Jade Roller: do you need one?

Welcome to Hit Refresh. This month, we’ll be bringing you articles created by experts that will help you live your best life in 2019. Today, beauty editor Anna Lavdaras takes us through the jade roller.

Facial rollers are the latest miracle beauty tools that can ‘cure’ all of your skin ailments. From puffiness, to under-eye circles, fine lines and poor circulation. If you haven’t seen one before, the standard jade roller is made like a paint roller with two heads; one larger stone for the cheeks, jaw and forehead, and a smaller stone for under the eyes and around the mouth. They’re prettier than your usual hi-tech cosmo gadgets, with major Instagram appeal, and unlike other new cult beauty devices, they’ve legitimately been around for centuries. But is there any real evidence to back up their lengthy list of benefits?

As a beauty journalist, I’ve seen my fair share of beauty fads. From a derma roller that promised to replace the need for Botox (spoiler – it didn’t), to an at-home micro-current wand that purported to lift, tuck and firm. Forgive my scepticism, but I’m yet to encounter a DIY beauty tool that’s worthy of the hype surrounding it. Nonetheless, I’ll try to approach this one with an open mind…

If you’re contemplating adding one of these little beauties to your daily skin care routine, here’s what you need to know.

The History

A true ancient beauty secret. Derma rollers have been used since the days of Imperial China, making them thousands of years old. You can actually still find some early prototypes in museums like this one. Apart from the odd early-adopting beauty vlogger, the roller was a Chinese beauty secret until one Vogue article went viral in 2016, introducing it to the masses and sending beauty buffs into a spin.

How Are They Different?

Jade, rose quartz, clear quartz, blue soladite, amethyst – there’s a whole mineral menu of options to consider. If you’re into your crystals, you’d know that different stones have different benefits. Jade works to draw out your bad energy or ‘Qi’, while rose quartz can promote inner peace and love. And while there’s no research-based proof to confirm the efficacy of crystals, they do have the unique ability to stay cold, especially if you keep your roller in the fridge, and this is something that can definitely help with inflammation and redness.

The Science

Contrary to popular belief, your body doesn’t need any help in the way of lymphatic drainage. It’s something that happens naturally – otherwise you’d be a swollen mess. Your Lymph fluid is what carries white blood cells and other immune system molecules to areas of distress in the body, and that’s where you may see swelling. When those cells have finished their work, the fluid drains away toward the lymph nodes, which filter out the bad stuff and then send the fluid back into the bloodstream.

There hasn’t been much in the way of scientific study on the specific effects of using a tool like the jade roller, but researchers have looked at manual lymphatic drainage techniques on the rest of the body. It found that things like massage and movement really do help to reduce the serum enzymes in the body associated with damage (or exercise) and reduce swelling. So technically, gently rolling and directing the flow of fluid towards your facial lymph nodes (they’re located at the base of the nose, outside the mouth, along the jaw, behind the ears, under the chin, and in the back of the neck) can help encourage this natural process.

Another study found that applying an anti-aging cream with a vibrating massage device produced better results in reducing fine lines on women then just using hands alone. By extension, that may also back up the theory that facial rollers may have anti-ageing properties by encouraging their skincare to work deeper and better.

How Do You Use It?

Step 1: Apply your favourite moisturiser, oil or serum.

Step 2: Starting with your chin, and then moving onto your cheeks and forehead, work from the center of your face, rolling gently outward and upward. Then make sweeping rolls from the center of your chin toward your collarbones, working outwards to the sides of your neck.

Step 3: From the center of your neck, roll outward and upward, working up to every section of your face.

Pro tip: I recommend putting your roller or wand in the fridge and freezer to keep it super cold—this is the ultimate trick for maximum de-puffing in the morning!

While you’re here, read about the holy grail of lash treatments, and everything you need to know about the hyaluronic acid skin diet.