Perhaps you couldn’t say no to just one more episode of your favourite Netflix show, or you went out with your friends and that extra Martini sounded too good to pass up, and now you woke up to tired, puffy eyes and wish there was a way to fix your look without makeup.
Meet the jade roller, a traditional Chinese anti wrinkle beauty tool – Anti Aging Jade Roller that has been used since at least the 7th century. Every powerful woman of ancient China treasured her jade roller and it was even used by Chinese royalty to remove negative chi and ward off bad vibes – Empress Cixi is said to have used a jade roller on her skin. Today, the jade roller’s real claim to fame is that it reduces facial puffiness, swelling, fine lines, dark circles and inflammation by massaging the lymphatic system (an extensive drainage network that helps keep body fluid levels in balance and defends the body against infections). Used by celebrities like Kylie Minogue, the Jade Roller instantly brightens the skin’s complexion. The jade provides a relaxing personal facial massage and feels soothing and calming on the skin. Beauty addicts everywhere, from Victoria’s Secret and runway models to aestheticians to the stars, credit the jade roller for improving a long list of skincare problems. Also, every other week a new celeb is touting its heaven-sent healing powers.
Jade Rollers feature cylindrical pieces of jade – a semi-precious stone that ranges in color from green to white to lilac to brown to almost black – attached to a handle. They’re often dual-sided, which means that you can target either a large area or harder-to-reach spots like under your eyes or around the nose. The idea is that the Jade Roller supposedly has benefits both practical (brightens the skin’s complexion, detoxes your skin through the promotion of lymphatic drainage, boosts your blood circulation, massages your underappreciated lymphatic system) and metaphysical (ditching bad energy, balancing chi), if you buy into that sort of thing. Somewhere in there also lies a deeper sociological meaning to its sudden surge in popularity, something about it representing a perfect synthesis between fetishisation of the Asian beauty-routine mystique (Jade has been a staple throughout Asia for centuries due to its spiritual, decorative, and energetic qualities) and our hi-tech beauty-device fatigue.
We already know that Jade Roller looks good on Instagram, but the question is do they actually work and how much of the talk is hype and how much of it is legit?
“Jade rollers, when rubbed on the skin, create a facial massage which improves blood circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage, reduces puffiness and under eye circles and enhances elasticity of the skin,” explains Dr. Suzanne Friedler, a dermatologist in Holtsville, New York and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital. “Jade rollers have also been touted for decreasing wrinkles, tightening pores and enhancing penetration of topical creams and serums.”
Whether it actually delivers on all those things varies from person to person. However, many well-informed people swear by its efficacy.
“I personally use the jade roller on myself every morning to wake up my skin and to get my blood flowing. I love the coldness from the stone on my skin. It helps to decrease puffiness under the eye area, which is key if you have kids or an active lifestyle,” says Jayme Bashian, a New York State Licensed Medical Aesthetician and a director and lead medical aesthetician of Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa, a division of Advanced Dermatology PC and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. “I have a few acne patients who have purchased the jade roller to help with inflammation on the skin and they find that gently rolling it over the acne soothes their breakouts.”
But I don’t need a dermatologist — or anyone else, for that matter — to tell me what I’ve found out firsthand. I have to admit that I strongly doubted that this would work. However, after trying it I have to say that the simple act of jade-rolling is one of the best non-drug alternatives I’ve ever tried for easing my chronic anxiety. I suggest using a jade roller (I like the one from Herbivore Botanicals) for about five minutes, twice per day, after washing your face and applying your creams or serums to help it glide more smoothly and to promote better absorption. Some people say that the most important thing to remember is to always roll in an upward motion.
“It’s important to massage in upward strokes to promote lifting,” explains esthetician Gina Pulisciano, the founder of Alchemy Holistics. “I also pay special attention to massaging the eye area and around the fine lines in the forehead, between the eyebrows, and the laugh lines around the mouth”.
The key to a successful treatment is to keep your roller cold and clean, so you should put your jade roller in the freezer for a couple of hours or in the refrigerator overnight. It’s also very important to massage gently around delicate areas because if it’s rubbed too vigorously, rollers can create irritation or even potentially aggravate acne and spread infections such as cold sores. One more thing worth noting is that the jade roller has the potential to harbor bacteria, so you should gently wipe it down with warm soapy water after each use — and don’t share it with anyone else.
Now you can sit down in front of the TV with your roller, have a glass of red wine, apply a few drops of oil, moisturizer or mask to your face, give yourself a little face massage, and let your mind go to another, more meditative place.
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