We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Some skin care trends come and go but face rollers are hanging on.
If you’ve (stubbornly) avoided the trend for years now, you may be wondering if all the fuss is actually worth it.
Spoiler alert: Face rollers are totally worth the hype.
These handy facial massage tools give you a quick boost of benefits like depuffing your face, helping your fave lotions and potions absorb, and more. But our favorite part is how freaking good they feel on your face.
Keep reading to learn more about these mighty self-care icons, see our list of the best face rollers, and learn why one deserves a spot in your skin care cabinet.
These face massaging tools have ancient Chinese history and come in a slew of types and styles (more on that in a sec).
Generally, traditional face rollers — the ones you can pick up just about anywhere — are little hand tools made from stone, typically jade or rose quartz.
Standard face rollers have a handle with two stones on either end of it — one that’s anywhere from 1.5 to 2 inches wide and the other one that’s less than an inch long. Think of them as little rolling pins with stones.
But these days, you’ll find allll kinds of face massagers with different designs. Some get stored in the freezer, some vibrate, and others have unique shapes intended to contour your face.
The idea is that these little devices glide over your face to give you a sweet massage and, of course, feel-good vibes.
But are there any proven benefits?
The science behind facial massages is a little skimpy at the moment, so the benefits are more anecdotal than anything right now.
To learn more about rollers, we chatted with Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Associate Professor of Dermatology and the Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
“Despite their popularity, we, unfortunately, have little data on the true effectiveness of facial rollers,” Zeichner says. Ugh.
“Rollers are typically created with cool stones,” he explains. “As they are applied to the skin, the cold temperatures constrict blood vessels and minimize inflammation. The pressure of the roller on the skin is thought to enhance lymphatic flow to eliminate excess fluid.”
Makes sense to us. What other evidence do we have that facial rollers might have legit benefits? Let’s take a look.
Reduce facial puffiness
As Zeichner explains, when used properly and in the direction of lymphatic flow, face rollers can reduce puffiness. “They provide a benefit similar to a lymphatic massage,” he says.
Basically, a lymphatic massage involves applying pressure to the skin in stroking motions to stimulate your lymph vessels. Your lymph vessels are kinda like blood vessels, but they transport lymph (aka fluid) from diff tissues in your body to your lymph nodes to get filtered out. Your body does this all the time to keep you safe from infections (and hella swelling) — it’s called lymphatic drainage.
TBH, there’s not a lot of evidence that your body needs help with this process unless you have lymphatic dysfunction (aka lymphedema, which is either hereditary or the result of surgeries where lymph nodes are removed).
But still, a small study found that facial massage reduced facial sagging in the majority of the study’s participants, who were all healthy volunteers. Some experts believe these benefits are the result of improved blood and lymphatic flow.
So next time you wake up and your face looks a little swollen or puffy (like after a spirited long night out), a facial massage might help drain any stagnant lymphatic fluid and bring that puffiness down.
Boost blood flow
Using face rollers can stimulate blood flow to your face, possibly brightening up your look (think: that glowy look you get after a tough workout). Zeichner reminds us that despite claims that rollers can help stimulate blood flow to the face, this benefit is still considered unclear and unproven.
Potentially reduce signs of aging
It’s safe to say this is one of the most popular reasons people use face rollers.
We already mentioned the small study that found reduced sagging in the majority of participants who engaged in facial massaging.
But another small study suggests that using a facial massager with an anti-aging cream (or, as we like to say, “pro-aging”) reduces wrinkles and neck sagging. One thing to note: the device used in the study was a sonic massager (think: vibrating).
Increase absorption of skin care products
“Face rollers may help enhance penetration of active ingredients in serums,” Zeichner says.
Since you apply a serum or oil before rolling (more on that later), these tools offer a huge assist by gliding the product over and into your skin for you, helping them penetrate more deeply.
This part is still anecdotal though: “Some people believe that the roller should be applied to the skin right on top of your serum, however, there’s no true data showing that they actually enhance penetration of your products,” Zeichner adds.
Soothe and cool your face
Tossing a roller in the fridge is a popular method.
Cold therapy is commonly used to reduce inflammation and pain, so rolling a cool stone over your face may help soothe general inflammation or inflammation from acne, eczema, or psoriasis. (Though it won’t replace other treatments for these conditions.)
