Ultimate Guide to Face Rollers: Benefits, Myths, & How To Use

Face roller

Have you ever had a really great massage? Think about how amazing it felt and all the therapeutic benefits it had for your body.

That’s essentially what your face roller is. It’s a masseur of stone. And this little tool just might be able to make your face look and feel wonderful and refreshed.

With a few well-placed and masterful passes of the roller you may find relief from a wide range of common complaints. Face rollers have been touted to work magic on under-eye bags and dark circles, close pores, ease tense muscles, and more.

But, are these claims of massaging your face to a radiant complexion fact or fiction? And what’s the optimal way to incorporate facial rolling into your beauty routine?

Ready to dive in more than skin deep? Sweet! Keep reading and you’ll learn about face rollers:

  • What they are
  • How they can and can’t help you
  • Different types
  • Picking the right one for your needs
  • How to use it for best results

Uh…what are facial rollers?

Yah, this is an obvious opening question for the uninitiated.

In a nutshell, facial rollers are small devices used to massage the face, especially:

  • In the eye area
  • On the cheeks, temples, and forehead
  • Below the lower lip
  • Along the jawline and hairline and side of the neck

Modern face rollers have been around since the 17th century. They started in China, possibly as a natural extension of the gua sha practices that took hold in the prior dynasty.

There are several different styles available, but facial rollers generally have one or two rollers and a handle. 

Face rollers come in many materials including stone, wood, glass, and plastic. We’ll come back to this in detail later on.

How can a face roller help me?

There seems to be a lot of folklore surrounding these beauty implements. Maybe this is because they’re often made of jade and there may be an association with age-old, eastern tradition (4).

Maybe it’s because much of beauty and skincare regimens are passed around as word-of-mouth “secrets.”

Whatever the reason, we’re setting things straight for you. So, keep these gems of truth tucked handily away in your brain. 

…And chuck the nonsense in the garbage like it’s yesterday’s pimple patch.

4 Benefits of using a facial roller

Ye olde facial roller has endured because people obviously get something good from using them. 

In case you’re wondering why you might give a face roller a try, here are the biggies:

It can reduce puffiness

The roller’s cold surface acts like a mini ice pack on those areas prone to swelling. This cooling sensation can help reduce inflammation (9).

The sweeping movements of the roller can encourage dissipation of excess fluid that’s built up in your skin and muscles and lymphatic drainage (which may help with your sinus issues, too) (2).

Say buh-bye eye bags!

It can improve blood circulation

Massaging your face stimulates blood flow.

This increases the oxygen and nutrients traveling through the blood vessels to the cells in the facial tissues (This can help reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes) (5).

Short-term usage results in more superficial skin blood flow improvements, while long-term usage can actually increase vasodilation response (5).

It can improve the look of your skin

Lessening the appearance of puffiness and the benefits reaped from better circulation are part of the picture.

Face rolling can also help reduce redness, shrink pores, redistribute fluids more evenly (for better product absorption), and relax knotted or tense muscles (7).

This can lead to the appearance of better, more even skin texture and complexion.

Plus, one 2017 study (1) found that habitual facial massaging with this incredible tool not only creates an anti-aging effect, but amplifies the anti-aging effects of “wrinkle” creams for better elasticity.

It’s like you’re ironing those fine lines right out of your face!

It feels decadent and refreshing!

There’s something about the coolness, the smoothness, and the light pressure and massaging motion that’re sensual and create a soothing effect (3).

Nothing beats a little facial massage to release tension and negative energy! Others may find that using the face roller perks them up and makes them feel a bit more awake (8).

Research on facial rolling itself is limited but what’s available supports these benefits.

Furthermore, there are many studies showing the benefits of massage and various skincare therapies that we can draw from.

Bonus! More to love about the face roller

These aren’t exactly benefits of using a facial roller, but you might consider them good things.

