It seems like new at-home skincare tools pop up every day in the beauty world. But there are a select few that have been around long enough to be more than just a fad—centuries, even. Enter the jade roller.
You've likely seen this facial massage tool all over your social media feeds, with beauty bloggers and estheticians alike raving about its skincare benefits. But is jade rolling really all it's cracked up to be? We reached out to skincare brand owner Mari Monét, doctor of Chinese medicine Dr. Kim Peirano, and board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, for the lowdown on all things jade rollers. Read on to discover just what this face roller is, its biggest benefits, step-by-step instructions on how to use it, along a list of some of the best jade rollers around.
But first: Looking for an at-home facial for acne-prone skin? Watch this tutorial from licensed esthetician Lauren Pickard:
About the Experts:
While facial rolling has skyrocketed in popularity in the U.S. in the past several years, jade rollers have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for health and beauty benefits. “Originating from the Qing Dynasty China, the tool was most notably used for Chinese medical treatments like herbs, acupuncture, and gua sha,” says Dr. Peirano. “The royal elite used it to promote physical wellness but to also enhance beauty and slow the aging process.”
The function of jade rolling changed as time went on, too. "The original intention of the roller was not to just address aging concerns of the face, either. Its purpose lies deep within the principles of Chinese medicine—to aid in stimulating the meridians, qi, and blood so that health and longevity could be achieved,” explains Dr. Peirano.
Most facial rollers are made of jade, a semi-precious gemstone that’s been smoothed and attached to a convenient handle. You may also find them in rose quartz, amethyst, or even metals. The beauty tool is meant for you to roll over your face, loosening up any tense muscles, increasing blood circulation, and massaging your skin. It can also be used all over the body for a head-to-toe self-care experience.
One of the biggest benefits of jade facial rollers is the ability to de-puff your complexion. "Fluid retention is a normal cause of facial puffiness—and can happen for a variety of reasons," says Dr. Engelman. There’s no one reason for feeling puffy, but a few include lying down for long periods of time, allergies, eating salty foods, the menstrual cycle, and alcohol consumption.
A major benefit of jade rollers is that the massaging action encourages lymphatic drainage. “The lymphatic system transports fluid and filters toxins from our bodies,” explains Dr. Engelman. “Massaging the face and neck can stimulate the lymph nodes to drain fluid from the face—and reduce the appearance of puffiness.”
Not only is the cooling sensation that a jade roller offers enjoyable, but it also aids in reducing redness and calming irritated skin. In fact, Dr. Peirano recommends you "pop your roller in the freezer before use for an extra boost."
There's a very specific reason jade rolling can give you a brighter complexion, which ties back to the facial massager's origins. "In Chinese medicine, we call this ‘bringing qi and blood to the face and improving the circulation of qi and blood,’” according to Dr. Peirano, adding, “This is a reference to the actual blood but also to your energy, your life force—that essence of you that shows up through the face and eyes."
Put another way, circulation and complexion are closely tied together. “With blood circulating, your skin appears brighter, firmer, and healthier,” says Dr. Engelman. “The results are temporary, but a proper diet and exercise can also help prevent water retention.”
The jade roller's ability to boost product absorption is often overlooked. Monét mentions that "Jade rollers should be used with a serum to distribute the product deeper into the skin." Whether you’re tackling dark circles or fine lines, a jade roller can make sure that not a drop of skincare product goes to waste.
Yes, everyone can—and should—use a jade roller. "Practically anyone can use it and it isn’t likely to cause any negative side effects, making it a really safe product to use," Dr. Peirano says. So no matter your skin type, you're sure to benefit from using a jade roller in your skincare routine.
Before you reach for your roller, be sure to cleanse your skin. Then, prep the clean skin by applying a serum or oil, being sure not to rub it in completely so that the jade roller can glide across skin without pulling. "This is a great treatment to do with a serum or as a final step with your facial oil," Dr. Peirano shares.
Dr. Peirano recommends starting with your collarbone. "Start on the collarbone and gently to firmly roll from the midline of the body out to the edge of the collarbone,” says the pro. “As you make a pass with the roller, move the roller up one step and make another line."
Then, you'll want to move onto the neck in a similar fashion. "When you get to the neck, continue this motion from the center line outwards and moving up the neck," Dr. Peirano notes. Don’t forget to also target the sides of your neck and just under your jawline. Press and move slowly up your neck and to the base of your chin. This soft pressure gives your neck a stress-relieving massage, while also promoting circulation.
Now it’s time for your facial muscles to get in on the action. You'll follow the same pattern you did on your neck and collarbone while "rolling from the corners of the mouth with an up and outward motion toward the ears and hairline," Dr. Peirano says. Start on either side of your nose, pushing outwards as you roll. A light touch is key—if you press down too hard, the jade could accidentally rupture capillaries and leave you with tiny red marks on your face.
If you’re using a double-sided roller, switch over to the small stone. The added dexterity makes it easy to target puffy under-eye circles and feels cooling (especially in the morning). Simply roll from the inner corner of your eye, outward. Because the skin under and above your eyes is extra delicate, Monét and Dr. Peirano stress the importance of doing this step as gently as possible.
You’ll also want to sanitize your roller before you tuck it away for later use. “Rolling too aggressively and not cleaning your jade roller can irritate and even damage the skin,” says Dr. Engelman. “So be sure to use it gently and mindfully—and cleanse it after every use.” This will help prevent future breakouts.
To clean, use gentle soap or baby shampoo and run it under warm water. Finally, roll it out on a clean towel to dry.
If you’re looking for an original jade roller without the bells and whistles, HERBIVORE has your back. Made from jade stone, this roller is dual-ended—the larger end for your face and neck, and the smaller end for the eye area—and it’s ready to help bring out your glow.
What makes this face roller unique is that it isn't actually made with jade or rose quartz. Instead, it's created with 100% stainless steel so it won't trap or harbor bacteria. Its self-cooling design is incredibly beneficial for reducing inflammation, so you're left with a calmer complexion. Did we mention it can also be used with the steel gua sha tool? Two is better than one.
Need to relax after a tough day or detox after a rough night? To relieve any tension in your face, roll this dual-ended rose quartz roller all over. You'll feel the stress melt away and look more awake in the process.
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