Aestheticians to the stars consider jade rollers to be a secret skin care weapon, Victoria's Secret and runway models swear by it, and every other week a new celeb is touting its heaven-sent healing powers. But how much of the talk is hype and how much of it is legit? Do jade rollers actually work? Are your fingers just as adequate? And does the roller have to be crafted from jade or will any precious stone or metal suffice?
For the answers to those pressing — literally! — questions, we hit up an aesthetician and dermatologist.
Image via @herbivorebotanicals
What exactly is a jade roller?
"Jade rollers, when rubbed on the skin, create a facial massage which improves blood circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage, reduces puffiness and under eye circles and enhances elasticity of the skin," explains Dr. Suzanne Friedler, clinical instructor of dermatology Mt Sinai Hospital Center and founder of Advanced Dermatology. "Jade rollers have also been touted for decreasing wrinkles, tightening pores and enhancing penetration of topical creams and serums."
Whether it actually delivers on all those things varies from person to person, but many well-informed people swear by its efficacy. Jayme Bashian, a medical aesthetician at Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa, is one of those believers.
"I personally use the jade roller on myself every morning to wake up my skin and to get my blood flowing. I love the coldness from the stone on my skin. It helps to decrease puffiness under the eye area, which is key if you have kids or an active lifestyle," she says. "I have a few acne patients who have purchased the jade roller to help with inflammation on the skin and they find that gently rolling it over the acne soothes their breakouts."
The key to a successful treatment is to keep your roller cold and clean, and to massage gently around delicate areas. If it's rubbed too vigorously or not kept sanitized, rollers can create irritation or even potentially aggravate acne and spread infections such as cold sores. You can also use it with your choice oil or cream to help it glide more smoothly and to promote better absorption.
Worst case if you don't see any physical differences? You got a nice, relaxing massage out of it.
Image via @lorepintomakeup
Does your facial roller have to be jade, though?
"Any facial massage — even with your fingers — will help improve circulation and lymphatic drainage," noted Dr. Friedler. "Rollers do not need to be made from jade to work, but the cold property of the jade aids in benefits such as reducing inflammation, puffiness and tightening pores."
Bashain subscribes to the "jade or nothing at all" philosophy, however. "Jade stone is known for its healing and protective benefits throughout the body," she says. "Since the stone has healing powers that our fingers do not, you will be increasing blood flow and collagen production, as well as refreshing and soothing your skin from puffiness and skin irritation."
If you're not of the same "healing power" mindset — or are of that mindset and want to try a different type of healing — then something like Tatcha's Akari Gold Massager, $195, or Herbivore's Rose Quartz Facial Roller, $45, could work for you, as well. That said, jade seems to be a bit more budget-friendly. You can pick one up on Amazon for under $20 and Herbivore makes a Jade Facial Roller for $25.
Here's the bottom line from Dr. Friedler: While jade rollers can be effective for many people, they're not a replacement for creams, lasers and microneedling, which on the whole tend to be more effective. So consider them a supplement to your skin care routine — perhaps even a healing one — but don't toss out your stash of beauty products just yet.
Image via @hollyclineskincare