What is face rolling?
Typically made from jade, rose quartz or other crystals, face rollers are used to gently massage the face and stimulate the lymphatic system to decrease puffiness, ease tension and stimulate blood flow to increase your skin’s glow. Plus, the soothing effects of face rolling are shown to lower cortisol levels – and cortisol contributes towards aging, explains Angela Caglia, the LA aesthetician who first made face rolling famous. “Initially, I started using a roller in my treatments for its cooling effect – it would visibly calm down the skin after a peel or microneedling.” However, face rolling’s power to drain retained fluid and de-puff skin is what really made it a beauty essential.
Does face rolling work?
Yes, if you roll the right way – or, as Caglia says, “if you roll with purpose and not just randomly all over your face. And only roll upwards, not back and forth.” To get that more sculpted effect, she advises rolling in the morning, and, although crystal rollers are naturally cool – especially rose quartz, which is denser – chill them beforehand in the refrigerator for even better results. “Use a cream or an oil for ‘slip’ over the skin and gently start rolling along the jawline, from the chin out to the ear so you are actually draining away the fluid that causes the puffiness,” says Caglia. Do this for at least five ‘rolls’, and then move up, rolling under the cheek bone from the side of the nose to the ear, then up under the eye to the temple and down to the ear. “It should take about five minutes to do your face, working over each area – some of my clients use two rollers at once, doing both sides of their face at the same time, as I do in my facials.”
Aesthetician Joanna Czech developed her face roller specifically to mimic the lifting effects of her hands-on massage. “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 roller works on a deep level: you literally see and feel 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.
The benefits of face rolling
You can see the face-sculpting effects of face rolling almost instantly. However, for longer-lasting lifting benefits, you need to make it a part of your daily regimen. “This helps retrain the muscles, and as you roll upwards, against gravity, you keep lifting and moving the muscles in the right direction,” says Caglia. For makeup artist Pati Dubroff, using a device like a face roller is key for pre-makeup skin prep. “Spend just five or ten minutes with a face roller or microcurrent device and you’ll be amazed at how radiant your skin looks before applying makeup,” she says. “It stimulates blood flow and gets the juices flowing – and when you start applying makeup from that place, as opposed to where your skin looks cold, it makes a big difference.”
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).
The expert tip
While most crystal face rollers stay cold naturally, using an extra-chilled tool tightens pores and wakes up a weary face, 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. Alternatively, Caglia warms hers to use “like a hot stone massager. Dip the roller head in hot water for 30 seconds, dry and then use over a sheet mask, serum or face cream. It’s so relaxing.”