Of course, I needed no further evidence that Tracee Ellis Ross and I were kindred spirits (that woman is next-level mega), but when scrolling through my Instagram feed yesterday, I spotted one of Ellis Ross's posts that out and out confirms she knows what's up when it comes to beauty—she too is a fan of a skin roller. It's kind of become a bit of a joke within my friendship circle, that's how much I bang on about my jade roller and gua sha scraper. But it's pretty evident that Ross is on my wavelength, having posted a picture of herself using not one but two of the skincare tools while having her hair styled.
"WIPING AWAY THE YEARS," she wrote in the caption, "with face massage/de-puffer tools (this is what happens when you buy sh*t on Instagram). Just to be clear, I have no interest in going back in time but I'm always game for some self-care or a beauty treatment!" You and me both, my friend.
It's tricky to ascertain the exact tools Ross used in her post, but by the looks of things, she opted for a massage roller not too dissimilar to this one from The Body Shop and a gold face massage bar like this one.
But venture into the wider world of skincare tools and you'll soon realise that their talents span far beyond lifting cheeks and firming foreheads. The best skin tools can cleanse your skin far better than any harsh scrub, and they can ply skin with a dose of healing light.
Hell, some can even help the rest of those potent serums and unctuous oils that follow work harder too. And more often than not, they're the very same tools you'll find in the kits of the world's top facialists. So if you're ready to up your skincare game like Tracee Ellis Ross and I are, these are the skincare tools that I recommend keeping sink side.
A quick run over my cheeks and forehead with my jade roller has become an ingrained part of my bedtime routine. It's brilliant at cooling stressed-out skin and can really get to work on a tight jaw or deflated cheeks. To see what else it can do, read my full review.
Our editorial director is a total convert to this facial massager from The Body Shop. It lifts, de-puffs and contours the face and it looks suspiciously similar to the one Tracee Ellis Ross used in her video.
It may look like a strange sex toy, but it's actually a firming skin roller. Encrusted with 24 massaging stones (each containing tourmaline quartz), rolling the stick-up and down your face for a few minutes every day helps to tone and tighten skin, replicating the massage techniques Nurse Jamie's founder uses in her cult facials.
In terms of face massage, a jade roller will help smooth things out, but to really get to the knots that nestle themselves deep within the facial muscles, Sarah Chapman's funny-looking tool is ideal. The little knobbly cogs knead the skin, lifting it in the process, relieving built-up tension and helping to elevate fallen cheeks.
Once the sole reserve of the dermatologist's office, derma-rolling (aka micro-needling) has found its way into our skincare vernacular (and our bathroom cabinets) in the past year or so. And we're pretty grateful for this development: Fundamentally, these gadgets are rollers dotted with hundreds of tiny needles that create minuscule holes in the epidermis, forming channels through which face serums and oils can really penetrate. They're also great at shocking skin into amping up its collagen and elastin production lower down too, meaning regular use can lead to plumper, tighter skin. Beauty Bioscience's device is arguably the best at-home version, as it also plies skin with a skin-healing red LED light as you roll.
Another jade-based tool, the gua sha face scraper is brilliant at really kneading out the tiny muscles within the face. I'm obsessed with mine (the cheekbones it has carved out enough to have me hooked), but it's also great at flushing skin of the toxins and excess water that build up and cause the face to look puffy.
Microcurrents are often used in high-tech facial treatments, as they have the power to jump-start skin cells into action, ensuring they're creating optimal amounts of things like collagen and elastin that keep skin feeling (and looking) strong. This nifty device allows you to do all of that at home. You simply hold it to your face whilst programming your treatment via an iPhone app (there are settings for fine lines and dark circles, acne-clearing and sensitive skin). It might be pricey, but when you compare it to the cost of years of facial appointments, it suddenly feels worth it.
Cleansing is undoubtedly the most important part of your skincare regimen, clearing the way for all the subsequent active formulas you pile on to do their job. But it can be hard work. Which is why cleansing brushes have really gained traction within inner skincare circles. I love a Clarisonic, but Byrdie editorial director Amy Lawrenson swears by her Foreo. "It gives you the deepest, most satisfying cleanse," she says of the silicon brush.
There you have it—all the tools you need to take your skincare routine to the next level. Tracee and I will be taking applications to our skin club…