OK, hear us out. Massaging your face may be a quick way to improve your mood. According to a 2008 study, facial massages, for some people, may lessen anxiety (hugs face roller tightly). Of course, face rollers are no substitute for mental health resources, and they’re definitely not a cure-all for any condition.
Types and materials vary quite a bit. Let’s take a look at the diff kinds of facial massagers:
Stone face rollers
First up are the common ones made of stones, which in the world of crystals, are believed to have different healing properties. There’s basically zero scientific proof that crystals benefit health or skin, but they can be a fun addition to your skin care ritual.
It’s up to you which stone fits your style, but any choice will massage your face just the same:
- Jade. This is the most common type of roller stone. As Zeichner points out, jade stones have traditionally been used to treat the skin in Eastern cultures. “There isn’t any data to support the use of jade over other stones like quartz. The effects are likely similar to any cool stone on the skin.” Some think jade stones are easier to warm up, so they don’t stay cold as long as rose quartz. This stone is thought to be the one for luck, happiness, and healing.
- Rose quartz. Rose quartz is said to keep cooler longer. We found this to be true in our experience testing face rollers, and that’s what makes rose quartz our favorite type of face roller. If you’re interested in the spiritual meaning behind stones, rose quartz is believed to represent love, joy, kindness, healing, and calmness.
- Amethyst. These aren’t the most popular option out there for face rollers, but some people love ’em. Legend has it that amethyst stones keep you clear-headed. Sounds nice.
Gua sha tools
Pronounced gwah-shaw, these massagers are flat stones with no handle. They’re larger and require you to use your hands more. Some have curves or comb-like ridges on them.
This is a centuries-old “scraping” technique (also called coining) that comes from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) healing method. These tools can be used on different parts of your body, not just your face. When you use it on your face, it encourages the same proposed benefits as face rolling does — improved circulation and lymphatic drainage.
Gua sha massage is also used to treat certain types of pain — like neck pain, back pain, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy — and to help promote muscle recovery, though more research is needed to confirm how effective it is.
Good to know: Gua sha massage on your face is typically applied with *much* lighter pressure than gua sha massage on your body. If you go too hard on your face, you might end up with a hickey-lookin’ redness called petechiae.
These are made for chilling in the freezer. While keeping a traditional stone face roller in the freezer might break it, ice rollers are made from either stainless steel or a gel that’s built for freezin’. Cold rollers help with puffiness, which is why they’re a popular choice for rolling.
Don’t hate us, but we don’t include this type on our list.
Derma rollers are for the brave souls who want to give DIY microneedling a shot at home. These rollers have lots of little needles on them and the idea behind the little wounds they create is that it promotes collagen and elastin production.
It’s best to leave needlework to the pros though. When derma rolling goes wrong, it can lead to infections, scratches, inflammation, and more (eek!).
Other face rollers
Some face rollers have two (or more) pronged ends with little rolling balls that roll back and forth to stimulate your face. Some vibrate to get the blood flowing, some look like small electric toothbrushes or razors — you get the idea.
The point is, there are millions of these guys out there in lots of different styles.
You can grab a face roller from almost anywhere and get rolling. These things are E V E R Y W H E R E. Does that mean every roller is well-made, will last a good while, and is actually made from the stone the packaging claims? Absolutely not.
The hella squeaky jade roller you picked up from Walmart for eight bucks isn’t necessarily the highest quality option (yes, we’re speaking from experience). *But* that doesn’t mean you have to scrape the bottom of your wallet to get yourself a nice one.
Like Zeichner tells us, the cost of the roller often depends on the brand itself, construction quality, and the materials used to hold the stone in place (i.e., metal versus plastic).
“There is no data I know of that suggests a $200 roller performs any better than a $20 one,” he says.
While shopping for and testing the best face rollers, we kept different budgets in mind, along with things like:
- Material and quality. We looked only at quality materials (aka no plastic, please) and made sure the design seems sturdy according to reviewers.
- Reviews. OFC, reviews were carefully combed through, making sure we picked out rollers that deliver on promises and seem to get an overall thumbs up from buyers.
- Brand reputation. We shopped from brands that have strong reputations and trusted products.
- User experience. We tested a few ourselves to see how they performed first-hand. Plus, we checked to see how reviewers’ experiences compared with ours.
