The world of skincare is endless. There are just so many steps! products! tools! and info! And I’m here to add another tool to your arsenal—you’ll thank me for it later—a facial roller. You're probably thinking: wtf is a facial roller and why do I need one? Well, you know all those fancy jade rollers you see looking pretty on your Instagram feed? Those are worthwhile, believe it or not. “Jade facial rollers have been used to massage the skin since the 17th century in China,” says dermatologist Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., clinical attending at NYU Langone and Mount Sinai Hospital.
Facial rollers are known to remove toxins from the skin, smooth fine lines, decrease dark circles and under-eye bags, ease tension headaches, calm inflammation, heal breakouts, brighten skin, and create an overall feeling of “zen.” In your scrolling haze, you may also have encountered gua sha, wherein a flat curved stone is pressed along the the face and neck to both release clenched fascia and muscles and kickstart pooled lymph fluid. It's the same idea as jade facial rolling, only perhaps slightly firmer and trickier to master the proper pressure and movements. If you're wondering why both facial rollers and gua sha devices tend to be stone, it's because those materials are cooling by nature, which also helps ease tension and decrease inflammation.
“Jade rolling and gua sha may increase some level of lymphatic drainage in the face, which can temporarily reduce swelling,” says Dr. Levin. If you’re planning to try jade rolling, the process is (as) simple (as you want it to be).
You can absolutely just roll it along your face for a calming meditative moment—or you can take a cue from the pros. Here's your two-minute guide to how to jade roll:
- Start with a clean and moisturized face, and a disinfected jade roller. Swabbing it with alcohol can remove any impurities that may have collected on the surface of the stone since your last usage. Also: If you'd like to layer on skincare with your jade roller, by all means go ahead. The rolling and massaging action will work lotions, creams, and serums deeper into your skin and aid absorption.
- Starting below your clavicle, begin rolling in a firm but not overly pressured downwards motion, taking your time on any spots that may feel tender or knotted, moving vertically to your neckline. "The idea is to clear the lymphatics from the neck before beginning the face for better results," says Lamees Hamdan, a doctor and founder of the skin care brand Shiffa.
- When it is time to begin your face, use sweeping strokes, working along your jawline from your chin to your ears, always pushing in a gentle upwards motion. Continue under the ear lobe, making sure to do both sides of your face.
- Now roll from the center of your chin outward and upward onto the cheeks and cheekbones.
- Yes, you roll your nose too. Glide down the bridge of your nose, outwards to your ears. Then roll along your lips, top and bottom.
- It's time for your forehead. Start at the lowest part of your hairline, then move outwards to your temples, repeating a few times on each side.
- If your roller has a small end, close your eyes and roll from the corner of your eye closest to the bridge of your nose, outwards towards your ears, repeating on both sides.
Maya Allen, Former Digital Beauty Editor, Loves
"Jade rollers are nice, but I’ve always needed something a little more. This weighty tool is my morning-after savior to cure my one-glass-too-many puffiness. Or, even when it’s that time of the month and my face is looking a little less lifted than usual. The grip makes it easy to glide and roll this on every part of my face for a lymphatic drainage massage. It does all of the good things: stimulate collagen, enhance blood flow, increase cell turnover, and boost elasticity. Afterwards, my skin looks sculpted and the natural contours of my face a bit more prominent." —M.A.
Taylore Glynn, Associate Beauty & Health Editor, Loves
“After consuming a pile of crab dumplings and one too many glasses of Pinot, the pinchy-pull of this roller is the only thing that helps me de-puff fast. The rotating orbs help usher all the toxins in my soy-sauce jowls through my lymphatic system, and I can adjust the intensity depending on how I angle the tool. Even better, it massages my jaw almost as well as a pro, which helps me loosen up after a long day.” —T. G.
Ying Chu, Beauty & Health Director, Loves
"Cheekbones. A defined jawline. Well-rested eyes. I used to have all these things. That was, until I started chasing toddlers (mine) for much of my days, and some of my nights. Thankfully, I have Joanna Czech’s Facial Massager, which I strategically store in my fridge. When I’m brewing morning beverages, out it comes to roll, chill, depuff, and contour my face and get everything moving again. (I love how the large orbs cover a lot of territory, and fast; Joanna recommends seven minutes but most mornings I can solidly commit to five.) By the time I’ve downed my second cup, my skin looks brighter, tighter, and more clear—almost as if I’ve had a full night’s slumber." —Y.C.
Tatjana Freund, Beauty Assistant, Loves
"This gold tool is so gorgeous that I would probably enjoy just having it on my shelf, even if I didn’t use it. This tool is my best friend when I pair it with a sheet mask. Sheet masks never sit well on my face, so I use this gold bar to smooth over areas of the mask that are folded over or wrinkled and really absorb the products into my skin. Post-mask, I run this tool along my jawline, cheekbones, and brow-bone for extra definition." — T.F.
Chelsea Hall, Assistant Beauty and Fashion Editor, Loves
"I just started incorporating ice globes into my morning routine and I have to admit that my skin has benefitted greatly. For the best de-puffing results I glide these cryo freeze tools (fresh out of my fridge) along my eye and cheek contours each morning after applying my vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serums." — C.H.