Judging from Instagram feeds, bathroom counters across the country, and retailers from CVS to Goop, we have reached Peak Face Roller. Since the jade roller came crashing into the Western consciousness in 2016, not long after it was declared an integral step in Alicia Keys’s no-makeup beauty routine, they have become prolific, thanks in part to their adoption by social media influencers and celebrities like Tracee Ellis Ross and Meghan Markle. Courteney Cox, for one, broke her face roller out at the bar at New York’s Cipriani this summer. Now they are mutating. Their materials span the periodic table, with shapes resembling medieval weaponry … and Mariah Carey’s butterfly tattoo. The traditional Eastern stone devices have been infused with American “advancements” like pulsing electricity and LED lights.
The popularity of these products is understandable. Jade rollers, gua shas, microneedlers, and other face rollers tout the ability to induce radiance, reverse aging, lift eyebrows, drain the lymphs, replace Botox, and fight hyperpigmentation. “The goal with any of these tools is to stimulate the skin or its underlying structures,” says Upper East Side dermatologist Dendy Engelman. “And if you do that, it will help with skin quality, blood flow, fine lines, wrinkles, textures, and tone.”
These benefits only surface if you actually use the tools frequently and correctly, she says. And, when looking for guidance, nearly every aesthetician and dermatologist I spoke to cautioned against trusting Instagram influencer how-tos. Instead, Engelman suggests looking to the company who created your tool for video tutorials. “But if it’s something that you’ve bought on Amazon or have acquired and didn’t come with instructions, go online and find skin-care experts.” Tutorials produced by top-of-the-line tool brands and the world’s best facialists are safe and straightforward resources. Adds Engelman, “The concept for each of these tool categories is going to be the same no matter which brand you’ve purchased.”