Beauty Gem? The Pros and Cons of Jade Rollers

Jade rollers may be the latest craze to sweep the beauty world, but they're far from new. This simple-looking little tool has been a staple of Chinese beauty routines for centuries. Recently endorsed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and the Kardashians however, suddenly there’s one everywhere you look.

What is a jade roller exactly?

Imagine a tiny little paint roller for your face, only made of stone instead of a sponge. That's basically what we're talking about here. The stone is of course jade, a semi-precious mineral that ranges in color from pale green to piercing turquoise.

You may be wondering how to use a jade roller; you position it somewhere along the central line of your face (chin, bridge of the nose, etc.) and roll upwards and outwards, applying light pressure. Some rollers will have two stones, with a smaller one at one end for those hard-to-reach areas such as the corners of the eyes and nose.

Jade is the material of choice because it has long been believed to hold spiritual properties and healing powers. It's even nicknamed the 'stone of eternal youth'. Whether you believe that or not, it does have some tangible benefits too.

What are the Jade Roller benefits?

You're probably wondering what on Earth the point is. Especially if you're not into new-age crystal therapy. There are actually quite a few reasons to love this tool:

It decongests the skin

The pressure from the jade roller benefits the draining of lymphatic channels, physically pushing fluids away (that’s why you roll outwards). It flushes out toxins, resulting in a healthy glow.

It calms irritation

Jade is naturally cool to the touch, so it's a bit like a gentle ice-pack for your skin. And if you want to boost these calming effects, it's perfectly safe to put your jade roller in the fridge or freezer.

It (instantly!) smooths fine lines

Jade rollers are often sold as an anti-aging device. That's because the massaging effect boosts blood circulation to the surface layers of the skin, plumping it up and therefore minimizing the appearance of fine lines.

It reduces under-eye bags

Jade rollers are especially excellent at eliminating under-eye puffiness. The combination of the pressure and the cooling, calming effect (especially when used extra-cold) works wonders for tired eyes.

It boosts the effects of skincare products

We often apply creams, oils, and serums quickly, not taking the time to ensure they properly sink in. Using a jade roller immediately after applying helps push them deeper into the skin, to get the maximum benefit out of your existing skincare routine.

It's easy to clean

Unlike a derma roller that is covered in tiny needles, the surface of a jade roller is ultra-smooth which makes it easy to clean. Jade also isn't easily damaged by extreme temperatures. That's why you can freeze it, and also why you can clean it with boiling water.

It's suitable for all skin types

Jade rollers are ultra-gentle. You're not applying new products to or irritating your skin in any way, which means that absolutely anyone can use one.

It's eco-friendly

Many modern skincare gadgets are made from plastic and/or designed to be disposable. Not a jade roller! Not only is it a naturally-occurring material, it's incredibly durable too. A high-quality jade roller could potentially last a lifetime if cared for well.

Are there any downsides?

Jade rollers are very safe to use and unlikely to have any negative effects, but they're also not miracle workers. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

It won't do anything for deep wrinkles

Although they're hailed as an anti-aging tool, that only works for fine lines which can be 'filled out' by a temporary increase in blood flow. Simply rolling something over your face won't have any effect on deep-set wrinkles or sagging skin.

It requires consistency

Or to put it another way, the effects aren't permanent. If you stop using it, those under-eye bags will stop going away. To really get the most out of a jade roller, it needs to become part of your everyday routine.

It must be used on clean skin

Jade rollers should only ever be used on clean, product-free skin, or shortly after applying skincare products. Just as it can push those deeper into the skin, it can also push dirt and makeup in too.

It's porous

I know I said jade rollers are easy to clean, and they are, but you do have to clean them correctly. Despite many articles saying the contrary, jade is a porous material which means it can harbor bacteria. Be sure to clean your roller regularly with alcohol, or boil it in a pan of water.

It's easily counterfeited

Unfortunately, jade rollers have become so popular that many counterfeit versions have sprung up, made from anything from dyed marble to dyed glass. Avoid being ripped off by purchasing from a reputable seller, and steering clear of prices that seem too good to be true.

Should I buy a jade roller?

I think the positives of jade rollers far outweigh the handful of cons. Unlike skincare gimmicks that come and go, jade rollers have stood the test of time. And they're not going to harm your skin, so why not give one a go? If nothing else, once you learn how to use a jade roller you'll get some nice face massages out of it!

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