Facial Massage Tools: The Facts You Need to Know

facial massage tools

Go onto any social media account or beauty bloggers’ website and you’ll find a new inclusion to their skincare routine: facial massage tools – often multiple massage tools. Recently, we explored the benefits of the jade roller and Gua Sha facial tools. With so many on the market, which work best and how does one work differently from the other. What we do know about facial massage tools is, they’re designed to stimulate the face muscles to increase blood flow and collagen. When done correctly, a face massage can be an affordable anti-aging treatment.

But our curiosity didn’t stop there. So we turned to Denese Coke, owner of eDerma Beauty Services to help differentiate the following facial tools:

  1. Jade Roller
  2. Derma Roller
  3. Ice Roller
  4. Twin Ball Massager

Let’s begin.

The Jade Roller

“The jade roller is a facial massage tool,” Coke says. “The purpose is to increase blood flow to the skin and when used cold, (it) can reduce under eye swelling or puffiness and even minimize the look of pores.”

To help better de-puff your eyes, she recommends that you place your roller in the freezer for ten minutes. You can also do like most others and leave it overnight. When used daily, Coke says it can be very beneficial in improving the skin’s elasticity to slow down the signs of aging. Her concern, however, along with that of other aestheticians’ is that people aren’t using the jade roller correctly. In her opinion, no treatment can top that of a professional massage.

“The professional will know (what areas) need more work, and more or less pressure,” says Coke. “I really doubt everyone is doing it correctly. But just to give a little tip, you want your massage movements in an outward, upward motion to train the skin to pull up.”

The example Coke is describing should look something like this. When you perform a jade roll massage, you want to begin at the neck and work your way up. For best results, Coke says to do it at night. Don’t forget to wash your jade roller with soap and water, then sterilize with a disenfectant and/or alcohol (75%) after each use.

The Derma Roller

Derma rolling is a form of microneedling, which is also described as collagen induction therapy. Others, Coke says, refer to it as the “Vampire Facial.”

“It’s called that because there could be minor to heavy bleeding during the facial,” she explains. “The titanium needles are very fine and come in different sizes depending on how deep you want to puncture your skin.”

To use the roller correctly, Coke says to move in four different directions which is the equivalent to “one pass.” The directions are sideways, the other sideways, up, and across your face. All of this is considered as one pass. Each pass has to go in all four directions. Makes sense?

“If it’s the forehead, you will do about four strokes across without overlapping,” says Coke. “Eight strokes up, four diagonal and four on the opposite diagonal.”

Coke recommends to do about three passes during each session.

Derma rollers are used to treat acne and it provides anti-aging benefits. Here’s how it works: when you puncture your skin even slightly, you trick the brain into thinking there is a cut on the surface of the skin. As a result, the brain sends extra healing nutrients to the punctured areas, which tightens the skin and more importantly, allows the acne to heal faster. As good as this may sound, Coke strongly advises that you use a professional to derma roll your skin – don’t do it yourself.

“If you make a mistake and drag the roller instead of rolling it, you can really damage your skin and scar your face,” says Coke. “I truly doubt anyone can do it correctly themselves because of all the angles needed to complete a pass. (I) definitely recommend going to a professional for this.”

Because many have already purchased their own derma rollers, our advice is to watch several video tutorials created by professionals. Then go a step further and speak to an aesthetician about the safest way to use your derma roller at home.

Here are a few tips and tidbits to keep in mind:

  1. After microneedling / derma rolling, your skin remains sensitive for up to two weeks. It’s best to stay out of the sun as much as possible
  2. Use a topical collagen or other serum when derma rolling. Once the skin is punctured, the nutrients in the product seep deep into your skin.
Jade Roller vs Derma Roller

According to Coke, the jade roller and the derma roller have nothing in common except, “they are both used on the face.” If she had to make a choice as to which facial massage tool is better, it appears Coke prefers the derma roller. But the jade roller has its benefits, too.