Best rose quartz face roller
Beauty By Earth Rose Quartz Roller
- Price: $$
- Features: genuine rose quartz sourced from Brazil
No way around it — we love this roller. The brand promises this roller will never squeak or squeal — and they really mean it.
We tested this one ourselves and have rolled away with it for weeks now and not one squeak out of her. It’s also very sturdy and constructed well. It has a nice heavy feel in your hand (we don’t like whispy rollers, y’all).
Rose quartz is our favorite stone for face rolling because it stays cool for a long time — we love popping it in the fridge for a chilly effect.
You’ll see this brand on our list a few times, and for good reason: They make honest products. Beauty By Earth is a small business with a commitment to vegan, organic ingredients. The brand’s products are never tested on animals and are also reef-friendly. Plus, every product is made without:
- synthetic dyes
We also love that the brand provides how-to’s for each of its products — it really makes getting started with a new tool less intimidating.
Best jade face roller
Beauty By Earth Jade Roller
- Price: $$
- Features: genuine aventurine jade sourced from Brazil
We also tested and loooved this jade roller from Beauty By Earth. It has the exact same design as the rose quartz roller above, with the same strong construction.
This roller has that all-metal body, heavy in the hand vibe, and no squeaking.
An important thing to note: Adventurine jade is actually a form of quartz, which is commonly used in jade face rollers. The brand says it’s less expensive and more ethically sourced than real jade, which we like to hear.
And because the main benefit of facial rolling is the pressure and massaging, it works just as well as a “real” jade roller. The only difference is if you’re interested in the history and lore behind crystals — you might need to shell out some extra cash to get a genuine jade roller (aka jadeite or nephrite).
Best amethyst face roller
Skin Gym Amethyst Crystal Facial Roller
- Price: $$
- Features: made with two amethyst crystals
TBH, it’s tough to find glowing reviews for amethyst rollers from any brand for some reason. Most reviews mention breakage — but real amethyst should be just as durable as quartz, so this could be a sign that the stones aren’t real amethyst.
What we do know is this option by Skin Gym has the most positive marks from reviewers, although it’s not exactly a budget-friendly option.
It’s certainly beautiful though, so if amethyst is your gem and you’re looking for a gorg roller and don’t mind splurging, this is your winner.
Most reviewers are impressed, loving how sturdy and effective it is. Some also say it’s heavier than jade rollers and can chip if you drop it — but that can happen to any stone tool, so be careful.
Best budget ice roller
Beauty By Earth Ice Roller
- Price: $
- Features: large roller head, no squeaks
We love our facial tools as cold as possible, so we were thrilled to test this ice roller from Beauty By Earth.
This one is made from what the brand calls a gel and water core that’s supposed to stay cool for up to 15 minutes of rolling. The handle is plastic with a nice grip to it and like other rollers from this brand, it doesn’t squeak. 🙂
Ice rollers are literally made for the freezer, so they’re 1000 percent safe to freeze — there’s virtually zero chance of them cracking.
To use it, you’ll want to freeze it for at least 30 minutes. In testing, it was definitely a chilly experience — but we secretly wished it was even colder after 30 minutes. For reference, chilling a rose quartz roller in the fridge gives a comparable temperature to this one.
But! We liked that the head is larger than a stone roller, so it rolls more of your face at once. The gel is also softer than stone, so if you’re looking for a gentler cooling experience, this is a great choice. The price point is very fair for an ice option, BTW.
Best face roller on Amazon
BAIMEI Face Roller and Gua Sha Set
- Price: $
- Features: both roller and gua sha
If you want a good bang for your buck without leaving your Amazon cart, this set is a solid deal for you.
It comes with a face roller and a gua sha for under $20, making it a good choice for beginners or peeps on a budget. It’s a nice chance to test drive both facial massage methods too.
With over 37k Amazon ratings and a 4.6 out of 5-stars, it’s safe to say Amazon shoppers are into it. You can choose between multiple different colors, but it’s not clear if they’re actually made from different types of stones — it’s possible these are all quartz dyed in different colors.
At any rate, reviewers are super impressed by the quality, especially at the price point. We gave this one a whirl too and are also impressed by how sturdy both tools are. We have the pink version, which feels high quality and naturally cool to the touch. It’s def a great place to start for beginners.
