Facial rollers: how to use and why they’re good for you

Discover how to use a facial roller, what different types of facial rollers there are, and which ones are best.
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  • If you’re looking for a relatively cheap home facial it’s time to include a facial roller in your skin routine – a cooling device known to lift, tone and smoothe the skin as well as provide a moment in your day to relax. But, before you buy, you may want to find out which is better – a jade or rose quartz roller – or perhaps you’d like to try a facial roller made from another gemstone or material.

    I asked Emily Buckwell, of beauty device experts CurrentBody, why facial rollers are so in demand. Although they’ve been used for centuries in Asia, these Insta-friendly tools are arguably still a novelty in Western beauty regimes. “Since the beginning of lockdown we’ve seen a significant increase in products that can help you to relax as well as treat your skin,” says Emily. “Searches on our website for facial rollers have increased by 42% since April, suggesting that people are looking for new ways to unwind.”

    While salons were closed during quarantine many of us opted for DIY facials, but although professional facials are available to us again there’s no need to stop exercising self-care at home. “Facial rollers provide the best of both worlds. They leave a glowier, more refreshed complexion and are fantastic way to alleviate stress,” says Emily. “Without realising it we carry a lot of tension in our face and the pressure from a roller releases that tension, just like a massage would for the body.”

    There’s science to back Emily’s claims; one study found that facial massage could reduce anxiety and negative mood, while further research conducted at the Tokyo Institute of Technology concluded that ‘using a roller can increase skin blood flow for more than 10 minutes’.

    How to use facial rollers

    Why do facialists love facial rollers?

    I got the expert opinion of  Alice Moore, celebrity makeup artist, facialist and founder of Kyūshi, and Donna Ryan, aka The Facial Goddess, to find out why facial rollers are good for our skin, which roller is best, and how long you should use a facial roller for.

    “Facial rollers are a great tool to encourage and improve lymphatic drainage, boost circulation, relieve tension, tone the muscles and brighten the skin,” says Alice. “Using a tool allows for a cooling effect that hands can’t achieve. The joy of a facial roller is it can be a great tool for clients to use at home in between appointments.”

    The benefits of facial rollers don’t stop there – as well as reducing puffiness and dark circles, they “give a much nicer finish to your makeup when you apply your skincare in the morning,” explains Donna.

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    How do facial rollers work?

    “After cleansing, apply a facial oil or a serum to the face, enough to create some friction, not too much that you’re slipping and sliding all over the place,” advises Alice. “You always roll upwards and outwards, focusing on jaw to ear, under the cheekbone to ear, gently under the eyes then eyebrows to hairline.”

    Donna agrees, “It’s especially important to work your way up the face and to do upward strokes; we are trying to fight against gravity!”

    Watch this home tutorial for tips.

    Why are facial rollers beneficial as an anti-ageing tool?

    “Facial rollers help to bring movement and energy to the face,” explains Donna. “It’s a very similar process to exercise – the more consistent you are then the stronger your muscles get. Using rollers is waking up the muscles and training them, keeping them strong as we age.”

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    Which is better – a jade roller or a rose quartz roller? Or is there another preferable stone?

    “The type of stone you use is a personal choice so I recommend people use what they are drawn towards,” advises Donna. I love using rose quartz because it’s a very cold stone, which is particularly good for skin that’s inflamed.”

    “It’s safe to say bian is my favourite for facial tools,” says Alice. “Without going too ‘woo woo’ bian has a higher frequency than other stones (20,000- 2 million Hz). It’s heavier and softer, yet has slightly more friction, which allows for better contact and manipulation of the skin, which means greater circulation stimulation and oxygenation. The aim is to provide the body with high frequency in order to facilitate healing. Jade, by comparison, is 200,000-800,000 Hz.”

    “Put your rollers in the fridge so there is an added cooling benefit – natural stones works best for this, as opposed to metal or plastic rollers,” she adds.

    How to use facial rollers

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    How long should you use a facial roller for?

    “I would suggest using a facial roller daily for 3-5 minutes, for maximum benefits,” says Alice. “I like to use mine in the morning so my skin looks fresh, plump, dewy and de-puffed for the day ahead. If de-puffing and drainage is your goal, pop your roller in the fridge or freezer and take out just before you start. If you want to be really decadent get two so you can switch between them when they get warm.”

    Alice also advises combining home massage with a regular facial “For professional roller or gua sha facials I’d suggest once a month, and self-care every day in between,” she says. “Not only do facial tools improve the appearance and quality of your skin but the act of taking time for yourself can boost your mood and instill a sense of calm.”

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    Which facial roller is best?

    That’s a matter of personal choice but as a guide here are some recommended facial rollers and face serums and oils. Top tip: it was unanimous from our experts that rollers work better when used after being stored in the fridge.