beauty

TRIED AND TESTED: I used these weird-looking face massagers to see if they actually work.

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your weekly review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Lifestyle Writer Amy Clark road-tested the new, weird-looking facial massage tools from Aceology.

Confession: I am really over beauty tools.

Wherever you look, there’s a new, fandangled contraption one simply must purchase in order to have glowing skin, look 50 years younger, save the planet and live your best life etc.

I’m talking about: Cleansing brushes. Cleansing vibrators. LED light masks. Skincare fridges. Mechanical brush cleaners. Jade rollers. Rose quartz rollers. Space age silver balls that zap you with electrical currents.

We spoke about jade and rose quartz rollers on the You Beauty podcast, get it in your ears below. Post continues after audio.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of these tools are wonderful. Others have me wondering if rolling an apple or a toy truck over my face would have the same effect.

One category I’ve always been sceptical of is facial massage tools. Specifically, rollers and gua sha.

If I’m honest, the reason I’m sceptical is Instagram. Sure, people have been using rollers and gua sha massage techniques since forever, but right now, they’re all over my Insta feed, which makes it hard to know if they’re legit or another social media fad.

In particular, a new range of facial tools from Aussie skincare brand Acelogy keep coming up again and again. The brand behind the jelly-like face masks made famous by Martha from MAFS have released a rose quartz gua sha tool and what they’re calling ‘ice globes’. Ranging from $45 to $69, these tools aren’t cheap, so are they worth investing in on top of all your other skincare?

With that in mind, I put these tools to the test to see if they can actually do something for your face, or are nothing more than pretty, expensive glass trinkets.

But first, what is Gua Sha?

 

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Gua sha is an ancient Chinese practice for directing energy, improving circulation and treating muscle pain. Traditionally, it’s performed in vigorous scraping motions over the body, but you’re probably most familiar with the gentler version for the face using a small, contoured tool made from crystal or mineral-rich stone.

According to dermal therapist Diandra Politano, “Gua sha works deeper in the skin than most tools since it creates friction. This friction releases facial muscle tension and improves lymph drainage. The result is a brighter, and clearer complexion. Gua sha can also improve firmness, and after just one session (if done correctly), the face is immediately lifted.”

What are the benefits of lymphatic facial massage?

As previously mentioned in my full body lymphatic drainage massage road test story, lymphatic drainage massage uses a gentle, light massage technique to wake up your lymph nodes to get your lymphatic system moving and filtering out the crap hanging out in your body’s lymph fluid.

This means: brighter, clearer skin.

Politano said facial lymphatic drainage massage using a tool like a gua sha or the ice globes should always start at your neck, which is essentially the gate to your lymphatic system.

“Always start at both sides of your neck, this will activate and open up the gate of the lymphatic system, which then allows the toxins in your face a place to go. Two major meridians from traditional Chinese medicine are also located there, so honour that tradition and get the energy flowing there first,” she told Mamamia.

You can watch me falling asleep to Diandra Politano using the gua sha tool on my face below. It felt as relaxing as it looks.

 

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That time @diandrapolitano massaged my face with a gua sha tool and I fell asleep. And moaned. ????????????????

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How to use facial massage tools.

Following Politano’s advice, always dampen the skin with a serum or oil before using any tool. Think of it like using a sex toy without lube. No dice. Then, it’s about following a pattern of gentle, sweeping motions in the following order:

  • To start, sweep up and down your neck.
  • Then, under your chin to your earlobe.
  • Move to your mid chin across your jawline.
  • Then, target underneath your cheekbone to your hairline.
  • Over your cheekbone to your hairline.
  • Using the smaller end of the tool, sweep under your eye with light pressure towards the temple and then your hairline.
  • Then, over your brow bone to your hairline.
  • Sweep up from your third eye (middle of the forehead) to your hairline.
  • Then, from your mid-forehead outwards to your hairline.

Politano added, “Always use slow and gentle, medium to light pressure, and work from your mid-face outwards to follow your lymphatic system. Also, make sure the tool is flat against your skin, and gently jiggle the tool every time you reach your hairline or endpoint.”

Alrighty, now onto the tools themselves.

The Aceology Rose Quartz Gua Sha Facial Massager, $45.

Aceology Rose Quartz Gua Sha Facial Massager
What the gua sha?! Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Aceology Rose Quartz Gua Sha Facial Massager
This little tool looks way too pretty to put on your face. Image: Aceology.
Aceology Rose Quartz Gua Sha Facial Massager
So, how do we... do this? Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Aceology Rose Quartz Gua Sha Facial Massager
Ah, there we go. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Well. This tool is quite lovely. I really didn't want to give up my scepticism surrounding gua sha because, crystals and woo woo (but mostly crystals), but I love what this type of massage does for my face.

If you're into the healing energies of crystals, rose quartz manifests love, joy, healing and self-care. It also doesn't absorb heat, meaning tools made from the crystal stay cool (which is great for puffy faces).

The best bit is how this type of massage works through all of the tension I hold in my jaw. The shape of the tool allows it to fit snug into the hallows of the face, applying pressure and almost 'carving out' areas like the cheekbones and jaw. The result was a de-puffed face, energised skin and the release of tension.

It's a big YES from me and I will continue to use this tool at home.

The Aceology Facial Ice Globe Massagers, $64.

Aceology Facial Ice Globe Massagers
World, meet the blue ice balls you never knew you needed. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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Aceology Facial Ice Globe Massagers
Here's what you're meant to look like using them... Image: Aceology.
Aceology Facial Ice Globe Massagers
Am I doing this right??? Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Aceology Facial Ice Globe Massagers
Not sure, but the lighting is spot on. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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An inquisitive You Beauty Facebook group member posted asking about these blue globes and I knew I had to try them. They are a bit weird, but when you look at them, you kind of believe they can do something for you. But can they?

The idea is: you pop these bad boys in the fridge and roll them over the face to de-puff. But no matter which way I tried, it always felt like I was using these... wrong.

The globe shape didn't fit my face as well as the gua sha, but they are lovely and cool straight out of the fridge, so I would use these in the morning on puffy, salty eyes (does anyone else's under-eye bags get worse when you eat salty fast food??) or hold on an angry pimple to calm it down.

They are also made of glass and came dangerously close to rolling off a table and shattering.

Final verdict...

OK, so I'm eating my words on facial massage. Done right and with the right tool for your face shape and skin concerns, it can make a massive difference.

Will I be using the blue ice globes again? Personally, probably not. But that's because I'm now in a committed relationship with the gua sha tool and am not currently taking applications for a side chick.

Have you tried a facial massage tool? Tell us your thoughts below!

Mamamia's Tried and Tested series drops every Monday. Want us to trial and review a product or treatment you've seen everywhere? Easy, just send an email to [email protected] 

You can catch up on more from our Tried and Tested series here:

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