Best gua sha tool
The Bawdy Tool
- Price: $$$
- Features: made of agate stone, unique L-shape
This gua sha tool from Bawdy Beauty is designed by the brand’s founder Sylwia Wiesenberg, who says on her website that she was inspired by the female form and the architecture of Zaha Hadid.
We tested this one and loved using it as a body and facial massager. The unique L-shape makes it super easy to handle and hold — especially when you’re using it on larger areas of your body.
In testing, we followed the brand’s instructions and started with a body moisturizer before using it. We used fast, short strokes on the thigh area, lengthening and widening into sweeping strokes.
It’s amazing how quickly you’ll feel the effects of the massage — it’s especially fab the morning after a leg day workout. The stone warms up quickly too, which also feels hella nice for body massages.
We asked Wisenberg via email how to best use this tool on the face, and she says she uses the short side on her face, jawline, neck, and chest (as she explains, the chest area that can crease after sleeping on your side).
Another cool thing about this pick is that because of the nature of agate stones, no two stones are alike. Our stone has a gray, purple-y color to it while the stone pictured online is more translucent brown.
Another fun fact: These stones are said to promote calmness and harmony.
Best face roller for double chin
Skin Gym Face Sculptor Beauty Roller
- Price: $$$
- Features: sculpting design
First thing’s first: an at-home tool isn’t likely to give you any miracle results, especially for something like a double chin. *But* rollers and gua sha tools can be used to reduce puffiness and release tension around your jawline.
This one, with its simple two roller ball design, is supposed to offer deep kneading action. The tool is designed to fit around the natural contours of your face.
Rolling this tool in upward motions around your chin could relieve tension around your jaw. And while this isn’t enough to change the way your face looks, it could be a great addition to daily exercises and stretches to fix your posture or lose excess weight that could be contributing to a double chin.
One reviewer mentions they bought it for TMJ but as a nice bonus, they notice a lifting and firming effect too. Other comments mention it being well-constructed, cooling, and built for handling pressure.
Best vibrating face roller
Flawless by Finishing Touch Flawless Contour
- Price: $
- Features: rolling massage head with controlled vibrations
Many vibrating rollers can easily hit the $200 mark. But this budget option seems to surprise and impress tons of reviewers.
We like that it has rose quartz stones like a traditional roller, but also vibrates (many vibrating options are sans stones and look like electric razors). Plus — like we learned earlier — vibrating facial massagers might reduce signs of aging better than their nonvibrating counterparts.
A battery is also included, which adds to the sweet deal.
First, decide how you want to use your roller.
Think you’ll prefer a handle? Grab a traditional roller. Or are you up for a “scraping” experience and don’t mind maneuvering the gua sha (sans handle)?
Next, think about which stone sounds best to you — keeping in mind that rose quartz tends to stay cool longer while jade is more adaptable to temperature. (There are other stones available too.)
If you want a large surface area to roll with, consider an ice roller, which is designed for freezer benefits and has a larger head.
Of course, think about your budget too. You’ll want a roller that’s built nicely (no squeaking!) and will last you a while. But you don’t have to empty your pockets for these either. We enjoy rollers that feel heavy in your hand rather than flimsy and are available at reasonable price points.
The nice thing about using a face roller is it’s pretty tough to eff up.
Step 1: Prep your skin. Don’t use a face roller or gua sha over broken skin or any painful, sensitive areas, like cystic acne or eczema. You don’t want to hurt yourself or irritate these sensitive areas. As Zeichner tells us, face rollers are nonirritating when used properly and he says they can generally be used across all skin types. “My only caution is not to use them on a dirty face, as this may block the pores by pushing swelling on the skin into your follicles,” he says.
OK, so wash your face and make sure you’re free and clear of any broken skin or sensitive areas.
Step 2: Lube it up. When it comes to typical face rollers (jade stone, rose quartz, amethyst, etc.) you’ll simply apply one of your favorite facial skin care products directly to your skin and get to rolling.
You can use your fave facial oil, serum, or just a simple facial moisturizer. The key here is to use something to get things slippery-ish so that you’re not yanking away on a dry face.
Step 3: Start at your neck or jaw. You can start at your neck if you’d like, or you can just stick to your face by starting at your jawline. If you do start at the neck, make sure you’ve applied serum or oil to this area too. You’ll want to make sure you’re always rolling in an upward motion — not back and forth and never downward (shrieks in skin care).
