A Theragun — For Your Face? We’re Listening

Therabody shook up the wellness world (literally) when its massage devices emerged in 2016 as the must-have tool for percussive therapy and recovery. Now, the brand is taking that muscle-pounding technology to a brand-new part of the bod: your face. Now, facial massage is nothing new; from centuries-old Gua sha techniques to high-tech methodologies that harness microcurrent, there are a lot of proven benefits to facial massage: These include reduced tension, increased blood stimulation, and — according to a number of influencers and beauty YouTubers— a visibly snatched face. Entering from stage left is the TheraFace PRO, Therabody's four-in-one muscle-pummelling device that massages, relaxes, tones, and even cleans the face. The handheld device has everything you love about the Theragun...But sized down to massage the forehead, cheeks, chest, jaw, and more.
Advertisement

TheraFace PRO, £375.99

Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa
The TheraFace PRO with various attachments. (From left to right: Cleaning Ring, Cone and Micropoint Percussive Therapy Attachments, and the Microcurrent head.)
Personally, I'm a big fan of facial massage: IMO, it's the best part of a fancy spa facial, and in the right hands, proper lymphatic drainage techniques visibly — and instantly — depuff and contour the cheekbones and jawline. I'm also a fan of the recent-ish trend of places like Face Gym, which dubs itself "a workout for your face" and offers express services that leave you looking glowing and rejuvenated in 30 minutes flat. I deal with occasional yet unpleasant TMJ pain since I have the bad habit of clenching my jaw, especially at night. This, along with overall depuffing, were the primary concerns I hoped the device would help with. Ahead, read along as I take the innovative new device for a spin.

What does the TheraFace PRO come with?

Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa
Right out the box, I was immediately struck with how many attachments the TheraFace PRO came with — it rivalled the legendary Dyson Supersonic in terms of its customisable gewgaws. Like Therabody's suite of Theragun massagers, the TheraFace had multiple percussive therapy attachments made of soft, rubbery material: A slightly rounded head perfect for allover massage, a cone-shaped one for targeted pressure (ideal for precise massage around the eyes and pressure points), and third, a flat surface dotted with micropoints for maximum circulation. The TheraFace also came with a silicone brush head for cleansing purposes, as well as a microcurrent ring that you can use with the included tube of conductive gel to stimulate the facial muscles à la a NuFace device. On the device itself, there's a small OLED display screen above three buttons: A power button to turn the TheraFace on and off, plus controls for the level of massage intensity and ones that toggle the LED, microcurrent, and optional temperature ring levels. (There are three levels to any treatment across all of the TheraFace's capabilities.)

Other goodies that came included were a neoprene travel pouch to house your TheraFace, a charging cable, LED ring attachment, plus a stand to display your device. In short, it would probably be easier to tell you what the TheraFace PRO can't do versus what it can. (The TheraFace also has compatible hot and cold therapy attachments, which are sold separately.)
Advertisement

How do you use the TheraFace PRO?

Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa

Flat Head Attachment

After charging the TheraFace PRO overnight, I started my test with the flat head attachment (which is really more of a softly rounded bulb). On clean, moisturised skin, I followed Therabody's video tutorial and made gliding motions along my jawline, from my nose to my temple, and across my forehead, repeating the motion on the other side of my face. Then, I moved the device in a downward motion from my neck to my shoulder three times, repeating it on the other side. To say it felt blissful is almost an understatement.

Cone Attachment

In my other trials, I used the cone attachment to target my temples and sides of my jaw to relieve tension.

Micropoint Attachment

The micropoint attachment, on the other hand, felt like what I imagine acupressure for the face would be like. The pinpricks weren't painful at all, but definitely woke up my skin and left it with a fresh, slightly flushed glow.

Cleansing Ring

If you want to take things further, Therabody has compiled targeted routines that harness multiple features and attachments to address muscle tension, acne, relaxation, and more. Emboldened by the power I held in my hand, I selected the “Clear & Contour” video and began by cleansing my face with the brush attachment.

