To indulge or to not indulge. That is the question.
Look, I love luxury pampering as much as the next gal, but I also appreciate there are many spa experiences you can replicate at home. I try to leave the intensive services — the ones that require an experienced hand or specialized equipment — to the pros. But there’s plenty you can do yourself from the comfort of your own couch for a fraction of the price. One of my favorites is face rolling.
The face roller is actually a simple massage tool. It is also usually bundled with a ‘thingamajig’ meant for scraping. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered how to use them and whether they really do anything. Estheticians say they do, so they must do something.
And even though the pretty jade face rollers are getting popular in modern spas again, the techniques behind facial massage is really rather old. Using cool stones on the skin dates back thousands of years to ancient China.
Targeting the body’s largest organ (the skin), stone rollers stimulate blood flow and encourage elasticity. Studies, including one from 2018, revealed people who had a 5-minute facial with a massage roller had increased blood flow to the area for at least 10 minutes after the massage. After about a month, blood flow response to the daily heat was significantly improved.
Beauty pros say rolling and using the accompanying gua sha tool (that’s the correct name for the flat, scrappy device) helps de-puff eyes, temporarily tighten skin, and help serums better absorb. I also believe it makes my pores less visible, but you can decide that for yourself.
Here’s how to use a face roller in your own home
Here’s how to get started. I keep the jade roller I purchased at Nordstrom clean and in the freezer. The iciness is what tightens the pores and calms inflammation and redness. With proper movement, these simple tools give the face a workout.
After you’ve washed your face and applied products or serums of your choosing, get things rolling! Be thoughtful in how you do it, performing gentle motions in the direction you would like your skin to follow. What you want to do is manually promote the stimulation of lymphatic drainage and circulation.
Roll outward, always starting from the center of your face. Upward and away from eyes and mouth. I start below my cheeks and glide up the the ear. Avoid the temptation to move quickly back and forth — instead, go in one direction only. This should be a relaxing experience without tension. Five minutes is enough time; there is no discernible benefit for anything longer. Besides, by then my roller has lost most of its chill.
Many of the roller sets include two sizes. The smaller roller is best suited for tighter spaces, like under the eyes and the side of the nose. I like to pay extra attention to the spot between my eye brows, which can hold a lot of tension.
Finally, I use the gua sha on my neck, using downward movements to push the lymph towards the chest. You can apply slightly more pressure, always matching the shape of the tool to the contour of your face or neck. Other people like to use it along the jaw line, too. The gua sha is more of a slower massage technique which is focused on encouraging lymphatic drainage as opposed to a beauty boost.
Jade and pink quartz or among the most popular types of rollers, but I haven’t noticed any real difference. As long as I cool the tool and moisturize before I begin, the entire experience lends itself to the ‘home spa’ feel. Don’t skip it — you’ll see instant results each time, and you’ll eventually notice massive improvement if you stick with it!