If improving your skincare and overall self care routine is one of your goals for the new year, you may have already come across the concept of jade rolling, and by extension, gua sha.
In a nutshell, a jade roller is a small tool made of, well, jade, that typically has a cylindrical shape on both ends. Originating from ancient China, jade rolling is used to promote skin health, wealth and longevity, due to its perceived healing properties.
Whilst the tool itself has been around for centuries, jade rollers have gained popularity recently in the beauty world, and you can find them at your local Sephora from as little as $20.
If you’re a bit of a cynic like me, before you knock this into the crystals and woo-woo pile, the science behind jade rolling is this: the action of rolling jade across one’s face increases circulation (similar to giving yourself a bit of a face massage), which in turn increases blood flow, which has knock-on effects for improving facial muscle tone, smoothing wrinkles and evening complexion.
Die-hard jade rollers swear by it for a more defined jawline and a brighter complexion — who doesn’t want more glowy skin?!
How to do it
In order to see long term results, a bit of commitment is required. It’s recommended to get rollin’ as part of your everyday skincare routine — like in the morning when you put on your moisturiser.
It’s also recommended to roll with a bit of facial moisturiser, serum or oil to help the process.
Starting at the neck, use the larger end of your roller to apply light pressure in upwards strokes. The key is to always roll upwards, never down or back and forth. This is to aid in lymphatic drainage, or in layman’s terms: de-puffing the face by quite literally rolling out the water like dough.
Once you’ve done your neck, you can do your cheeks, followed by eyes and forehead.
Whilst there’s no real method to how many strokes you need to do, as long as you’re not overdoing it, your face should feel relaxed, and you should feel a boost in blood circulation.
Popping your roller in the fridge overnight is also popular for de-puffing eye bags and an overall at-home-spa vibe.
Also made from jade, gua sha (literally translated to mean “scrape sand”) is another ancient Chinese healing tool that is used to improve circulation. Unlike the roller though, this guy is flat and wide, sort of like a ‘C’ shape.
For this one, you scrape your face with a firm pressure in upwards motions, going from your jawline to your cheek. These strokes also increase blood flow, helping to smooth out the face.
There is a little more science behind gua sha though — it’s used to address stagnant energy in the body (called “chi”), which some health practitioners believe is responsible for inflammation. That being said, some people use gua sha to help with chronic pain.
By incorporating either of these two practices as part of your daily skincare routine, you’ll be well on your way to healthier, firmer, glowier skin in no time!