Jade rolling has long been a practice in traditional Chinese medicine. The stone is believed to have healing properties and be a sign of power and immortality. Over the last few years, the tool has made its way into beauty stores (and onto Instagram feeds) in the Western world, thanks in large part to its de-puffing abilities. "In the simplest terms, a jade roller is a facial massage tool," says Jessica Briggs, the VP of marketing for Ecotools. "What makes it special is that it’s made from natural jade stone which has both spiritual and physical benefits, and is known for its purifying and detoxifying qualities." And pros say that jade roller benefits include things like lymphatic drainage and improved circulation. Here's what you need to know.
Jade roller benefits
1. Detoxifies and reduces puffiness
"Lymphatic drainage" is one of the buzziest wellness terms of 2020 (we called it in our Trends!), and jade rolling is one of the easiest ways to do it at home. Using the tool to massage your face can help reduce some of the fluid buildup, doing away with puffiness. Roll the massager toward your lymph nodes—which are located in your neck, slightly behind your ears—to help stimulate lymph movement.
2. Brightens and firms skin
Jade rollers massage the superficial layer of the skin, and if you pop them in the freezer to cool them down they can "calm irritation, tighten pores, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," says Miami-based board-certified dermatologist Stacy Chimento, MD. There are some claims that jade rollers can help your skin absorb topical ingredients more effectively, but there isn't enough research to fully support this theory.
3. Relaxes facial tension
If you're a big-time jaw clencher, treating yourself to a DIY jade roller massage can help do away with some of the tension the habit leaves behind. "By putting gentle pressure on your face and neck it helps reduce tension," says Briggs. Use the smaller end of the roller to gently massage along your jaw line, and you'll feel an immediate release of whatever stress you're holding in the area.
4. De-puffs your under eyes
After a long night of crying, drinking, or eating salt, if you ever wind up with your eyes puffy, a simple jade-rolling routine can help. Massaging the area with the smaller end of the tool can help even out some of the fluid, and it will work double-duty if it's fresh out of the freezer, since cold temperatures help to constrict blood vessels, which helps to prevent the flow of fluid into the tissues.
How to use a jade roller
In order to reap the most of your jade roller benefits, you'll want to be sure you're using it the right way. "In terms of technique, make sure you aren't applying undue pressure and pulling the skin, this goes double for downward strokes," says Dr. Chimento. "You can start with the nose and eyes and gently and thoroughly cover the face with the massage tool emphasizing the forehead and cheekbones." Briggs adds that you can use the tool with or without skin care, focusing on an outward, rolling motion on your face and neck, which helps push tension and swelling away from the center of your face and encourage circulation.
Most jade rollers come with a larger end and a smaller one, each of which serve different purposes. The larger one is great for use on your cheeks, forehead, and jawline, and the smaller one can be used under your eyes and around your nose. Some also have a textured side as well as a smooth side, which Dr. Chimento is a fan of using for light physical exfoliation (just be sure to limit yourself to a few times a week with it so you don't over exfoliate).
A few other pro tips, depending on what you're looking for? "If you want to really gain the maximum benefit out of the jade roller, I suggest placing your tool in the freezer or fridge overnight and massaging your face in the morning," says Dr. Chimento. "The combination of massage and cool application will help not only break up fluids from overnight, but also tighten your pores, and calm the skin from minor irritations or puffiness." Briggs also suggests warming the tool with water, which will help open your pores for improved skin-care absorption.
And one more thing? "Always make sure to clean your tools before the next use," says Briggs. The best way to do it is by washing with a gentle soap and patting dry.
Our favorite jade rollers
2. EcoTools Jade Roller Duo, $15
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