I’ve never been one for a bare-bones skin-care routine because frankly, I find it boring. After a long day, there’s nothing I love more than indulging in the beneficial but ultimately not-so-necessary products that make me feel better about other shortcomings, like not drinking enough water.
And even as a beauty editor, there are still a lot of things on my wish list, like a facial roller. Unless you’re like me and super extra about your beauty regimen, those two words have probably never crossed your mind. And if you are proficient with the ins and outs of beauty tools, then you’re probably thinking, “Catch up, girl!” Yes, I’m well aware that facial rollers have been around for quite some time, but honestly, I’ve been a little intimidated by them. So I reached out to Purvisha Patel, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare to see what they actually are, how the heck you use them, and if the hype is actually real.
Facial rollers are essentially paint rollers for the skin. They’re most commonly used to enhance blood circulation, which in turn helps products absorb into the skin. They also help reduce puffiness, which is caused by congested lymphatic channels.
“Lymphatic channels are all over the body—they are the way our immune system cells get to infections and heal us,” says Patel. “These vessels do not have valves, or muscle in the linings, meaning that lymphatic fluid can pool—puffiness seen from sleeping on your face, for example, is from lymphatic fluid.”
Although there is a ridiculous amount of facial roller models out there, the ones made with gemstones are more popular than ever in 2018. Anyone familiar with crystal healing knows that jade and quartz—the most frequently used ones—are calming and cooling. But Patel emphasizes that it isn’t just all hype.
“[Jade] was used in the past and throughout history (especially in China where it is more common) in ball/egg forms, as it is not very porous—will not retain bacteria. Other gems have the same properties. There are, of course, healing, energy, metaphysical, and spiritual attributes given to gems. It is thought that the jade helps relieve the tension in the face. After all, it is rolling over wrinkles.”
So, how do you use it? There are two ways: Either massage your face with it for three to five minutes after applying face products or apply your serum/moisturizer with the roller. However, Patel says that the roller itself won’t instantly increase absorption; it will only help with the lymphatic flow under your skin.