Face rollers are:

Natural and non-invasive

No needles. No weird toxins like parabens, fragrances, etc. No risk of setting off your allergies. No meds to swallow down each day. 

Inexpensive and easy

No batteries are required. The roller takes up almost no space. You can rollerize your face from home or while traveling.

There aren’t any co$$$tly up-front or recurring investments.

You can DIY this instead of having to go to an esthetician or a dermatologist.

Pretty

OK, granted this is highly subjective and super small potatoes for most people. But some folks like having aesthetically-pleasing objects around them. It uplifts them or makes them feel more comfy. In our book, that qualifies your facial roller’s loveliness as a plus.

Face roller myths: busted!

It’s a jade roller, not a magic wand or an enchanted talisman. 

You’re rolling it around your face, not casting beauty spells or conjuring perfection-granting genies. 

So, it’s good to set proper expectations and know what this little self-care tool really can’t do.

No matter how big or bold the claims are, your face roller isn’t going to:

Work instant miracles

Slow your roll, so to speak. Face rolling is kinda like being the tortoise in the fabled footrace. You gotta give it more than a New York minute. It may take some time to realize your facial wins.

Create permanent benefits

This isn’t a one-and-done thing. Lasting skin health means consistently tending to your skin’s needs.

Benefits are most noticeable with habitual use of your facial roller.

Solve every skin health issue

Facial rolling is a superficial treatment, meaning it’s done on top of your skin. So it may not boost collagen or rid acne if that’s what you were hoping for — unfortunately.

Some skin conditions require care that includes using topical products, oral medications, or other therapeutic procedures.

This holds especially true if the source of your skin prob is rooted in a different, non-skin health concern (e.g., hormone imbalances). 

Replace other treatments

Face rolling can be a terrific staple in your self-care routine.

It can also be a smart complementary component to a broader skin wellness regimen (6). But, there will always be a place for other products and procedures (e.g., DIY home remedies, OTC drugstore cures, Rx pharmaceuticals) in the effort to keep your skin at its best.

Plus, your needs are likely to change over time, which means face rolling could become more or less effective.

Work for everybody

People and their bodies are unique. We all respond differently to various treatments. Same thing goes for face rolling.

What’s the difference between the types of facial rollers?

So. Many. To. Choose. From. A bit overwhelming, yah? 

Making these a part of your daily routine shouldn’t be stressful. We’ll help you sort it all out — so don’t wrinkle your brow over it. (That’d be so counterproductive!)

As we mentioned at the beginning, facial rollers can be made from a ton of different materials. 

We’re focusing on ones crafted of jade and rose quartz.

Rose quartz vs jade rollers

Face rollers made of stone are really popular because they’ve stood the test of time, they’re natural, and they’re nice to look at. 

Plus, many people attribute additional healing or restorative qualities to gemstones and crystals. Here are some possible benefits of jade and quartz:

  • Jade: Treasured since ancient times, jade stone is associated with protection and harmony. Using or wearing jade is said to be soothing, rid the body of toxins and negative energy, and boost your body’s own healing capabilities.
  • Rose quartz: Also known as the “love stone,” rose quartz is reputed to attract love (including love for oneself) and promote calmness. Believers also say it supports bodily functions related to the heart, circulation, and skin.

You may be wondering if one material is better than the other. 

Fair enough. 

It largely comes down to your personal preferences and what you want to achieve using the facial roller.

Both jade and rose quartz are effective, beautiful materials. You can readily find high-quality face rollers using either of these stones. 

Differences to consider

  • Temperature: The rose quartz roller may hold its coolness longer and more evenly. Jade can start out cold but warm up as you’re rolling.
  • Durability: Rose quartz may be able to withstand wear-and-tear better than jade. This means it might have more longevity.
  • Effectiveness: The properties of each stone can impact how well it works. Rose quartz is purportedly better for addressing more superficial skin issues like inflammation and wrinkles and fine lines. It may also transfer needed minerals into your skin through rolling. Jade on the other hand, may have more friction on the skin. This could make it a better candidate for deeper tissue work like lifting and contouring facial muscles.
  • Size: Both a Jade and rose quartz roller can come in different sizes. A bigger roller provides more stimulation for a larger area of the face (or sides of the neck) while a smaller roller is better for reaching around crevasses. 

