What's the deal with crystal face rollers?

Beauty

A jade or rose quartz roller may be Insta-friendly and look beautiful in your bathroom – but do you need one for good skin, and if so, which to go for? What are the differences and are they a route to wellness? Panic not: we’ve asked the pros…

What is a crystal roller?

“Using minerals in a beauty routine is nothing new. The idea actually started with the ancient Egyptians! The story goes that Queen Isis, the goddess of Life and Rebirth, gathered rose quartz stones from the Nile and used them to massage her face to keep her complexion clear and glowing. Jade stones from China were used from the 7th century and are still used today in Gua sha treatments. Other crystals for skincare have also been seen in ancient India,” facialist and skincare expert Lisa Franklin says.

Megan Felton and Ksenia Selivanova are co-founders of skincare consultancy Lion/ne. “A roller is a skincare tool designed to massage and tone the face. They are often made of jade or another stone and simply ‘roll’ on your skin, as if you were using a paint-roller on your face,” says Megan.

“If you want to “de-puff” your face, a jade-roller is a great tool, as it will temporarily increase blood circulation and boost lymphatic drainage,” Ksenia says.

Superstar facialist Su Man uses a jade stone in her Gua Sha facial, which serves to massage the deeper layers of the skin and stimulate the lymphs for a quick glow. While not a roller, it is a similar idea. “Stroking over an area brings blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to tissue that has been deprived. The blood then carries away built-up toxins like lactic acid, which brings instant glow to your skin. Moreover, frictioning the tissue warms the underlying support structure called fascia, which improves skin tightness,” she explains.

Photo: KARELNOPPE

What can’t they do?

“Some articles say that jade rollers can increase product absorption. However, there is unfortunately no strong evidence that jade rollers can make the skin more receptive to certain ingredients. There are also claims that the jade roller is a powerful anti-ageing tool, as it can increase collagen and reduce fine wrinkles. Again, there is not solid evidence (other than that it has been practiced for hundreds of years), that jade rolling can do this long-term,” says Ksenia.

How to use a roller

“If you feel that your skin has a lymphatic or blood circulation problem (sluggish, puffy, pale) and want to use this beauty tool as a stimulating massage, use it at night for about 15 – 20 minutes by rolling your face with either a moisturiser, serum or oil. Start at your chin and use upward motions towards your hairline, do not press too hard. Then start to move up the face, making a U-shape from your nose to your ears. After you feel your lower face has had enough, you want to move to your eyebrow and forehead area. Make an arch over your eyebrows to the ears. The final step will be to roll from the eyebrow upwards toward the hairline and then horizontally across the forehead. You can also leave the roller in your refrigerator and use it as a hangover tool, as it will de-puff your face and calm down post-drinking inflammation,” Ksenia says.

Lisa says the whole process should take less time than Ksenia suggests, just two to four minutes. So, just do as much as feels right for you.

Do you use it with product or alone?

“You can use serums, moisturiser, and oils with jade rollers. However, we personally wouldn’t recommend using them in the morning, as the application of antioxidant serum and SPF needs to be done more carefully. Your hands are your best tool to assure product absorption when it comes to products that are supposed to protect your skin,” Megan says.

Lisa says jade and rose quartz can be used at different times. “There isn’t a hard a fast rule, but as a guide, jade should be used as a morning roller balancing out the qi energy and will help you stay awake and refreshed all day. Rose quartz is best used at night to calm skin and prepare skin for overnight renewal.”

Differences between rose quartz and jade

“The physical impact of each stone is very similar: it’s a hard, smooth surface that enables the user to roller and massage over the surface of the skin with a density that won’t crack too easily under heat,” says facialist Abigail James.

However, she goes on to talk about the potential emotional or spiritual healing properties of the various stones, and this is where the differences come in. “Jade is a happy stone that is praised for emotional healing and eliminating negativity. It’s known as the lucky stone, great for calming and balancing too. Rose quartz is the love stone: it is nourishing and has a loving energy – it is caring and calms anger. It’s great for balance and used to strengthen the blood circulation.” Abigail also references amethyst as an option for rollers, saying it is “used to help heal physical ailments and the nervous system. It helps with hormonal balance, aids insomnia and stress, calms inflammation and brings a sense of serenity.” Lisa also mentions blue soladite and red jasper rollers as options.

Elena Lavagni is the founder of Facial Bar London. “Each have excellent benefits for the skin,” she says. “Jade relaxes the nervous system and removes toxins from the skin, waving bye bye to puffiness and dark circles. It’s also well known for balancing inner energy and giving a sense of peace and harmony. Rose quartz has great anti-ageing properties as it aids in oxygen boosting, it has an amazing ability to reduce inflammation and support the renewal of skin cells plus heals and rejuvenates. It aids in self love, healing and self-care.”

A word of caution

“Because the main benefit of using a roller is to increase blood circulation, remember any stimulating treatment will have the same effect, like using your hands to perform facial massage. Plus, the products that you are currently using might already stimulate your skin enough as it is. This is why this beauty tool needs to be seen as more of a relaxing tool to use for wellness purposes, rather than a skincare cure-all,” Megan says.

Su Man agrees. “It’s not tool that matters most, it’s to know how to use it and use it well to get the benefits.”

So, stone rollers are worth a try. They could help you feel more balanced and get some glow into your face – so long as you don’t expect miracles.

Try these

Hayo’u Method’s Rose Quartz Beauty Restorer, £38

Glow Bar rose quartz face roller, £30

BeautyBio rose Quartz Roller, £75

By Charlotte

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