Do jade rollers really work? We asked an expert

Medically reviewed Dr Juliet McGrattan (MBChB), words Claire Chamberlain
Photo credit: Unsplash

From Netdoctor

If you’ve spied a jade roller on your favourite beauty influencer’s Instagram grid, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about – or even what on earth it actually is.

We spoke with Dr Lucy Glancey, skin expert and founder of Dr Glancey Clinics, to find out more about what a jade roller is, how to use it, and the purported skin benefits.

What does a jade roller do?

While jade rollers might seem like a fairly recent beauty trend, you might be surprised to learn jade rolling is actually a centuries-old Eastern tradition, used to help balance ‘chi’ (or life force) in Chinese medicine. But what do they do?

The jade roller’s magic lies largely in the fact it’s a cool stone and retains its temperature even when it comes into contact with warm skin.

‘Jade rollers can be used for a number of reasons,’ reveals Dr Glancey. She explains that these include:

  • sculpting
  • toning
  • firming the skin
  • boosting circulation
  • reducing puffiness
  • encouraging the lymphatic system’s detoxification process by improving blood flow beneath the skin
  • reducing the appearance of fine lines and premature ageing
  • unclogging pores

And of course, an additional benefit is the relaxing nature of the roller – many women say it feels like a mini facial massage.

How to use a jade roller

As with most things in life, technique is everything.

‘Most jade rollers have two ends – a larger side and a smaller side,’ says Dr Glancey. ‘The larger side is used for the larger areas of your face and the smaller side is used for smaller areas, such as under your eyes, brows and nose.

‘It’s best to start off with a thoroughly cleansed face before you roll. Follow this with a serum or moisturiser, to ensure skin is moist – it’s best to have slightly moist skin, so it’s more comfortable when using the roller.

‘Start at the chin and roll horizontally out to the hairline. The pressure should be light and comfortable. The smaller end of the jade roller should be used for around the eye area, so place it in the inner corner of the eye and roll out towards the temples. You can also roll from the eyebrows upwards to the hairline, moving across the forehead. The smaller side can also be used down the nose area, moving it in a horizontal motion.

‘After rolling, complete your normal skincare regime, so cleanse, tone and moisturise.’

Photo credit: microgen - Getty Images

How often should you use a jade roller?

Like the relaxing sensation of jade rolling? The good news is, there’s no limit on how often you do it.

‘You can use a jade roller as often as you wish, so once or twice a day or three times a week,’ confirms Dr Glancey. ‘It’s all down to using the correct technique, so check out YouTube videos, otherwise you could be in danger of simply irritating the skin or doing nothing at all.’

Can everyone use a jade roller?

It might be a relaxing addition to your skincare regime, but is jade rolling suitable for all complexions and skin types?

‘Most people can use a jade roller, but it’s important to use a good technique,’ says Dr Glancey. ‘Like anything, if you rub too hard into the skin, you can actually aggravate acne or cause sensitivity. It’s also important to keep it clean, as bacteria can build up.’

Do jade rollers really work?

So, you know how to use them and the purported benefits, but as always the million dollar question is, do jade rollers really work?

Sadly, there’s no concrete scientific evidence backing to prove the benefits of jade rollers, and it’s unlikely they have long-term anti-ageing properties or would be able to clear up skin conditions such as eczema, acne or rashes. That said, there’s a wealth of anecdotal evidence to suggest that jade rollers can improve the tone and appearance of your skin.

‘There’s no real evidence to suggest a jade roller really does do all the things suggested,’ confirms Dr Glancey. ‘However, lots of women have claimed it’s helped to reduce puffiness, lessen fine lines and give their skin more of a glow.’

Photo credit: PeopleImages - Getty Images

How to choose a jade roller

If you’d like to give jade rolling a go, first you’ll need to purchase a roller. But with so many on the market (and with lots of them priced so affordably), what should you be looking for?

‘Jade rollers are relatively inexpensive and look great, particularly when your favourite influencer is using it in a picture and claiming all kinds of things,’ says Dr Glancey. ‘Unfortunately, in recent years the production of genuine jade has been on the decline and therefore there are a lot of replicas on the market. These can be made from another stone, such as marble, which is chemically treated to take on a green appearance. Real jade varies in appearance from dark green through to light green with swirls of white. If there are no imperfections in the roller, such as black dots or white swirls, it’s likely to be dyed and treated, and therefore fake.’

Another clue as to whether your jade roller is genuine or not lies in how it feels.

‘Jade is cool to touch, so if it feels warm or doesn’t cool down quickly after use, it may well be fake. Also, beware of the price – yes, they are fairly inexpensive, but if you’re looking at one that’s ultra cheap, it’s more than likely not the real thing.’

Last medically reviewed: 16-06-2020

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