption rate of the products applied after I’d used this tool. I’ll be reaching for it whenever I sheet mask, or if I need a quick de-puffing before applying makeup. Also, my skin appeared to be smoother and bouncier, especially the morning after. The difference was so dramatic that I used it again for one more night, and another after that.

My skin appeared to be smoother and bouncier, especially the morning after. The difference was so dramatic that I used it again for one more night.

It’s not complicated or time-consuming and can easily be folded into your current routine since it takes at most 10 minutes. Simply repeat the following motions five times each:

  • Run the massaging bar out towards your ear from the center of your chin. 
  • Massage outwards from the corner of your nose, along your cheekbone, towards your ear.
  • And then massage outwards from the center of your forehead right above your brow bone.
  • Lastly, roll upwards along your hairline from your temple, and down your neck from the point underneath your chin to the base of your neck.

Repeat each of these motions on one side your face and then the other. Never roll back and forth but only in one direction.


Vibrating 3D Roller

Next up, the vibrating 3D roller features a pair of massaging spheres in a V-shape that hugs the contours of the face and neck. Its shape is configured to work particularly well on the jaw, cheekbone, and brow bone area for a lifted, toned result. This is another style of face massage tool that provides relief from jaw issues and can target the lymph nodes in the jaw area. The 3D roller works better when used with the T-bar massager, as the design of the former doesn’t reach all areas of the face like the latter does.



The larger surface area makes the experience very soothing. You could easily use this for the entire duration of an episode of your favorite Netflix show. I know I almost did. Using the 3D roller on my jaw and neck area was so relaxing I easily blew past my allotted 10 minutes. The rest of my sheet masking experience was that much more calming because all the tension in my facial muscles from a day spent chewing, talking, and smiling felt like it had been released. Again, you would need to apply a slippy serum or an oil before commencing use, as it would just pull at the skin without lubrication. I’d recommend use of both the T-bar and 3D beauty tools at least twice a week. You can use it with a sheet mask like I did, with a lightweight oil for a quick facial massage, or at the end of your PM routine to really help that last occlusive layer sink in.

Next, I’d really like to try one of the wand-shaped massagers with tourmaline inlays, like the Uplift Beauty Massage Roller from Nurse Jamie. I’m eager to compare the effects of as many beauty rollers as I can as my skin care routine continues to evolve.

Have you tried any vibrating face massage rollers? What did you think?


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