We tried at-home self-massage tools that promise real beauty results.
Increased circulation and blood flow from a massage can do a world of good for your body from head to toe. Side effects may include toned muscles, longer 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 can’t regularly shell out $150 (or $400 if you’re Kanye West) for a treatment, here are five affordable tools you can use at home to reap all the luxe beauty benefits of self-massage.
5 Ways to Self-Massage at home
1. Foam Roller
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.
2. Sesame Oil
What It’s for: Full-body detoxification
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 to 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; I assumed this oil would be an even slimier version of that. I loved washing 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’m writing now, I keep touching my arms to feel how out-of-this-world soft they are.
3. Jade Roller
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 temperature, or for extra depuffing power, pop it in the refrigerator before rolling. The gentle pressure can promote cell turnover and skin elasticity. Jade rollers have been used in China since the seventh century.
HUM Verdict: Heavenly on those mornings when 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.
4. Massage Ball
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 and 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 a set of two
5. 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 shampooing 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 usually shampoo quickly to get it over with, so this was a fun way to change things up and show my scalp some extra love. I can definitely see this brush being useful during dandruff season.