Jade Rolling

Despite my decidedly trend-averse philosophy on skincare, I’ve been delighted to see the booming popularity of jade rollers over the last couple of years. I love jade rolling and believe it can have a place in virtually any skincare and self-care routine.

How Jade Rolling Works

One of jade’s best properties as a skincare tool is that it has poor thermal conductivity, which means it tends to remain at a stable temperature. Rather than heating up with your skin’s warmth, it stays at room temp and feels cool to the touch. Jade, rose quartz, amethyst, and other popular gemstones for rollers are all poor thermal conductors and retain that chilly feel. For skincare fanatics on a budget, glass is also nonconductive and commonly dyed for use in cheap “jade” rollers. If you want the real deal, my personal favorite is the Spa model from Jade Roller Beauty.

The cooling effect helps to constrict blood vessels near skin’s surface. This can calm skin inflammation that arises for many reasons—overcleansing, overexfoliating, overuse of active ingredients, and those blistering hot showers that feel so good in winter but can wreak havoc on your skin. I like to double up on the cooling sensation by using my jade roller over a hydrating gel mask.

What to Expect

Jade rollers don’t perform miracles. It’s important to manage your expectations for what an at-home jade rolling routine can accomplish. It will feel fantastic and relaxing, which I firmly believe affects your outward appearance. When you feel good, you look good! It can increase circulation, which brings more nourishing, oxygenated blood to your skin. When used as part of a lymphatic drainage routine (more on that below), it can help reduce facial puffiness. It will not, however, have a dramatic effect on signs of aging or iron out facial wrinkles. 

How I Roll

One of my favorite uses for my jade roller is lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system doesn’t have its own pump, so light pressure (such as through massage) and muscle or joint movement (including exercise) are necessary for lymphatic flow. Remember to use a light touch with your jade roller. Lymph vessels are right under skin’s surface, so even very gentle manipulation will provide sufficient stimulation. There’s no need to get super aggressive with it. A delicate touch is especially important around the eye area!

For lymphatic drainage, roll from the centerline of your face outwards. You can start from the center of the forehead out to the hairline, the center of the chin out to the jaw, or outwards from the center of your neck.  You’ll get the most benefit by rolling in one direction with each stroke, so don’t apply back-and-forth pressure. Working in zones, go over each area 3-6 times.  Check out the video below for a quick demo on how to perform light lymphatic drainage at home with your jade roller!

The area under the eyes, on the cheeks, and just outside of the nose feels particularly amazing—both for calming heat in the skin that tends to present on the cheeks, as well as providing some cooling relief on top of the sinus area. It feels especially wonderful if you’re experiencing any nasal or sinus symptoms during this wintry cold and flu season.

Aside from lymphatic drainage, I also use my jade roller to aid in product absorption. To do this, simply warm your jade roller by placing it in warm water or running it under a hot faucet. Jade’s innate thermal stability means it will hold on to this warmth and impart a warming effect on the skin. Warmth helps to soften skin and make it more receptive to any products you apply. By using a warm jade roller on top of serums or facial oils, those products will penetrate a bit better. This warm treatment feels heavenly during these colder months.

To benefit from both of these application methods, you can start off with a warm roller and a serum, then pop your jade roller in the fridge for a quick cool-down. After a few minutes, pull your jade roller out and finish off with some cooling lymphatic drainage.

Happy rolling!