Why won’t this jade roller solve all of my problems?

At the end of a hellish week like this one, where grown men with more chest hairs than brain cells attacked a 16-year-old girl simply trying to make the world a better place, all we want is a little mood booster to help us momentarily forget about the dumpster fire we are living in right now. 

Even if Donald Trump and Karl Stefanovic’s comments about Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg didn’t fill you with palpable rage, surely something else annoying has left you in desperate need of Expensive And Unnecessary Things to help cheer you up. 

Perhaps your boss? Your mother-in-law? The plumber who failed to show up between the hours of 10am and 3pm? Or maybe just some random lady on the street who was walking painfully slow while you had places to be and people to see, goddammit.

The internet tells us that along with practising gratitude and taking five deep breaths each morning, one of the ways we can soothe our feelings of seething rage, hopelessness and depression, is by using a jade roller.

This adorable little beauty tool looks like a chic miniature paint roller and is designed to be used on the face whenever we feel like we need a little lift.

Looking tired and old? Jade roller. Frustrating day at work? Jade roller. Super depressed because Earth is facing mass extinction? Babe, use a jade roller.  

The jade roller by popular Australian brand Salt By Hendrix. 

The green crystal has been used as a beauty tool in Asian cultures for centuries. It was reportedly used by Chinese royalty and members of high society and holds a special significance, similar to how Western cultures value gold and diamonds. 

Now, the booming Asian beauty industry has collided with the rising popularity of at-home facial devices to create this very tempting new product trend. 

Jade roller fanatics say the crystal’s coolness can reduce swelling and “de-puff” the face, and argue the massaging motions stimulate blood flow and give you a mini lymphatic massage, leaving you looking super glowy. 

Victoria Beckham is a fan, using her jade roller to “contour” her face, while Gwyneth Paltrow says it’s great for when “you’re really tired”.

Meghan Markle’s facialist from her Suits days says she used the device on her A-list client, as does Alicia Keys’ makeup artist Dotti, who sticks her jade roller in ice so it’s “freezing when I roll it over [Alicia’s] skin”. 

Jade rollers are pretty cheap. The most popular brands are Salt by Hendrix ($34.95 from Adore Beauty), Herbivore Botanicals ($30 from their website) and Mount Lai ($51 from Sephora), but you can get way cheaper ones off Amazon. Mine was sent to me by natural Australian beauty brand Indagare Beauty and costs $42. 

So if you want to try out this trend for yourself, at least you’re not parting with too much cash. 

But do they actually work? Keep scrolling to find out what the experts say. 

Friends star Courteney Cox jade rolling in public, in an 
actual
 restaurant. 
Friends star Courteney Cox jade rolling in public, in an 
actual
 restaurant. 

Here is what a jade roller CAN do for your face

Jade rollers can help “de-puff” your face via lymphatic drainage massage. 

Celebrity facialist Jocelyn Petroni (yes, her Woollahra salon offers the best facials in Sydney, if you have a spare $280 up your sleeve), says jade rollers can be “very beneficial”. 

“However, you can also do what these tools do with your hands and utilising the right massage techniques yourself. In saying that, if the jade roller means you’ll actually practise them, then that’s great,” Jocelyn said.

“They are good for lymphatic drainage, but you can do this with your cleanser via the method and technique in your cleansing movements. 

“Work in the direction that the lymphatic system naturally flows, as this will give you the added benefit of lymphatic drainage everyday, at home.”

So, how do you actually give yourself a lymphatic drainage massage? 

Jocelyn says to work from the “centre line of the face out to the ears” and also “under the chin, down the neck towards the heart.”

With my Indagare Beauty jade roller. Personally, I prefer the lighter green. I think it’s more chic. 

This is what it absolutely WON’T do, no matter how hard you try 

Jade rollers won’t make your skincare ingredients “sink in” or “absorb” better. 

Dermatologist Dr Anita Patel, a fellow of The Australasian College of Dermatologists, says there is literally no science behind this theory, so it’s actually impossible.

“Because jade rollers are smooth on the surface, then there is no way they can help the penetration of active ingredients,” Dr Patel said. 

“The only device that would do that is one with little spikes, like a dermal roller, that would create micro holes in the skin, which allows product to penetrate through those holes. A smooth, flat surface can’t do that.”

Case closed. 

Jade rolling with a sheet mask on won’t help the ingredients in the mask absorb into your skin

The Final Verdict

Jade rollers are fun and relaxing, but they’re not going to perform any major skin miracles.

Rolling something nice and cold all over your face can feel super soothing, almost like an act of meditation.

I use mine when I have some extra time up my sleeve and my face is craving that nice cooling effect. I slap on some rosehip oil and massage that thing everywhere for a few minutes, then feel instantly better.

But I’m not under the impression it’s making that oil do anything differently than if I’d just massaged it into my skin with my hands. 

To me, jade rolling is a way to take some time out for yourself and your skin, on those days when it feels like just existing in the world is an uphill battle.

And that’s something we could all use a little more of. 

Words by Beck Sullivan for The Beauty School