Facial rollers: how to use them 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.

smiling woman massaging her face
(Image credit: Future)

Facial rollers are a relatively cheap but effective treatment to include in at home facials. This cooling device is 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 facial roller or a rose quartz roller? Or perhaps you’re considering a facial roller made from another gemstone or material?

We asked Emily Buckwell, of beauty device experts CurrentBody,why facial rollers are so in demand at the moment given that they’ve been used for centuries in Asia. But 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?

We got the expert opinion of Alice Moore, celebrity makeup artist, facialist and founder ofKyūshi, 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.

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.”

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’ bianhas 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

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.”

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.

MZ Skin Germanium Contouring Facial Roller

(Image credit: MZ Skin/Current Body)

MZ Skin Germanium Contouring Facial Roller

£59, Current Body Made with germanium, a metalloid thought to balance ions (over-exposure to positive ions are linked to ageing), this roller stimulates the body’s healing points, tones, lifts and reduces puffiness. It's cooling (more so if you pop it in the fridge before using) and effortlessly follows the contours of the face.

Kyūshi The Power of Ten Face Oil

(Image credit: Kyūshi)

Kyūshi The Power of Ten Face Oil

from £21, Kyūshi Alice Moore’s award-winning Kyūshi products are not only natural, sustainably sourced and hand-blended, they’re highly effective – and smell heavenly. For an excellent all-rounder and primer that’s suitable for all skin types, try The Power of Ten – once applied you can feel it doing your skin the world of good. It’s balancing, nourishing, hydrating and protecting and can be safely used around the eyes.

Skin Gym Amethyst Crystal Facial Roller

(Image credit: Skin Gym)

Skin Gym Amethyst Crystal Facial Roller

£27.50, Skin Gym This dual-ended roller has a large roller for the face and smaller one for the delicate eye area. Amethyst is negatively charged, which is thought to draw out toxins and calm inflammation.

Face Gym Training Serum

(Image credit: Face Gym)

Face Gym Training Serum

£50, Face Gym An effective brightening serum with a conveniently precise dropper, a little of this rich yet non-greasy product goes a long way. It contains a ‘unique muscle blend’ of antioxidants and superfoods as well as the amino acid L-Carnitine that boosts the skin’s metabolic cycle to maintain healthy facial muscles and skin.

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale The L-Roller

(Image credit: Guerlain)

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale The L-Roller

£71.50, John Lewis This stylish roller from classic beauty brand Guerlain should be used morning and night as part of your skincare routine. Use as instructed, along the lines of the lymphatic system, after gently applying Orchidée Impériale The Sleeping Serum or another serum or oil of your choice. The cooling material reduces puffiness, tones, and encourages circulation.

Avon Anew Skin Reset Plumping Shots

(Image credit: Avon)

Avon Anew Skin Reset Plumping Shots

£18, Avon W&H’s acting beauty editor Jess Beech wrote of these new anti-ageing Plumping Shots, which are already (quite rightly) garnering five-star reviews, “Avon’s ingredient Protinol works by increasing the amount of baby collagen, which then increases the ratio of adult collagen. The result is plumper, firmer skin with less prominent lines, wrinkles and sagging.” Apply daily for seven days before your facial roller massage, then every few weeks as a boost.

JML Finishing Touch Flawless Contour

(Image credit: JML)

JML Finishing Touch Flawless Contour

£37, JML This two-in-one roller has the added benefit of optional vibration to stimulate blood circulation, improve skin tone and provide a relaxing massage effect. It's a good price, too.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Revitalising Facial Roller

(Image credit: The Body Shop)

The Body Shop Oils of Life Revitalising Facial Roller

£16, Body Shop Available in store or online, The Body Shop’s popular twin ball roller helps you relax while toning and smoothing your skin. And it comes with its own unique workout, the Facial Dance Workout, courtesy of Vanda Serrador, Facialist and Body Care Expert for The Body Shop.

Lavera Hydro Sensation Serum

(Image credit: Lavera)

Lavera Hydro Sensation Serum

£17.95, Pravera This fresh, natural serum is made with organic algae and hyaluronic acid. A lovely, lightweight option for normal/combination skin, it soothes and smoothes the skin. It’s guilt-free, too, because it doesn’t contain any nasties and isn’t tested on animals.

Revolution Skincare Rose Quartz Roller

(Image credit: Revolution/Boots)

Revolution Skincare Rose Quartz Roller

£15, Boots Reliable high street brand Boots stock two types of Revolution rollers – jade and rose quartz – and at a very reasonable price. Use the mineral-rich rose quartz roller to calm skin and reduce inflammation, stimulate the blood flow and help skin absorb a serum or face oil.

Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner

(Image credit: Sukin)

Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner

£7.95, Sukin For extra hydration, spray a refreshing mist on your face before applying serum, then use your facial roller. Australian natural skincare brand Sukin is made with calming rosewater and chamomile and is vegan, alcohol- and paraben-free.

Herbivore Jade Facial Roller

(Image credit: Herbivore/SpaceNK)

Herbivore Jade Facial Roller

£26, SpaceNK This quality dual-ended jade roller has had rave reviews on the SpaceNK website. Jade is the most traditional stone used in quartz rollers – it’s cooling, balancing, lifting and detoxifying, and thought to bring harmony and peace to the user. What’s not to love?

Rosental Organics The Magician Face & Body Roller

(Image credit: Rosental Organics/Ecco Verde)

Rosental Organics The Magician Face & Body Roller

£55, Ecco Verde Made by Rosental Organics, this stylish roller is made from 100% rose quartz with a handle coated in rose gold and interchangeable heads that can be used on the face or body.