It's weirdly more challenging to figure out how to use jade rollers than it is to take a cute photo of them. If your introduction to jade rollers and gua sha tools comes from a cursory scroll through Instagram, you'd be forgiven for thinking they serve more as focal points for flat lays than anything else. The jade, marble, and rose quartz skin-care tools aren't a new phenomenon; their origins go back centuries. But the methods I'm familiar with have also undergone a gradual evolution for social media. My childhood version of 刮痧 (gua sha) involved soup spoons, loose change, and copious amounts of Tiger Balm, which is significantly different from what's all over my feeds now.
While I can think of plenty of Instagram-backed products that amount to little more than empty hype, dermatologists and aestheticians agree that these tools deliver legitimate skin benefits. The problem is, you need to know how to use jade rollers correctly in order to maximize their benefits.
If you're looking for more detailed instructions for the face rollers, ice rollers, and gua sha tools sitting on your bathroom counters, consider this your definitive guide. Below, celebrity esthetician Karee Hays and the founder and CEO of Shiffa Beauty, Lamees Hamdan, M.D., break things down step by step.
How to use jade rollers (and other face rollers)
The phrase to remember here is "lymphatic drainage," a form of massage that pushes fluids to your lymph nodes, which subsequently process and filter them out of your system. When you perform this technique consistently (i.e., via your face roller of choice), it's supposed to deliver depuffing, glow-boosting benefits. Also, it just feels really nice.
According to Hamdan, there are two key things to keep in mind when learning how to use a face roller. "There is no point in rolling your face expecting drainage if you haven’t started with your neck first," she says. "You need to roll your neck first to clear the lymph passageways before starting on your face." Secondly, she cautions against pressing too hard. Use a light hand; the weight of the roller will do the rest.
Hays recommends beginning with a clean, moisturized face and adding additional layers of product if you wish to do so; the massage will help push them further into your skin. "When I have the time, I apply a KH Koji pad packed with antioxidants, then add Revision Skincare Hydrating Serum, and DEJ Face Cream and roll in an upward motion while the products are absorbing," she says.
1. First I covered my clavicle area, using an up-and-down motion.