“The derma roller is probably one hundred times better. But the jade roller is more user friendly,” Coke says. “Jade rollers can be used daily. Derma rollers (can be used) once a month to every six weeks as needed.”

The Ice Roller

You’ve heard of the ice roller, haven’t you? Known as the “ice cube facial”, its design replaces the antiquated remedy of dunking your face in a bowl of ice cold water. However, if you own both an ice roller and a jade roller, you may have wasted your money.

“Ice rollers could be considered the same as the jade roller because they do pretty much the same thing,” Coke says. “Only the ice roller is metal and the jade roller is jade stone. Very similar results.”

The takeaway? Buy one or the other. Don’t buy both.

The ice roller seems like a simple concept, so it begs the question: can’t you make one yourself? We suggested to use an ice cube with a tooth pick inserted, or better yet, freeze your favorite toner and use that instead. According to Coke, makeshift ice rollers can’t compete with the real thing.

“If you make your own ice, it won’t be as smooth as the ice ice roller. (You have to be) careful about putting anything that is super cold with rough edges on your face,” says Coke. “Because it is so cold, you can scrape your skin and not realize until it thaws.”

When using the ice roller, you can apply a serum, massage cream, facial moisturizer or serum much as you would any other facial massage tool.

Jade Roller vs Ice Roller

Since both tools are very similar, which should we buy? Coke casts her opinion in favor of the jade roller.

“I recommend the jade roller because it can both massage and cool the skin. It’s smaller than most ice rollers and easier to use,” Coke explains. “Ice rollers are more for professional use to close the pores after steaming or to minimize the look of pores.”

Twin Ball Massager

facial massage tools

The twin baller and the jade roller are similar but not exactly the same,” says Coke of the massage tool designed with two stainless steel balls (sometimes wooden) placed side by side. “The twin baller can give you a deeper massage than the jade because of the balls. So you can apply more pressure and get deeper into the tissues and force out more toxins while stimulating blood flow.”

Did everyone who jumped on the “jade roller bandwagon” jump too soon? Should they have waited for the twin ball massager to gain in popularity and purchased the facial tool instead?

Not necessarily, according to Coke. Those who have more mature skin can benefit most from twin ball massagers, while the jade roller can be used for practically anyone. Coke recommends using the twin ball massager about twice a week.

“I recommend the twin ball for people over 40 or for people who want a deeper massage.”

Which Facial Massage Tool Best Generates Collagen?

Everyone who is aging wants to find the product to generate more collagen. Collagen provides firmness, elasticity and keeps skin supple and youthful. So out of the four facial massage tools we discussed, which best generates collagen? Because, without a doubt, that’s the tool we want.

“The derma roller is the only one that actually increases collagen,” says Coke. “The others just increase circulation so the skin gets more nutrients to do its thing. As for the derma roller…it actually breaks the skin and when that happens, collagen is generated as part of the repair process. Again, get a professional to use this tool.”

So for the record, anyone who tells you the jade roller, twin ball massager or ice roller generate collagen, this is inaccurate information.

How to Clean Your Facial Massage Tools

You now know how to clean your jade roller, and according to Coke, you can clean your ice roller and twin ball massager in the same fashion. However, the derma roller takes extra time. To start, soak your derma roller in a solution that has at least 74% alcohol or use another disinfectant. Then rinse the roller in boiling hot water and let it air dry. Coke says, “Do not attempt to wipe the tool to dry it off because you may leave microscopic pieces of rag or paper towel on the tool.”


Denese Coke is the “skin guru” who started out selling Mary Kay products while serving in the US army. Working with Mary Kay is where she began learning about proper skin care practices. She later became a certified Aesthetician. At the start of her career, she taught clients about correct skin care practices before she began performing facials. She admits that her road to success was rocky at times, but today she is the proud owner of eDerma Beauty Services. They specialize in customized facials and skincare using top of the line organic products. Their goal is to help people treat their skin by giving them the knowledge to help themselves. Their slogan is “Loving you, Skin Deep.”

About Ria Rankine

I'm a vegan who enjoys natural skincare products and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.

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