If you follow beauty influencers on Instagram, you’ve no doubt come across a photo of a peculiar-looking, handheld tool with two, rollable stones, one at each end. Perhaps you’ve been stumped as to why your fav makeup artists have posted photos of themselves rolling jade-green orbs across their faces.
Face rollers are touted as an effective tool for achieving clear skin that’s not puffy. Plus, advocates say that rolling the stones across the skin can drain excess fluids from the face, help skincare products better absorb into the skin, and even combat wrinkles. (The large roller is meant for your forehead, cheeks and neck while the small roller is for under the eyes and around the mouth.) Some beauty editors have expressed skepticism around face rollers and whether they’re effective. Others have written glowing reviews about how relaxing the facial ritual is.
But, do face rollers actually work? Or, are there better options out there? We asked two skincare experts to look at some of the supposed benefits of face rollers. Julie Civiello Polier is a reiki master and shamanic facial practitioner. Dr. Mary Lupo is a Board-certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine. Below they share whether the face rollers beneficial claims stack up to reality.
Is a jade roller worth adding into your skincare routine?
Face rollers are reportedly good for stimulating the lymphatic system. True or False?
Julie Civiello Polier: Jade or other gem stone rollers are, indeed, beneficial for stimulating the lymph system, which is this vital fluid responsible for relieving the body of its waste and toxins, allowing for a flourishing and healthy immune system. When following the patterns of manual lymph drainage (see diagram below), using an intentional and almost feather-light touch, one is assisting the lymph system to flow and release.
Mary P. Lupo, M.D.: Lymphatic vessels are throughout the body. They do drain fluid in a dependent direction toward the heart and kidneys. Lymphatic vessel damage can result in edema, swelling. You can manually improve lymph flow with massage.
Face rollers are good for helping with under-eye circles, wrinkles, acne, and helping skincare products absorb more easily into the skin. True or False?
JCP: Facial rollers do aid with under-eye puffiness, dark circles, wrinkles, acne and product penetration. As for under eye circles this is caused from blockages and tension not allowing the fluids to flow as optimally. The facial rollers assists in that movement, bringing fresh fluid, as well as inviting oxygenated blood to the area, which is like food for the skin. When it comes to wrinkles the facial roller, when used vigorously, can stimulate collagen production so those cells are creating that strength and buoyancy in the tissue, alleviating those crevices.
And if we simplify acne into a blanket statement of inflammation, a chilled facial roller can certainly assist with bringing down all of that fluid that can accumulate around those pimples. Product penetration: Yes, the facial roller is providing that light pressing into the skin for serums or oils to deeply penetrate into the skin so the layers below can receive that fuel and hydration.
MPL: If under eye circles are caused by vascular dilation from sinus problems or from side/face sleeping (sleep on back is preferred), manual drainage can help. No benefit for acne, aging, or product absorption, however.
Face rollers are an effective skincare tool. True or False?
JCP: Sure, the facial rollers are an effective and fun tool to add to one’s skin care repertoire since it is multi-faceted and can address a few issues at once. I like to suggest implementing anything that you find fun to do. If it isn’t fun and becomes a chore, let it go.
MPL: No. Waste of money. Manual massage is just as good and free. On a positive note, it cannot do any harm.
*Comments have been edited for length and clarity.