For the last 18 months the beauty enthusiasts among us have been just as excited by cutting edge innovations in skincare (drone technology, we’re ready for you) as the use of ancient facial tools, used in line with time honoured traditions.
We’re talking about traditional Chinese derma rollers made of jade – or other gemstones like rose quartz – which have seen a surge in popularity of late, despite the beauty device market being down overall last year. But handheld jade and rose quartz rollers are not just a huge hit with millennials because of their low price tags.
Why the resurgence?
Their popularity over the last couple of years could be explained in multiple ways. Given that researchers examining data from Pinterest’s 48 million beauty lovers reported that ‘derma roller’ pins were saved a major 345% more in 2017, there’s no denying the fact that they look good on social media. Plus, of course, when influencers share their use of the tool on Instagram or YouTube, followers will click-to-buy and join the club (WWD reports that an Amazon jade roller was influencer Marianna Hewitt’s top-selling affiliate-linked product in 2017, according to Reward Style who monetises her content).
Then there’s the fact that the devices, used for facial massage, are thought to help sculpt the features – by way of encouraging drainage and toning slackening muscles – which feeds our collective compulsion to contour. And, well, we’d rather cut cheekbones without make-up, if we can.
The wider wellness movement marrying skincare with self-care may also play a part in the resurgence of facial tools. As we’re all buying into crystal-infused beauty, it makes sense to incorporate tools made of gemstones that not only grant us time out for a ritualistic daily facial, but made of materials revered for their restorative properties, benefit our skin in multiple ways, too.
Or, zeitgeist aside, it could just be that we’ve returned to an old school anti-ageing strategy that truly works. The mechanism is basic (think paint roller) and the premise (of massage) is traditional, but sometimes simplest really is best.
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article
The beauty benefits
Skincare expert and facialist Abigail James explains that the main benefits of self-massage using a jade roller are that of “drainage”, by way of encouraging the lymphatic system’s natural detoxification process, and “brightening” – by boosting the circulation and blood flow beneath the skin granting a visible glow.
Ross J Barr, a revered acupuncturist practicing at Wimpole Therapeutics and the Harrods Wellness Clinic, says that “jade is really good for evening your skin tone, for cooling and calming the skin”. He recommends the Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller “as a way of treating yourself to a daily facial”.
As James points out, “A jade roller gives a cool surface that’s super smooth and allows you to access into muscles and tissues with a pressure”. With this in mind it can provide a more effective manual massage than your hands alone, while being gentle and safe.
James says it’s best to use your roller on clean skin, before the use of your skincare products. “Cleanse your face, then roller, then apply your eye products, serums and moisturisers,” she instructs. “In the evening, you might like to add a little oil to the rolling action, in which case I would cleanse, apply a small amount of oil to the surface of the skin, use the roller and rinse off excess oils left on the tool.”
While seemingly simple, they can be used in different ways. “It’s best to use the roller back and forth, up and down and out to the side,” James says. To get the most out of it for an uplifting massage, James advises, “Working around your facial contours,” adding “I would usually recommend more pressure with the upwards motion,” – you want to lift the muscles with this action. “Don’t forget the neck also,” she adds.
To encourage lymph drainage, follow Barr’s specific instructions. “Imagine the bridge of your nose is the central point and roll away from that in all directions. Imagine you are very gently rolling all the toxin build up outward and downwards, finally rolling outward along your jaw and down the channel that runs down your neck by your ear.”
The best buys
Those in-the-know advocate using pure Xiuyan jade, said to boast a host of restorative benefits. However, you may be more drawn to rose quartz, known as a beautifying and healing stone, or amethyst - thought to attract positive energy. While some rollers come in at under a tenner, quality can differ and the cheap ones may feel clunky to use and squeak as you roll. Not so relaxing.
The Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller comes in a single (the small is £12 and ideal for the eye area; and the medium is £18) and double (£22) version, the duel-ended one featuring a smaller stone on the opposite end for use around the eye area. Positioned for relieving tension, while giving the skin and tissue a ‘lift’, it’s had rave reviews on Cult Beauty where you’ll also find detailed instructions on how to use it.
Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller (Double) SHOP
We also recommend the Herbivore Botanicals Rose Quartz Roller (£36), which has been restocked after its initial sell-out success.
Herbivore Botanicals Rose Quartz Roller SHOP
If you’re not sold on the rolling action, one alternative to the traditional device is the Hayo'u Beauty Restorer De-Stress Face Tool, £35 – a manual massager made of Xiuyan jade said to help relax the facial muscles and reduce skin inflammation. It’s recommended to be used as part of your daily ritual, with a firm press-and-sweep motion against lubricated skin. Watch the how-to below:
Hayo'u Beauty Restorer De-Stress Face Tool SHOP
If you fancy trying derma rolling in a treatment before home use, many professional facials incorporate the use of these traditional tools. James says she uses “a Jade Stone, sculpting Guasha or Rose Quartz in my Hero, Hero Lift and Naked Facial treatments,” while in Bamford’s Bespoke Facial jade stones are used hot and cold to on the face, neck and décolletage used to encourage drainage and restore balance.
('You Might Also Like',)