You’ve probably seen a face roller on social media 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 like a tiny rolling pin with rollers of varying sizes fixed to both ends of the handle.

They also claim 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 your skin. It may even reduce stress and release tension, just like a body massage would.

Some of the benefits may potentially be real. Here’s what the science says about it so far, though there’s much we don’t know yet:

  • Improves blood circulation in your face. Using a face roller can stimulate blood flow to your face, which may help make your skin look brighter.
  • Decreases puffiness. Rolling may also decrease puffiness (like under-eye bags) by stimulating lymphatic drainage. Some studies have generally linked this type of massage to decreases in swelling. But more research is needed to make the link between facial rollers and any improvements in puffiness in your face.
  • Facial massage can improve your mood. An older 2008 study suggested that facial massage reduces anxiety for some people.
  • Facial massage may enhance the look of skin. A 2017 study of facial massage showed some anti-aging effects, especially when combined with an anti-aging cream. However, it was not done with facial rollers specifically.
  • Cools and soothes your skin. If you store your roller in the refrigerator or use a naturally cold stone like jade, it’ll cool your skin on contact. The benefits of this are still to be determined, but some people may enjoy how it feels.
  • Distributes skin care product. Rollers are typically used with an oil or moisturizer to help the tool glide across your skin. This process may deliver the product deeper into your skin, though no research proves this yet.

Follow these steps when using a facial roller:

  1. Apply a facial oil, serum, or moisturizer that’s slippery enough. If you don’t have lubrication, the tool can pull or tug your skin, which may actually contribute to wrinkles.
  2. Start at your neck and roll upward. For best results, roll up, not back and forth.
  3. Roll from your jawline to your ear on both sides using gentle pressure. You can continue this motion all the way from your jaw to your cheekbone.
  4. Roll from your forehead up toward your hairline, only in the upward direction. It’s the same gentle pull you would use if you were pulling your skin taut and wrinkle-free with your hands.
  5. Roll flat over your eyebrows horizontally, which may feel relieving if you have a headache.

You can also perform facial massage or facial exercises, sometimes called “face yoga,” without a roller. You can 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. Some studies indicate that you’ll see better results if you use it long term as well.

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 potentially de-puffing benefits.

A 2018 study showed that using a facial massage roller for just 5 minutes can increase blood flow to your cheeks. Using the roller for 10 minutes should be enough. Always stop if it starts to hurt. As with anything related to your skin, being gentle is key.

There are many big claims about facial rollers, but there’s not a lot of evidence yet that they do much.

Let’s discuss some myths about facial rollers.

  • Using a roller can slim your face: False. The only way to truly lose weight from any part of your body, including your face, is through nutrition and exercise. However, the de-puffing potential of the facial roller may make your face look slimmer temporarily.
  • A facial roller can cure a condition: False. Though there are claims that crystals or other materials can help cure disease, there isn’t any evidence.
  • Facial rollers can have permanent effects: False. While you may see some improvement in certain elements of your skin, the changes likely won’t be permanent. Consistent use is probably your best bet in seeing benefits over time.

There are many types of facial rollers on the market, so you may want to know where to start.

Jade is one of the more common stones you’ll find in rollers.

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 your skin.

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

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

Jade may also 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 your 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

Most rollers are made of nephrite jade, as it’s a 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. It’s better to keep those materials off your face.

Here are a few ways to check if your jade roller is 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.
  • 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 cloth to dry.

Using a facial roller to massage your face may be relaxing, and it might have some potential benefits for your skin.

Gently rolling or massaging the delicate skin on your face, neck, and clavicle can help to increase blood flow and reduce stress.

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.

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