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Face rolling 101: How to do it and why

As the latest go-to gadget – and Instagram ‘star’ – the face roller has become every beauty fan’s skin essential, promising to de-puff, firm up and deep treat, but are you using it right? NEWBY HANDS asks the experts


Why is face rolling so good?

“Face rolling works on so many levels, from stimulating blood flow so you get more nutrients and oxygen to your skin, to draining fluid, to giving a deep-tissue massage,” explains aesthetician Joanna Czech, whose cryo roller is a key part of her famous facial – both Kim Kardashian and Cate Blanchett are regulars. “The idea is to recreate my manual massage. I really hate massaging my own face, so making a tool that did it for me made sense,” she says. Her cryo roller works on a deep level: you literally see it lifting and holding the cheek muscles as you roll. “Regular massage or rolling really will change the shape of your face,” she says. Just like the muscles in our body, face muscles get tight, hold tension and become lax through lack of use.

According to LA aesthetician Angela Caglia (whose famous rose quartz face mask could have an Insta account of its own), rose quartz rollers not only help to drain and contour the face, they’re also believed to help boost self-esteem, while jade rollers are said to ward off negative energy. “Plus, the stones stay naturally cold, so rolling in the morning gets the circulation going and helps calm inflammation and redness,” says Caglia.


Your rolling regime

Whichever face roller you use, the key is to roll upwards in one direction, never up and down. Repeat up to five rolls in each area: first roll outwards under the jawline, then out under the cheekbone, then along it. Finally, roll flat along the brows (if used chilled, this is great for a headache), then upwards on the forehead. “You can work more slowly over the neck and jawline, but be brisk to firm over and under the cheeks,” says Czech.

Both experts say that when draining fluid to contour the face, you need to roll up at an angle to the side of the face and then take the roller down to near the ear: “This drains away the fluid into the lymph nodes,” says Caglia. You can keep your roller chilled in fridge, but most stay cold naturally; that said, using an extra-chilled roller tightens pores, firms skin and wakes up a weary face at the end of a long day, making it particularly good pre-party. “Use it two to three times a week, for at least five minutes, and you’ll see the difference to your face in a couple of weeks,” says Czech.

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More benefits of rolling

Many people use face rollers over a sheet mask to help the ingredients penetrate more deeply, but you can also use a roller as the final step in your skincare routine for the same reason, to boost the absorption of products (Czech’s tip is to use a roller with her favorite Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, or with a mix of moisturizer and Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum). Even better, using a roller over makeup gives skin a beautiful healthy glow and helps achieve a more natural, less made-up finish. And while we know all the benefits of chilling our rollers, Caglia also warms hers to use “like a hot stone massager. Dip it in hot water for 30 seconds, dry and then use over a sheet mask, serum or face cream. It’s so relaxing.”

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The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.