To Exercise the Face or to Not

by Anna Roberson


We’ve seen it all over social media—influencers rolling large stone tools on their cheekbones or sculpting their jaw line with flat edged gua shas. It feels like there are always new tools and hacks for “exercising” your face. It’s clear this obsession with facial toning and lifting isn’t going anywhere. But does it really work?


The Gua Shas

This tool has become popular recently, but it originated in traditional Chinese medicine. They range in price from a drugstore brand $7 to Goop’s $129. It is described as a natural, alternative therapy that scrapes the skin to massage and promote circulation. This, in turn helps the lymphatic drainage system and may help one’s face appear thinner.


The Jade Roller

This one had its time in the spotlight a few years ago. Harper's Bazaar describes it as the “gua-sha-sister,” originating from practices in eastern medicine used to cool the skin and soothe muscles.


“Jawzrsize” Chew

Marketed as a jaw exerciser for definition, these mouth guard-like chewable rubber balls may help strengthen the jaw. However, the chewing muscles do not help tone the face, according to Medical News Today.


Ice Rollers

We’ve all heard the old trick to put cold spoons under your eyes to de-puff in the morning. Ice rolling takes that to the next level. The cold roller boosts circulation and brings blood to the skin surface to restore radiance. It’s also good for any swelling or inflammation—I use one on my eyes after crying.


Face Yoga

Face yoga is the practice of massaging your face in certain ways to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage. According to Healthline, some research has found that face yoga exercises may improve the appearance of your face.


We live in a world of great urgency, and people don’t want to wait for anything. So yes, maybe gua sha sculpting or face yoga exercise works if you put a lot of time into it and are consistent. But most people promoting it probably have Botox or are supermodels. If you do invest in some of these tools, remember to research their histories and the communities they come from—and buy from those communities themselves!