Part of the joy of putting skin care products on our faces and bodies is the application process. Massaging lotion into our legs, smoothing moisturizer into our cheeks, tapping eye cream into our under eyes — these movements can feel like small luxuries. There’s a reason why people have a “routine.” It’s comforting and can be a steady presence in the craziness of life.
And while your hands are still some of the best (and cheapest!) tools for product application, there are now a slew of wellness and beauty tools that can further help. These tools are by no means a necessity for treating yourself, but then can help with stimulating your skin differently than your fingertips.
Jade (and other stone) rolling
Jade rolling is an ancient Chinese practice and is exactly what it sounds like — you roll a smooth, cylindrical piece of jade all over your face. The jade roller usually has two ends, one end with a larger jade stone and the other slightly smaller. Some people use it with serums or oils — apply a light layer of the product to the face, and then use the stones to roll in the product in outward, upward motions from the center of your face.
There are other types of stones that you can use in rollers, like rose quartz and amethyst, which people claim have different benefits, such as rose quartz being more friendly to sensitive skin.
Jade rolling is revered for its ability to decrease puffiness in skin and increase circulation — the cool stone has a similar effect of putting cucumbers or spoons over your eyelids.
Others claim that it has anti-aging benefits and can prevent wrinkles, alleviate inflammatory skin concerns and stimulate collagen with use over time. But these claims aren’t scientifically proven, as some dermatologists explain. If anything, jade (and other stone) rolling is a temporary relaxation experience that can help with stress, especially if you incorporate it into a routine.
Gua Sha tools
Gua sha tools are flat, rounded slabs of jade or quartz that are used to massage and uplift the face. It’s similar to jade rolling — they are both ancient Chinese medicinal techniques and use similar stones of jade and quartz, and you can use them with a facial oil.
The difference with gua sha tools, though, are that they designed to be used in uplifting techniques. While there are specific techniques for jade rolling, you can roll them whichever way you want on your face. Gua sha tools are used to “sculpt” or “scrape” your face in upward strokes.
Something to keep in mind for both jade rolling and gua sha tools, though, is that you should disinfect the tools every few uses, just like any other tool or brush you use on your face.
Dry brushing is kind of like using a body scrub but with no product — it’s the idea of running a dry, natural-bristle brush all over your (dry) body to remove dead skin cells and increase stimulation. It’s a great physical exfoliant, but it can’t remove cellulite or help eliminate toxins from your body, according to experts.
Think of it as similar to using coffee as an exfoliant — it’s a temporary cellulite reducer, in that the stimulation of the brushing can help tighten your skin cells for the time being. It’s also creates a stronger experience than exfoliating your skin when it’s wet; because your skin and the brush are both dry, the brushing creates more friction and can remove more dead skin.
That being said, if your skin is sensitive and can already get aggravated by exfoliators, it might be best to avoid the dry brushing, or be extra gentle your first time.
Of all these beauty wellness tools, microneedling is perhaps the most controversial, as the general premise is that you’re sticking tiny needles into your skin. The reason? You’re making tiny injuries in your skin that cause it to produce collagen, according to a dermatologist cited in Byrdie.
The results are plumper skin and the disappearance of dark circles and fine lines. You can purchase a microneedle roller online for as cheap as $20, and use different sized needles (don’t start too large, though, and be careful about how often you microneedle).
All these wellness and beauty tools can create serious results in your skin and offer you another form of relaxation. And honestly, who doesn’t want that?