I came of age in the Clarisonic era, and like many others, dutifully scrubbed my skin with the electronic brush day in and day out. Now, I rely on a softer solution, my beloved Foreo Luna 3 for sensitive skin. (In addition to being gentler on skin, silicone bristles are naturally anti-microbial.) The TheraFace brush attachment kind of combined what I loved about the Clarisonic (an easy to grip handle and ergonomic design) with the silicone bristles of a Foreo. But unlike its predecessors, it had the added benefit of Therabody’s signature percussive treatment. It was admittedly a little rumbly, even on the lowest setting, but the result? Baby-soft skin that felt so fresh and so clean. (Note: The brand advises that because the TheraFace is not completely waterproof, it shouldn’t be used in the shower.)
Advertisement

Microcurrent Ring

The next step in the routine involved the microcurrent attachment. I’m no stranger to zapping my skin, having experienced microcurrent treatments both in spa settings and using my ZIIP at home. (The ZIIP technically uses nanocurrent, but the results are similar.) The TheraFace microcurrent attachment was similar to the NuFace and ZIIP in that it had two nodes to conduct current, as well as a clear conductive gel to be applied prior to treatment. (According to the device’s instructions, you can use any brand of conductive gel if the Therabody gel isn’t available in your area.) As with similar devices, you always want to be moving in an upwards motion as if to coax your skin into defying gravity. (Lift, lift, lift, narrated my inner monologue.)

LED Ring

The last step in the routine: Blue LED light treatment. (Red and infrared are also available for targeting wrinkles and fine lines.) After rinsing off the conductive gel and patting my face dry, I swapped the microcurrent attachment for the LED ring and flat massage head. (Therabody advises against using the percussive treatment with the blue LED ring as this can allegedly spread acne-causing bacteria. The red and infrared LED lights can, on the other hand, be used in tandem with a massage.)

Taking about 15 seconds per “quadrant” of the face (the device beeps to remind you when to move), I made slow, sweeping passes to bathe my entire face with acne-killing blue LED light. After I finished that and applied my skin care, I admired my handiwork. Maybe I'm imagining things (but I'm probably not), but I could swear my cheekbones looked more contoured, my brow slightly lifted, and my jawline more defined.

FYI, microcurrent devices can sometimes cause a temporary metallic taste in your mouth — this is weird but normal! If you're noticing that happening, you can either dial down the intensity (TheraFace has three) or apply more conductive gel. I personally use a generous amount for my whole face and neck, as if I'm putting on a hydrating overnight mask.

My verdict on this attachment: As someone who already used — and loved — microcurrent therapy, the fact that my face Theragun now doubled as a microcurrent device was pretty awesome.
Advertisement

Hot & Cold Rings

I'm not going to lie — at this point in my testing journey, I was sort of at a "take it or leave it" mindset when I went in to try the hot and cold rings. Reader, let me tell you how wrong I was. I'll start with the hot ring, which is meant to aid in tension relief and enhance your massage experience. As soon as I powered on my device and started gliding it across my face, it was as if the tightness in my jaw melted away. I prepped my skin with my regular morning skin care, but added a tiny bit of face oil to assist with glide. (I don't recommend using the attachment on bare skin since you don't want to pull or tug the skin too much.) If you love a hot stone massage, then this will mimic that sensation for your face. According to the brand, the hot ring is meant to aid product absorption into the skin, with the goal of enhancing its effects. I can't say I noticed a difference in the immediate, but perhaps this is something more noticed over an extended period of time. Mostly, I loved it for gentle massage on my pressure points.
Like the microcurrent, both the hot and cold rings have three levels of temperature. For me, the second setting was perfect. That said, you're nowhere near burning yourself with the hottest setting. Now for the cold ring: Not only did this feel absolutely incredible as well, but it was exactly what I needed to depuff my face after I had a good cry the night before. (Per the ring's video tutorial, I also tried the cold therapy with a percussive treatment head, which was also euphoric.) Because I'm secretly a polar bear (JK, but my favourite season really is winter) I used the coolest setting for max chill vibes. The rings come housed in a little insulated zippered koozie pouch, which is both functional and adorable. For an extra £79, I had high expectations for the temp-focused therapy rings, and both didn't disappoint.
Advertisement

Is the TheraFace PRO worth buying?

If your skin is a high-maintenance B and you love testing out the latest beauty gadgets, then you will likely be obsessed with the TheraFace PRO. As I mentioned earlier, I was a bit skeptical of its many capabilities; I worried it would be like a massive eyeshadow palette that only had three shades I actually used. At £375, it costs the same as the Theragun Elite, and clocks in at significantly more than the entry-level Theragun Mini. (BTW, don't go getting any ideas, folks — I own a Mini, and would never let it touch my face.) My rationale is that if you were already considering shelling out for a high-tech skin device (i.e. something with microcurrent or a luxe cryo-roller, perhaps), then the TheraFace PRO might get you the best value given its myriad capabilities. (Other thought: If you want a gift that will knock someone's socks off, this is definitely something that any beauty lover will be absolutely thrilled to receive.)

In my many years of being a professional beauty-tester and swatcher extraordinaire, I have to say: A lot of devices are a bunch of hype that's not necessarily worth the steep price. While I was fortunate enough to receive a TheraFace PRO model for free to test, this is something I could easily see myself saving up to buy. It's that good.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series

Advertisement