Face massage rollers can increase blood flow and increased blood flow is really good!

A study published by the Tokyo Institute of Technology showed that use of a facial massage roller can increase skin blood flow in the short term and improve blood flow response in the long term.

With few studies published on the benefits of using a face massage roller, Naoyuki Hayashi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology in partnership with the Tokyo Healthcare University and the Research and Development Center, MTG Co. Ltd conducted experiments involving male and female volunteers to understand the effects on blood flow when using a massage roller on the face.  The first experiment involved 10 males and 2 females and was focused on understanding the short term effects and the second experiment involved 9 males and 5 females was focused on the long term effects over the course of 5 weeks.

What they learned was that acute use of a facial massage roller can increase blood flow in the skin, with a relative change of up to around 25% and that this effect can last for up to 10 minutes.  In the long term experiment, they learned that daily massage improved blood flow response to heat stimulation.

The researchers used laser speckle flowgraphy to visualize blood flow distribution in skin tissue before and after treatment to the right cheek using a control group and massage trial group.

Credit: Naoyuki Hayashi, 


Great, so blood flow is increased but what does that mean?

As stated by Hayashi, an increase in blood flow enhances the supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells, as well as the removal of metabolic products from cells.  In thinking about the long term effects, he draws a parallel to long term exposure to warm carbonated spring waters which has been demonstrated to dilate skin vessels due to high CO2 content and suggests that it is therefore likely that an increase in facial skin induced by the short term and long term use of a facial massage roller can exert favorable affects.

What are some good facial massage rollers to try?

I haven’t tried one yet but after reading this study, I’m going to definitely buy one this weekend.  I did a quick scan on the interwebs and here are a few favs amongst beauty critics:

NURSE JAMIE:  Uplift Massaging Beauty Roller ($69)


The UpLift Massaging Beauty Roller is a hexagon-shaped wand that’s covered in 24 “massaging” stones meant to “temporarily energize, enhance, and uplift your skin.”  No batteries required and it weights 4 oz.

“I developed [the device] with the intention of mirroring the massage techniques used in my signature facials,” say Nurse Jamie, whose client roster includes A-listers like the Kardashians and January Jones. “It’s been over 20 years of taking care of the most famous faces in Hollywood that led me to developing this beauty tool.”

Herbivore Jade Facial Roller ($30)



Herbivore’s first version made from rose quartz had a lot of negative customer reviews around durability so they’ve come out with a jade one which seems to address those concerns and is starting to gain more positive customer traction


Tokyo Institute of Technology. (2018, November 9). Ready for a close-up: The science behind face massage rollers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2019 from
The Facial Roller Celebrities Are Obsessed With is 20% Off Right Now, Town and Country Magazine (October 2018)

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