Another day, another viral TikTok beauty trend making the rounds on social media. Last month, it was all about how eating carrots could change your skin tone (the reality of that one surprised us), but the latest claim from users on the platform is that facial massage can change your eye shape. While a few of the videos look fairly promising, TikTok has led us astray before, which makes us a little weary. (Yes, we're still scarred from when everyone on the app said hemorrhoid cream would eliminate bags under the eyes.)
Of course, if the claims turn out to be true, we'll be the first ones to pick up a jade roller and get to work, but we like to do a little research first. Ahead, we consult with two experts to answer all of our burning questions, like whether or not facial massage can change eye shape and if the practice has any serious drawbacks. Keep scrolling to learn more.
Can Facial Massage Change Facial Features?
The short answer is a resounding no. Unfortunately, facial massage cannot change eye shape or any other facial features permanently. "While facial massage may be able to have subtle effects on fine lines, wrinkles, or any swelling in certain areas of the face, it cannot ultimately change the shape of any facial structure," Samuel J Lin, MD, MBA, FACS, tells POPSUGAR. "While facial massage may reduce inflammation or swelling to such a degree that it appears to have an impact on eye shape, true anatomical features are determined by underlying bone, muscle, cartilage, and fat."
Does Facial Massage Have Any Benefits?
That doesn't mean you need to give up your gua sha just yet. Facial massage has some great benefits, but the results depend on a number of factors and they are quite limited. "Facial massage has different results based on individual skin type and consistency," Dr. Lin says. The technique you use also matters. "For some individuals, facial massage may have benefits for improving skin appearance by decreasing inflammation and swelling in the area. If performed consistently over time, there is limited data that stimulation of blood flow and lymphatic drainage can help decrease the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines."
Additionally, "Facial massage actually improves circulation and typically improves the lymph to draw through the lymphatic drainage," Kimberly Lee, MD, board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, says. "It can also help to relax and relieve muscle tension."
As for the downsides, there aren't many — just know that how you complete your exercises matters. "When facial massages are done, we have to pay special attention to the relaxed skin tension lines so that we don't go perpendicular to some of the normal progression of wrinkles, which may exasperate their appearance," Dr. Lee says.
Searching for a better way? If you want to temporarily alter any of your facial features, Dr. Lin says the easiest option is makeup. "By using contour, highlight, eyeshadow, and false lashes, you can create the appearance of lifted eyes, hollowed cheeks, and a slimmer nose. Unfortunately, these effects only last until your next shower."
If you want something permanent, your best bet is to seek out an expert. "Longer lasting options include the placement of filler and Botox, thread lifts, and surgical procedures to contour the eyelids and lift your brows," Dr. Lin says. "As these procedures are all invasive and carry their own risks, please consult with your preferred dermatologist or plastic surgeon to see if any of these options are right for you."