Buyer beware: spotting a fake jade roller

Nobody likes being scammed. But how can you tell if that jade facial roller you’re eyeing is legit? 

Be on the lookout for these red flags:

  • It’s $uper cheap: A roller that’s under $20 probably isn’t genuine jade. Think about it — real jade is a desirable gemstone that can be rare. So it’s gonna cost more than a dollar store find.
  • It looks too perfect: Actual jade has imperfections like lighter veins of green or brownish specks. The fake stuff, which is usually a different kind of stone that’s been dyed to resemble jade, can have coloring that’s overly even.
  • It’s warm or hot: True jade is cool to the touch and also cools down rapidly after use.
  • It’s unbreakable: Jade can be brittle or soft, so dropping it could be bad news. If your roller hits the floor unscathed, it could be of questionable material.
  • It scratches easily: While jade can be breakable, it’s reportedly extremely scratch resistant.
  • The sticker says something like “new jade:” Jade only comes in two varieties: jadeite and nephrite. That’s it. The fake stuff goes by a bunch of other valid-sounding names.

What to look for in a face roller

OK, so now you’re all pumped up and ready to go get a new jade roller. 

Ya gotta give it a try and see for yourself if it can make your skin glow, right?

You know to skip the junky faux-stone tools. But what else makes for a high-quality face roller? 

Here’s some advice for picking a face roller for yourself:

Don’t $kimp

Spend enough to get a durable roller that will last through repeated usage.

If you’re opting for a jade or quartz one, drop a few extra shekels to get the genuine stone.

You’ll also want to invest in a roller that has metal fittings that won’t break if you look at it sideways (speaking from experience!).

Do your research

Educate yourself on the products that’re on the market.

Based on your needs, determine which materials and designs (e.g., one or two rollers, wider/flatter or narrower/more angled rollers) are most appropriate. Read [real] product reviews and ask the advice of your go-to skincare guru (e.g., esthetician, dermatologist, etc.).

If your beauty routine includes skincare products — like a serum, moisturizer, or facial oil — seek a face roller that can work with these.

Buy a reputable brand from a trustworthy retailer

You’ll quickly see which makers and sellers outshine competitors.

A good brand and retailer should back their products and provide helpful customer support.

How to use your face roller

This is the step-by-step part of the program….

Let’s get rolling!

How to face roll:

  1. Fresh Face

    Starting with clean skin is optimal. Use a mild cleansing face wash design for your skin type. Blot dry your face on a clean cloth.

  2. Applying Product

    Apply your fave drops of facial oil, eye cream, or serum (maybe a formula with vitamin C or hyaluronic acid?) to your face. This not only adds moisture and antioxidants to your skin, but it also facilitates the massaging motion.

  3. Clean Roller

    Make sure your facial roller is clean.

  4. Time to roll!

    Using firm-yet-light pressure, start rolling with upward and outward motions from your collar bone or décolleté up your neck.

  5. Keep on goin’

    Continue on up, using similar gentle massage motions along your jawline, lower lip area, and cheeks. Follow the contours of your jawbone and cheekbones.

  6. Finish up

    Move on to your nose, under-eye area, eyebrows, temples, and forehead to the hairline. You can even work your way over to your ear lobe. 

A few more tips

  • While, done properly, daily facial massage with a roller is safe, how often and for how long you should roll depends on your needs. Start by incorporating facial massage into your skincare routine one to three times a week for one to five minutes each time. Adjust the frequency and duration up or down from there.
  • Using your face roller shouldn’t cause any pain. If you experience discomfort, ease off. This means to use less pressure, don’t massage for as long, or skip any area that hurts.
  • If you have a roller with two rollers, experiment with using the large end of the roller versus the small end of the roller. The smaller end may work better in certain areas.
  • Avoid areas with open sores, rashes, or other irritation. You don’t want to aggravate your rosacea or acne breakouts.

