It seems that everyone worth their Instagram salt is posting a flat lay of their jade roller collection these days. To be honest, I feel like most of the love for them is because they are such beautiful and photogenic skincare tools. But having owned and used my jade roller and gua sha scraping tool for over a year, I feel like I can shed some light on whether or not these pretty, crystal skincare aids are actually worth the hype.
Gua sha (pronounced gwa sha) is an ancient, traditional Chinese self-care tool. They are usually made from jade (also bone or horn, but yuck… Let’s stick with the jade). In Chinese medicine, they are swept across the skin to redirect and manipulate the flow of energy. In our more cosmetically focused and less woo woo world, they are used to relieve tension in the muscles of the face, boost blood circulation to the skin and encourage lymphatic drainage to reduce puffiness and bloating. Some other claims for this facial massage routine is a boost in microcirculation by up to 400%, the reduction of wrinkles, toning and smoothing the skin, boosting collagen, combating dark circles and puffy eyes, defining jawlines and even decongesting the sinuses.
As you can see, it claims to cure all that ails you and turn you into Beyoncé. Not quite the reality, but my own results from using them both have been quite positive.
I tend to favour my gua sha scraper over the jade roller. I find the gua sha is more thorough and effective and although it’s called a scraper, it’s not at all painful or abrasive as ‘scraping’ suggests, the stone is super smooth and soothing. To use, I apply my serum, (currently trying out this Caudalie one and loving it!) then sweep over the skin with even pressure from the center of my face to the outside of my face. Once I’ve done this, I usually sweep from behind my ear down to my collar bone to aid lymphatic drainage. There are tons of Youtube videos showing how to do it, but I really like the product demonstrations on Cult Beauty as they’re quick to the point without all the Vlogger preamble.
The jade roller I find particularly good if I’m doing a bit of pampering or first thing in the morning if I’m feeling tired and/or puffy. I’ll pop it in the fridge then have a bath or face mask, by the time I’m done the stone is super cool and feels gorgeous on the skin. It’s used in much the same way as the gua sha.
After a year of using the gua sha scraper a few times a week, I can honestly report that I’ve noticed a difference. And I’ll definitely be continuing to use both tools for the following reasons:
- Unfortunately, my genes have blessed me with the beginnings of some serious jowls. This was the main reason I looked into facial massage in the first place and this is probably the area I have noticed the biggest difference. I typically use the gua sha scraper every other night after applying my serum and before applying my night cream. It gives instant relief to tight or clenched jaw muscles and has, in my opinion, dramatically reduced my jowlage since I started using it.
- My skincare products seem to work better. I was always a simple (read: cheap) skincare product fan, but after hitting my 30’s I’ve been investing a little bit more. Since using the gua sha and jade roller, my skin has been much more balanced. My guess is that taking the time to massage the serum in each night with the tool has increased its effectiveness. I have no proof for this, just the even skin tone I’ve been enjoying.
- This could also be down to the brightening effect these tools have. As soon as I’ve used them, I find my skin has more colour and looks much more even, likely due to the increased blood circulation.
- Even if I have imagined all of the above benefits (which I don’t think I have) at the very least, it feels bloody lovely. Like any kind of massage, the release from the muscle tension and the stimulated blood flow just feels so nice. Team that with the natural cooling effect of the stone, even without using the fridge, and it’s a little self-care ritual that I just love doing.
- They are pretty enough to leave out on your vanity. Which means I always remember to use them as they are in full view in my bathroom, right next to my skincare products.
Now, a few things to warn you about before you skip off to buy your own set of pretty crystal rollers and scrapers. Be careful where you buy them from and how much for. Typically made in either rose quartz or jade, I’ve heard recently of dodgy products made of dyed glass instead. The price point is usually a good indication of whether or not you’re getting the real deal. Likewise, on the other end of the scale, I don’t see the need in paying £100+ for one of these tools. They are all pretty much the same thing and like most beauty products, someone will capitalise on a huge mark up based on their brand.
And finally, if you do a Google deep dive, you can come up with some posts of people who have bruised or damaged themselves with these tools. My advice (non-medical, just common sense) is that if it hurts to use them, you probably shouldn’t be using them. Or at very least, ease up on the pressure. No need to tenderise your face. It should be relieving and enjoyable.
As for where to buy them, I bought mine from Amazon and although the exact set isn’t available anymore, I’ve included some links in the Shop The Post section below that are similar Amazon products along with some fancier Cult Beauty numbers that would make lovely presents or self-care treats. I’ve also included the skincare products pictured in the header because I’m head over heels in love with them all and my skin is the best it’s been in a long time.
Have you tried out the gua sha or jade rollers yet?
Any skincare tools you swear by?