Go ahead and roll upward all the way toward your ear. Do this on both sides of your face (of course) and be sure you’re being gentle pressure-wise. You don’t want to go to town with this. The idea is a gentle pressure massage for your face using your new fave beauty tool.
Step 4: Eyes on the prize. Notice your roller probably has a baby-sized stone on the opposite end. This smaller stone is ideal for use under your eyes. Use the same upward motion under your eyes and of course, be careful around your peepers.
Step 5: Don’t forget your forehead. For rolling your forehead, use an upward motion starting at your brows and going up toward your hairline. These strokes will be shorter than those on your jawline and cheekbones.
How long to face roll
You may be tempted to face roll for a long time (because it’s relaxing as hell) but according to a 2018 study, rolling your face for just 5 minutes can boost blood flow to your cheeks.
Be sure to cut yourself off if your cheeks feel sore or if your serum or moisturizer is all soaked in and isn’t helping your glide anymore. As a good rule of thumb, keep the rolling around 5 to 10 minutes.
How often to face roll
It’s generally safe to use these daily. In fact, since results are temporary (rolling your face once today isn’t going to show you amazing results by tomorrow), consistency is key.
We like to use our rollers in the morning to massage any puffiness from snoozing. Plus, it’s a nice way to get the day started. You can also face roll at nighttime as a part of your bedtime routine.
Using a gua sha
These work a little differently than rollers do. First of all, there’s no handle. So, using one is literally more “hands-on” and requires a little more finessing.
You’ll still start with a serum or oil and use a sweeping upward motion — up and out. You’ll hold the stone relatively flat against your face, never at too much of a sharp angle.
All gua shas have a relatively flat edge, but if yours has a curved side (it’s usually heart-shaped) you can use that curve for “carving” or contouring your face. The curve is useful if you use it around your jawline — it’s a nice fit for this area. You can also use it to “carve” your cheekbone area.
The flat side is ideal for the area that starts around your smile line and up into your cheeks. This whole gua sha process is called “scraping,” but remember being gentle is key — light to medium pressure should do the trick.
Some people start at the neck with these tools, using that curve to get a nice massage effect around the neck and shoulders. You’ll still go in up and out motions with whichever side you use — but you can press the stone down at the end of each stroke to give your temples/jaw/forehead a gentle massage.
The same rules apply to the forehead; start at your brow and go up toward your hairline. The forehead will be a more tender area, so go nice and easy.
Clean your tools!
You can use a soft dry or damp cloth to gently wipe the stone. You don’t want to soak these in water and you should keep hot water away to avoid damaging the stone.
If you love that squeaky clean state of mind, add a gentle cleanser to your damp cloth — nothing harsh!
Finally, your roller should be nice and dry before you store it somewhere clean and safe.
Do face rollers actually work?
The results are temporary and for the best outcome, you’ll need to roll consistently. Luckily, face rolling takes only 5-ish minutes (or more if you have the time) and feels so good. It’s a facial massage, after all.
Which face roller is best?
This will come down to personal preference. Most rollers will perform about the same, although some are sturdier and prettier than others.
The idea is they’re a useful tool for facial massages, which have a slew of proposed benefits, like depuffing and lymphatic drainage. As long as your tool can give you an adequate massage, that’s all you need.
Is a rose quartz or jade roller better?
Rose quartz is said to keep cooler longer. Jade may feel warmer quicker.
In terms of crystal use, symbolism, and ~vibes~, rose quartz is all about love and joy while jade is the one for luck and healing.
Both will roll your face the same, so think about which temp you prefer and which one sparks joy for you.
Do face rollers work for wrinkles?
There are some who say face rolling can help soften lines but facial massages mostly offer temporary help with depuffing and lymphatic drainage. If you want to seriously target wrinkles, go for a sonic facial massager, grab yourself some retinol, or consider getting a professional microneedling session or two.
The science behind face rollers is limited right now. Some small and older studies suggest facial massages can help depuff your face, stimulate blood flow, and maybe improve the look of your skin.
After testing some ourselves, we can say with confidence that facial massages feel good and are a great addition to any skin care routine. Some are reasonably priced and very worth a test roll.
Remember to use yours on a clean face that’s been prepped with a facial serum or oil and always roll in upward and outward motions (never downward or back-and-forth!).