Fans use jade rollers in hopes of smoothing their skin, revving radiance, and more — but research doesn’t prove they’re legit. Here’s what dermatologists have to say about adding them to your routine.
Among all the self-care practices, one that’s really taking off is jade rolling. It almost sounds silly — or at the very least, too good to be true.
A jade roller is a piece of polished stone (most commonly jade, rose quartz, or amethyst) that you roll across your face or body. It often looks like a small paint roller.
The thing is, people are making wild claims about what these tools can do: smooth out wrinkles like Botox, reduce puffiness, boost brightness, and eliminate under-eye bags. The fact that a jade roller is an inexpensive DIY beauty aid is certainly spiking interest. Oh, and after celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham, and Instagram influencers began name-dropping them, interest spiked.
“Celebrities often fuel trends, and [the jade roller] is no exception. Consumers also like to take a proactive approach to skin care, so marketing devices as ‘at-home’ remedies appeals to consumers’ sense of wanting to do something helpful for themselves,” says Jennifer Herrmann, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills, California.
The Touted Skin Benefits of Using a Jade Roller
There’s no proof jade rollers help with anything, because no research has been done on them. Yet dermatologists say their patients have reported benefits from their use, including:
When you wake up to a puffy face, a jade roller may come in handy. “Rolling a cool stone over the skin may stimulate lymphatic drainage, which can help skin puffiness caused by excess fluid, especially around the eyes,” says Dr. Herrmann. The stones are naturally cool, but you can also place them in the fridge or freezer before use.
A Renewed Glow
Along with moving stagnant fluid out of tissues, the mechanical rolling may increase circulation to your face, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist in New York City and the author of Skin Rules. This translates into a “glow.”
Enhanced Efficacy of Products
The pressure supplied by the stone may physically push in the topical skin-care products applied before rolling, says Dr. Jaliman. “You’re enhancing the penetration of the products you’re using via the mechanical pushing and rolling of this gadget on your skin,” she says. This gives these ingredients a better opportunity to do their job.
Good skin goes beyond a proper skin-care routine. There’s no doubt that the massaging action of these rollers may help you feel more relaxed. And if they work as a stress management strategy for you, great. Reduced stress indirectly benefits skin, says Dr. Herrmann.
A review published in June 2014 in the journal Inflammation & Allergy Drug Targets noted that chronic psychological stress can impair skin function and speed aging. Hormones released in response to stress may damage DNA, increase free radical production, and impact sleep (which also plays a role in skin health). Other research, including a study published in April 2018 in Scientific Reports, shows that psychological stress can damage the skin’s barrier function, allowing moisture to escape and giving potential irritants an entrance. A jade roller can only do so much, but it can be one tool in your stress-less kit.
The Potential Downsides to Jade Rollers
It’s easy to get taken with anecdotal reports about the skin transformations people have experienced after regularly using jade rollers. But we’ll ask you to — pun definitely intended — slow your roll. Testimonials are great, but they’re far from scientific.
“In general, when advertisers claim that these devices stimulate collagen or clear acne, be wary. There isn’t scientific evidence to support this,” says Dr. Herrmann. One of the advertised benefits is that jade rollers will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; but they don’t actually stimulate collagen production, she says.
We also don’t know whether a rose quartz or amethyst roller works better than jade.
Finally, if you have sensitive skin, or a condition such as eczema (atopic dermatitis), acne, or rosacea, avoid jade rollers. Because these tools increase blood circulation, they can irritate your skin and exacerbate your symptoms, says Jaliman.
How to Incorporate Jade Rolling Into Your Routine
Keep your existing skin-care routine. “A jade roller shouldn’t replace helpful products like topical retinoids, antioxidants, or growth factors, or in-office treatments like laser resurfacing, which has been shown to stimulate collagen synthesis,” says Dr. Herrmann. (Growth factors refer to topical ingredients that increase collagen production, according to a review published in November 2016 in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology.) Rather, a few times a week, she recommends using a roller to promote lymphatic drainage or for relaxation benefits.
As for the how-to, Jaliman suggests first cleaning your jade roller with soap and water; next, cleanse the skin and apply a serum; then start rolling. “Roll on gently with an upward motion (against gravity), and do not apply too much pressure. Pressing too hard can cause irritation,” she says.
Bestselling and Top-Rated Jade Rollers
Best Combo Pack
A double-ended jade roller to hit small (around the eyes) and larger (cheeks) areas of the face. It’s also said to be “sound-free,” meaning you won’t have to deal with the little squeaks that some tools make. The package comes with a gua sha, a complimentary sculpting tool that’s used similarly. At less than $20, it’s well priced, making it a great intro product if you’re still on the fence about jade rolling.
Try Jade Roller and Gua Sha Set, $19.98, Amazon.com
Best Rose Quartz
Not all “jade” rollers are made from jade; some are pink because they’re made with rose quartz. This one wins the top reviews on Nordstrom’s website because it’s beautiful, well-made and sturdy, and, at $28, is priced far below others sold at prestige retailers.
Try Skin Gym Rose Quartz Crystal Facial Roller, $28, Nordstrom.com
Best Vibrating Roller
This one also takes a battery and vibrates, which the company says amplifies the effects. (Though there’s no research proving that it would.) Still, you may find the vibrating touch more relaxing. It also offers an “eye press” for targeting under-eye bags.
Try Finishing Touch Flawless Contour Vibrating Facial Roller & Massager, $19.88, Amazon.com
Best Facial Roller Set
This set comes with a roller that you can change out into jade, rose quartz, and amethyst. Best for people who like the feel of a smaller, rounder roller ball. Reviewers rave about the high-quality stones. Another perk: because these stones are interchangeable, you can stash the other two in their bag in the fridge so that you always have a cool one at the ready.
Try Sephora Collection Crystal Facial Roller Set, $34, Sephora.com
Best Body Roller
This is the body version of the face roller, and it’s textured (instead of smooth) to work muscles and aid tension release. The ridges are what make it: They’re amazingly soothing — it feels as if you’re getting a full-body massage. Plus, the roller itself is a work of art right down to the handle.
Try Esker Allover Roller, $65, Eskerbeauty.com
The Takeaway on Jade Rollers for Skin Care
The bottom line is that while there’s no scientific proof that jade rollers will benefit your skin in any way, they can still fit into your skin-care routine. “I like these jade rollers. They’re a good price point, and they can be complimentary to in-office treatments,” says Jaliman.
While they can’t smooth wrinkles, they may decrease puffiness, give you a glow, and at the very least be a fun addition in your skin-care routine. Just keep in mind they’re no replacement for other healthy skin-care staples. Now get ready to roll.