Cleaning & storage

It’s important to take proper care of your skincare instruments. 

Following best practices safeguards your well-being and can extend the life of your new favorite beauty tool.

You should clean your face roller (according to directions on its package) after each facial massage. If there aren’t any cleaning instructions, try washing the device with soapy water and drying it. 

Additional sanitizing with alcohol and/or UV light might be ok, too.

You can store your facial roller anywhere that’s convenient, protective, dry, and cool. Lots of beauty warriors like to keep theirs in the refrigerator or freezer for extra cooling.

If you opt for cold storage, your best bet is to keep it in a plastic zipper bag so it doesn’t get contaminated with crumbs, mustard, etc. 

This may also help prevent any metal parts from rusting.

Rolling out

Before you jade roll your way outta here, let’s recap:

Face rollers may seem like the hottest new Insta trend since the ubiquitous sheet mask. But they’ve actually been around for hundreds of years. 

This staying power may be due to their ability to do things like:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Facilitate lymphatic drainage
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Relax tension

Facial rollers could be a helpful addition to your anti-aging and skincare regimen. 

Using this incredible tool on a regular basis yields the best results. 

Even better, facial massage with a roller and your favorite beauty serum or moisturizer can amplify the skin health benefits.

You can find high-quality facial rollers in many styles and materials. Rose quartz and jade face rollers are among the more popular ones. 

They’re effective, attractive, not too expensive, and may inject some crystal healing energy into your skincare routine.

The only question left is: are you ready for a radiant complexion with a healthy glow?

  1. Effects of a Skin-Massaging Device on the Ex-Vivo Expression of Human Dermis Proteins and in-Vivo Facial Wrinkles. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0172624. Accessed 14 Jan. 2021.
  2. Haque, Taha. Facial Accupressure Massage. p. 32.
  3. Hatayama, Tomoko, et al. “The Facial Massage Reduced Anxiety and Negative Mood Status, and Increased Sympathetic Nervous Activity.” Biomedical Research, vol. 29, no. 6, 2008, pp. 317–20. J-Stage, doi:10.2220/biomedres.29.317.
  4. Herman, Joanna, et al. “Skin Care during the Menopause Period: Noninvasive Procedures of Beauty Studies.” Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postȩpy Dermatologii i Alergologii, vol. 30, no. 6, Dec. 2013, pp. 388–95. PubMed Central, doi:10.5114/pdia.2013.39430.
  5. Miyaji, Akane, et al. “Short- and Long-Term Effects of Using a Facial Massage Roller on Facial Skin Blood Flow and Vascular Reactivity.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol. 41, Dec. 2018, pp. 271–76. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.009.
  6. “Never Had a Massage? What You Should Know.” Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/massage/art-20045743. Accessed 14 Jan. 2021.
  7. Khanna, Neena, and Siddhartha Datta Gupta. “Rejuvenating Facial Massage–a Bane or Boon?” International Journal of Dermatology, vol. 41, no. 7, July 2002, pp. 407–10. PubMed, doi:10.1046/j.1365-4362.2002.01511.x.
  8. Nozawa, Akio, and Yuya Takei. “Comparative Discussion on Psychophysiological Effect of Self-Administered Facial Massage by Treatment Method.” IEEJ Transactions on Electronics, Information and Systems, vol. 132, Jan. 2012, pp. 706–12. ResearchGate, doi:10.1541/ieejeiss.132.706.
  9. Which Skin Care Fads Are Worth the Hype? | Ohio State Medical Center. https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/which-skin-care-fads-are-worth-the-hype. Accessed 14 Jan. 2021.

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