This Popular Beauty Tool Can Ruin Your Skin, Experts Warn
While there are many benefits, you should be careful.
If you've spent any time on YouTube watching beauty influencers walk you through their routines, you've probably seen them peddling devices they promise make their skin smooth and supple. From using ice cubes to minimize redness to using vibrating facial massagers, they test everything to get the most glowing visages. But some items can actually do more harm than good. Read on to learn about a popular beauty tool that can ruin your skin.
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This beauty tool can help reduce puffiness and inflammation.
Beauty influencers swear by facial massages to de-puff their faces. Anar Mikailov, MD FAAD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skintensive explains that jade rollers help with lymphatic drainage "as a way to reduce puffy skin and loosen any congestion or fluid build-up."
This is done through a gentle massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluids—"a collection of the extra fluid that drains from cells and tissues"—around the body and leads to a slimmer-looking face, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Known as lymphatic massage, this process helps eliminate waste and toxins from body tissues, like bacteria and proteins, according to Medical News Today and Healthline, respectively. According to WebMD, it is helpful to people who have fibromyalgia and lymphedema, which involves swelling in the legs or arms. Unfortunately, its efficacy hasn't been studied as completely in people who don't have these conditions.
But according to MindBodyGreen, lymphatic massage can decrease puffiness, acne, dryness, and dullness, because you're helping your body and skin heal.
However, it isn't necessarily what your beauty regimen has been missing. According to The Washington Post, "Facial massage—with a stone or otherwise—is not a magical cure for all your skin complaints."
This tool can do more harm than good.
Beth Goldstein, MD, board-certified dermatologist and president of Central Dermatology, explains that jade rollers are dangerous because they can transmit bacteria. "Jade rollers can be a source of bacterial spread if there are any open, infected areas on the skin," she explains.
This can also be an issue for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin because "if used vigorously it can traumatize active acne bumps," spreading bacteria and increasing facial redness.
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It can lead to bruising.
Mikailov warns that jade rollers can potentially lead to breakage and bruising. "The small capillaries and blood vessels of our facial skin are superficial and more likely to be easily damaged, which is why the cheeks and face are often first to turn bright red in situations of high stress or emotion," he says. Using any device, whether it's a jade roller or another facial cleansing tool, can lead to bruising if it's done too harshly and with too much pressure.
If you are dealing with bruising, Mikailov recommends creams with Arnica, which is anti-inflammatory, and vitamin C, which improves the appearance of dark spots, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Jade rollers can lead to loss of elasticity.
If you're not quite sure how to use a jade roller, it could actually harm your skin instead of improving it. Mikailov says "if the skin is pulled in the wrong direction, long-term loss of elasticity and worsening sag is possible." To minimize risk, Mikailov suggests using "an emollient or facial oil so that the jade roller goes over your skin gently" and "not pressing down or tugging too hard on your skin." Using the tool correctly with a gentle hand and facial oil shouldn't be a problem.
Consider using a "chilled" jade roller or an alternative tool.
While Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, FAAD, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, calls jade rollers "relatively harmless as long as the product is clean and you're applying it to clean skin," she also recommends using a "chilled" jade roller to "provide anti-inflammatory effects." She explains that while there are no specific studies on the device's benefits, using a cold stone could "constrict blood vessels to decrease inflammation," which would lead to less redness and puffiness.
But if you're still scared of damaging your skin, she recommends using other types of "cold compresses to similarly decrease puffiness, like a chilled wet washcloth—or chilled cucumbers over your eyes." The next time you want to make sure your face looks pristine, consider using your own hands to gently massage your face. Just add some cucumbers over your eyes, and you'll feel like you're having your own safe spa day.