You may have seen images of these emerald coloured utensils on Instagram and wondered what exactly they do. Jade rollers and gua sha are tools derived from ancient Chinese beauty rituals.
Both tend to be made from a jade stone (though gua sha aids can also be made from horn, yak bone or crystal), a material that has been viewed as being intrinsically valuable in China for centuries.
The jade roller is a facial massage tool, which can be rolled under the eyes and across the face and neck to stimulate circulation. It is said to be soothing when rolled over a sheet mask and a good way to enhance the serum absorption from the mask.
It has been claimed that jade rollers can aid skincare absorption, reduce dark circles and have “anti-ageing” effects, but Dr. Anton Alexandroff, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson says there are no publications in well-established medical journals that say jade rolling has proven beneficial effects.
“More scientific research is needed to establish if it is effective,” he said, but adds: “jade rolling is a pleasant experience,” - so if you enjoy it and find it relaxing, there is no reason to avoid it.
Gua sha itself translates as ‘scraping’ and can be used all across the body resulting in momentary red bruising. We don’t recommend you google images for gua sha as you’ll most likely never try it due to the scary images of reddened skin but facial gua sha is more gentle.
The aim of gua sha is to use the different sides of the thin stone tool (which has curved edges and a heart shaped indentation at one end) to rake across the skin gently and fit around the edges of the jaw line, across your forehead and cheekbones.
The shapes of a gua sha and a jade roller differ, but both offer a massaging effect, so it’s down to preference which one you choose. One difference is that jade has a naturally cooling effect, so gua sha tools which aren’t made of jade won’t feel as cool to the touch.
Top tip: The motion to use with both the jade roller and gua sha tool is to move upward and outward across your face. Be gentle as dragging and pulling the skin harshly can cause soreness.
If you are after the cooling effect of a jade roller, make sure the one you buy is actually made of jade as some cheaper versions may just be green glass.
Gua shas vary in shape but always have a round, curved and flat side. You can get a white lotus jade gua sha from Cult Beauty for £24 or a rose quartz version from Amazon for £10.99 that is very pretty.
Which one do you prefer to use? Let us know in the comments below.