We tried at-home massage tools that promise real beauty results.
Increased circulation and blood flow from a massage can to a world of good for your body from head to toe. Side effects may include tone muscles, long hair, and smooth skin. In a perfect world, we’d all have access to a professional masseuse whenever we wanted. But for those of us who won’t be shelling out $150 regularly (or $400 if you’re Kanye West), here are five affordable tools you can use at home to reap all the luxe beauty benefits of self-massage.
What It’s For: Toning muscles
How to Use It: Most people think of the foam roller as a way to alleviate muscle fatigue but there are important beauty benefits, too. Foam rolling breaks up connective tissue in the body and improves blood flow to decrease bloating and inflammation. Regular rolling can hydrate connective tissue and may even temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.
HUM Verdict: I do a fair amount of hot yoga for exercise and I love pairing it with foam rolling after class. Rolling out my back has improved my posture and helped my leg muscles stay lean and relaxed.
Cost: $23 – $50
What It’s For: Full body detoxifying
How It Works: You could call this one, an ancient yogi beauty ritual. Warm oil is massaged into the skin from the crown of the head all the way down to the feet. Sesame oil in particular is high in zinc for healthy hair, skin and nails. Allow the oil soak in for a few minutes after massaging, then shower as usual. Besides softening skin, this technique stimulates the internal organs and lymph nodes for full body detoxification.
HUM Verdict: I’ve never been a fan of body lotions because they leave me feeling greasy so I assumed this would be an even slimier version of that. I loved that you got to wash off the oil in the shower though, and it left my skin feeling like it had a dewy protective coating to lock in moisture. In fact, even as I write this I keep touching my arms to feel how out-of-this-world soft they are.
What It’s For: Anti-aging
How It Works: All the benefits of a foam roller for your body, but in a miniature version for your face. You can use a jade roller at room temp, or for extra depuffing power, pop it in the refrigerator before rolling. The gentle pressure can promote cell turnover and skin elasticity, and has been used in China since the 7th century.
HUM Verdict: Heavenly on those mornings you wake up with a puffy face and don’t want to be seen. The cold stone feels very refreshing and does seem to help firm up the area under my eyes.
What It’s For: Recovering after a night out in heels.
How It Works: When you wear heels, your body’s alignment compensates in ways that can cause cramping and muscle bulge. Much denser than a foam roller, these tough rubber balls are just the thing to roll out kinks in tight places like the calves, or arches of your feet. We’ve even heard some people claim that reflexology can heal acne or other skin conditions so don’t underestimate the power of tending to your feet.
HUM Verdict: I wear heels through most of the weekend so this is my new favorite Sunday night routine. It’s easy to roll around under your feet while watching your favorite show and leaves me feeling taller, balanced, and ready for the week ahead.
Cost: $10 for set of two
Scalp Massaging Brush
What It’s For: Rapunzel level hair.
How It Works: Using the rubber bristles of this brush to self-massage your scalp once a week while you shampoo loosens dead skin cells and oil buildup while encouraging blood flow to the scalp for extra hair growth. For a more invigorating scalp massage, you can try a battery-powered version that vibrates, such as this one by Vanity Planet.
HUM Verdict: The scalp is a neglected area in my beauty routine. I shampoo quickly to get it over with so this was a fun way to change things up and show my scalp some extra love. Can definitely see this being useful in dandruff season.