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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 what is face rolling exactly, and are you doing it right? NEWBY HANDS asks the experts

Beauty

What is face rolling?

Made typically from jade, rose quartz or another crystal, these paint-roller type face rolling tools are designed to be used to gently massage the face and stimulate the lymphatic system to get rid of toxins, ease muscle tension, decrease puffiness and stimulate blood-flow to increase your skin’s glow. This act of massage over the skin (always with an oil or serum for slip) is key to draining excess fluid from the face and, with regular use, will tone and lift the skin. Some face rollers have two ends: one with a large-sized stone – intended for the forehead, cheeks, jawline and neck – and one with a smaller stone, which snugly fits under the eyes.

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 face 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.

The benefits of face rolling

Many people use face rollers over a sheet mask to help the ingredients penetrate more deeply, but you can also use a face 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, face rolling 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.”

How to use a face roller

1. Always do face rolling upwards and in one direction – never roll up and down.

2. Repeat up to five upward rolls in each area. First, roll outwards under the jawline.

3. Next, use the face roller to roll out, towards your hairline, under the cheekbones and then along them.

4. Lastly, roll flat along the brows, and then upwards on the forehead.

5. Work more slowly over the neck and jawline, but be brisk to firm over and under the cheeks, advises A-list aesthetician Joanna Czech.

The expert tip for face rolling

Keep your face roller chilled in fridge. While most crystal face rollers stay cold naturally, using an extra-chilled tool tightens pores and wakes up a weary face at the end of a long day (or early in the morning), making it particularly good to use before an event. It’s also great to use for headaches. “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.

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