Face Rolling 101: How To Do It And Why

From being the latest go-to gadget (and Instagram ‘star’), a face roller has become a staple in any true beauty fan’s skin regimen. But to get its full face-sculpting benefits, there’s a right way to roll. NEWBY HANDS asks the experts for the ultimate guide to face rolling…


What is face rolling?

Face-rolling tools are typically made from jade, rose quartz or other crystals, and are designed to be 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, research now shows that face rolling lowers cortisol levels, and cortisol contributes towards aging, according to 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, or any more invasive treatment from machines.” 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 while crystal rollers are naturally cool – especially rose quartz, which is more dense – chill them further in the refrigerator for even better results. “Always use a cream or an oil for ‘slip’ over the skin and gently start rolling upwards and outwards 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 make it quicker by using 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 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.

The benefits of face rolling

You can see the face-sculpting effects of face rolling almost instantly, as it gently drains away puffiness. 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.

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, gently 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.”

The rules of face rolling

1. Always roll 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 to the ear.

3. Next, use the face roller to roll out under the cheekbones to the ear.

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 in the refrigerator. 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