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Chances are, you’ve probably seen a face roller on your Instagram feed or maybe even at a friend’s house.

The little gadget is most commonly made from jade or rose quartz. Some have two roller balls, and some look a bit like a tiny rolling pin (with rollers of varying sizes fixed to both ends of the handle).

They’re all said to offer major skin benefits.

So why exactly are people massaging their faces with a face roller? And is this trend here to stay?

The simple act of massaging your face with a face roller has a ton of benefits for the skin. It may even reduce stress and release tension, just like a body massage would.

Here are some key benefits:

  • Improves blood circulation in the face. Using a face roller can stimulate blood flow to the face, which can make your skin look brighter and feel firmer.
  • Helps with stuffy sinuses. Some studies suggest that using this tool may help clear the sinuses, though the research is still in the early stages.
  • Decreases puffiness. Rolling may also decrease puffiness (like hard-to-handle under eye bags) by stimulating lymphatic drainage.
  • Cools and soothes your skin. If you store your roller in the refrigerator or use a naturally cold stone like jade, it’ll cool the skin on contact. This can quickly de-puff your skin and tighten pores.
  • Distributes skincare product. Rollers are typically used with an oil or moisturizer to help the tool glide across your skin. It’s said this process can deliver product deeper into your skin.

There are many big claims about facial rollers.

Here we will talk about what’s actually true about facial massage, and what’s a myth about facial rollers.

  • Facial massage can improve your mood: True. It may seem weird, but facial massage reduces anxiety for some.
  • Using a roller can slim the face: False. The only way to truly slim down or lose weight from any part of your body, the face included, is through nutrition and exercise. However, the de-puffing potential of the facial roller may make your face look slimmer temporarily.
  • Using a roller can contour the face: True. The roller can be used to drain fluid from the face, which can help to contour your face temporarily. The best way to use the tool for draining and contouring is to roll up at an angle and then push the roller downward by the ear. The process helps direct excess fluid to the lymph nodes.
  • Toxins can be flushed from the body by using a roller: True. Any activity that stimulates lymphatic drainage, including massage or facial rolling, can be detoxifying for the body.

Follow these steps when using a facial roller:

  1. Apply a facial oil, serum, or moisturizer with lots of slip. If you don’t have lubrication, the tool can pull or tug the skin, which may actually contribute to wrinkles.
  2. Start at the neck and roll upward. For best results, roll up, not back and forth.
  3. Roll from the jawline to the ear on both sides using gentle pressure. You can continue this motion all the way from the jaw to the cheekbone.
  4. Roll from the forehead up toward the temples, only in the upward direction. It’s the same gentle pull that you would use if you were using your hands to pull the skin taut and wrinkle-free.
  5. Roll flat over your eyebrows horizontally, which may feel especially relieving if you have a headache.
  6. You can also perform facial massage or facial exercises, sometimes called “face yoga,” without a roller. You can easily give yourself an at-home facial without any tools.

How often should you use a face roller?

Face rollers are safe to use every day. In fact, some dermatologists recommend daily use for best results.

How long do you roll for?

Even if you only have a few minutes, you may still be able to get some of the de-stressing and de-puffing benefits.

A 2018 study showed that using a facial massage roller for just 5 minutes can increase blood flow to the cheeks. Using the roller for 10 minutes should be plenty. And always stop if it starts to hurt.

There are so many facial rollers on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Jade is one of the more common stones you’ll find in rollers. It’s been used for centuries in China.

You’ll also find face rollers made of:

  • rose quartz
  • amethyst
  • obsidian
  • metal

Jade and metal are naturally cold materials and will not need to be stored in the refrigerator to give a cooling sensation to the skin.

Rose quartz can hold its temperature (hot or cold) for a long period of time. So if you want a colder roll and are planning to use it for more than a minute or two, quartz that’s been cooled in the fridge is your best option.

Jade is a softer stone than rose quartz, so a quartz roller may last longer and not break as easily if dropped.

However, jade may not be as smooth as some of the other stones, but this added friction may be especially helpful for contouring.

Traditionally, amethyst is said to help purify the skin, and it may help to treat acne. However, research is needed to support this claim.

There are two types of genuine jade:

  • nephrite
  • jadeite

Nephrite jade is what most rollers are made of as it’s less precious stone in comparison to jadeite. That characteristic makes it less expensive.

However, some rollers that are sold as jade aren’t jade at all. They may be made of another stone that’s been chemically dyed or treated with polymers to look shiny. You definitely don’t want that stuff on your face.

Here are a few ways to check if it’s real:

  • Clink a piece of jade that you know is real against the roller. If it sounds flat like plastic, it’s probably fake.
  • Touch your jade roller. It’s one of the simplest and easiest ways to check. Real jade will feel cool to the touch.
  • Examine the roller closely. It shouldn’t have air bubbles in it, but it should have marbling or some irregularities on the surface.
  • Scratch the surface of the roller lightly with your fingernail or the tip of a pin. Real jade won’t have marks on it.

  • Wipe off any excess oil or product with a soft, clean washcloth. It’s a good idea to wipe it off after every use or at least once a week.
  • Use a gentle face wash or soap to kill bacteria. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with room temperature water.
  • Avoid putting very hot water on your facial roller or soaking it in water.
  • Lay the roller horizontally on a clean dry cloth to dry.

Not only is using a facial roller to massage your face relaxing, it also has several benefits for your skin.

Gently rolling or massaging the delicate skin on your face, neck, and clavicle can help to increase blood flow, help with lymphatic drainage, and may even help to make the face appear less puffy and more contoured.

There are many types of facial rollers to choose from, and all of them can be beneficial. Just make sure to know the signs of a fake stone and clean your roller regularly.