Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
Not to make any assumptions, but we get the feeling, judging from the number of times we get asked "What the hell is this roller thing actually meant do?" that these particular beauty gadgets have people a little confused. So, we're here to help...
What is a jade roller?
It's a hand-held paint roller–type tool for the face, made from solid jade stone that’s anecdotally been said to decrease puffiness and under-eye circles and help products absorb better into your skin.
Legends go that it has been a skin-care staple for empresses and the upper echelons of Chinese society since at least the 17th century. Usually green, pink, or purple, the colour isn't important, but the direction in which you roll it is.
Much like the concept of dry brushing for your body, the motivation for jade rolling is to facilitate lymphatic drainage, draining the fluid that flows through the lymph nodes into the jaw and neck and may have become stagnant there.
Rolling upwards and outwards from the centre of your face stimulates the fluid to flow into the proper channels and away from areas it can tend to settle. The cool jade stone can also constrict blood vessels to further minimize swelling and redness.
Is it the skin cure-all it's being marketed to be?
No. No one tool or product can ever cure or fix something forever. Ideally, our approach to skincare should be 360, with a focus on what's both internal and external.
Will it make my skincare more effective?
No. Some people enjoy the feeling of massaging their serum-ed or moisturised face with the roller, as it has a little extra 'slip', but there's no proof that it helps accelerate the effects of the skincare.
So, is it a total waste of money?
Also no. As well as the lymphatic drainage benefits (which can equally be achieved through a facial massage), the ritualistic aspect of rolling, as part of your beauty routine is enjoyable and relaxing. You can also use it to release tense jaw muscles at the end of a long day of staring at your computer.
And in case you're still unsure...
do i have to clean my jade roller?
Well let us put it this way: my skin (and yours for that matter) is an oil-producing, pollution-catching organ that’s exposed to a lot, after all. The head of your facial roller is made from semiprecious stones, such as jade or quartz that are fragile like the fine hairs of a makeup brush. Dust particles can gather on the tool - plus, you don’t want to spread any bacteria back onto your skin. The good news is that it's actually far easier to clean a jade roller than you'd think, you can read about that here.
Main image by @boobie_billie on Instagram