A local expert breaks down the benefits of this skincare trend.
If you were up late last night watching just “one more” episode of The Crown then your skin—under fluorescent office lighting—is probably bearing the repercussions. Dark circles, puffy eyes and dullness are all consequences of skimping out on sleep. Enter the jade roller, which is earning a cult following on social media and boasting some major benefits for tired skin. Users say the cool-to-the-touch stone has a de-puffing quality, while the rolling motion improves circulation for more sculpted cheekbones and jawlines.
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But jade rollers no longer stand alone in the realm of at-home facial tools: following the rolling trend, skincare companies have churned out quartz rollers, ice rollers, microneedle rollers, massage rollers and vibrating rollers that all promise some impressive results. If “microneedlers” and “nanocurrent rollers” read like a foreign language then you’re not alone. To our rescue is McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center’s Lily Talakoub (“Dr. Lily”) who’s helping us help you break down the basics of facial rollers and separate fact from fiction.
Similarly to jade rollers, quartz rollers are typically dual-ended with a larger stone for the cheeks and forehead and a smaller stone for the under eye area. The stones rotate on a fixed rod to roll—in an upward and outward direction—along the epidermis, which is supposed to depuff and draw out impurities. There’s no evidence to backup quartz’s purported skin-clearing qualities, but when used correctly, experts agree that quartz rollers can calm red or irritated skin while also minimizing the appearance of bags by catalyzing lymphatic drainage.
Ice rollers are essentially just a cold roller that help soothe the skin and provide overall depuffing—and they’re a go-to tool in medical spas. Dermatologists and estheticians will follow procedures like microdermabrasion and lasering with an ice roller to combat inflammation, but they have practical uses for at-home treatments too. Use your roller on a sunburn to ease burning or roll your cheeks in an upward motion after a workout to calm redness.
“These are the most promising of any facial tool,” boasts Dr. Lily of microneedlers. These rollers don’t provide any cooling effects, but rather feature 0.5 to 2.5 millimeter needles that penetrate superficially to plump the skin and boost elasticity through collagen therapy. When the roller comes in contact with your skin, its tiny needles cause collagen injury, which in turn facilitates the production of new collagen. But experts across the board agree you should proceed with caution: skin and tool alike need to be sterilized before each use since pinpoint needle entry can cause bleeding or infection. When in doubt, let a professional perform microneedling on your skin in a medical spa.
3D massage rollers typically feature a dual-headed massager that’s meant to massage and sculpt the jawline. Contrary to claims that massage rollers can help with toning and tightening, these facial tools don’t actually do much to firm the skin. If your end goal is to relieve some tension and bolster circulation, a dual-headed massage roller will do the trick.
Consumers and beauty connoisseurs alike are drawn to vibrating rollers because they’re some of the most high tech on the market. Surely something so scientific will do wonders for my skin, right? Wrong, say skincare experts. At their best, vibrating or nanocurrent rollers can be used in your skincare routine to help serums and moisturizers absorb more evenly and penetrate deeper layers of the skin. Just don’t count on this roller for any long term benefits.