From ancient tool to modern muse, the ritzy history of face rolling

History of rolling - rollers - ancient times in China

Face rollers are paraded as one of the simplest solutions to facial perfection and have swept across social media like wildfire.


Forget plastic surgery, this nifty little tool gives you younger-looking skin without going under the knife or the expense – and results speak for themselves. Users are sharing their before and afters, and facial rolling seems to work at some level on everyone. Some people are even trying it on their grannies, just to be extra sure! And if you fancy trying it yourself (or growing your insta following with face rolling videos), check out our jade, rose quartz, and amethyst rollers right here.


The popularity of face rollers started about four years ago – with no signs of slowing down. Maybe it’s the effects of smoother, de-puffed skin, or the itch to try something innovative and new, but face rollers are hotter than Jason Momoa.


How did face rolling become one of the best beauty trends? Ahead, we look back at the history of face rolling.


The history of face rolling

Face rolling has been around since the time of the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom – used by the Mayans and African Egyptians as a massage and meditation technique for over 5000 years.


It’s believed face rollers were first invented during the Qing Dynasty. For those of us who flunked history, that’s around the time Empress Dowager Cixi ruled China.


If Dowager was alive today, she’d be right up there with the top beauty influencers in the world for setting some serious trends. Each morning, Dowager dusted crushed pearl powder on her face and lathered moisturizer prepared with flower extracts. At night, she applied a facemask of whipped egg whites, before finishing her skin routine off with a jade face roller. It’s believed that very roller – set with gold accents – is today in the Palace Museum’s collection. Now that’s pretty cool, right?


Face rolling and the Western world

While face rollers have always been popular in Chinese culture – albeit reserved for the elite – it wasn’t until 2016 that the ball really started rolling, and these little tools exploded in popularity.

Jade crystal roller facial skin tool

The fame of the face roller was set in stone when Vogue published an article whose headline reads: “Meet the Jade Roller: The Chinese Skin-Care Tool That Tightens, Depuffs and More.” Google searches for the term “jade roller” have nearly tripled since then.


What is face rolling?

You might be wondering what face rolling is? Simply put, it’s like giving your face a little massage, but with an added splash of magic. Face rollers are small handheld wands (think a tiny rolling pin) with the added benefit of healing crystal that you roll across your face.


Just like a cardio workout gives your body a wake-up call, face rollers have the same effect on your facial muscles.


The action of rolling increases blood circulation, rids your skin of nasty toxins via lymphatic drainage, depuffs, and helps smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. It also does a pretty good job of chiseling out long-lost cheekbones and showing jawlines who’s boss.


Face rolling stones tell dazzling stories…

Sure, face rollers are masters at face contouring, but they also hold mystical powers, with the stones themselves, bringing healing and promoting balance and peace.

rose quartz roller benefits

Rollers are made of various crystals that tout different skin-soothing benefits – for example, jade roller calms irritation and inflammation, amethyst roller tightens pores, rose quartz roller reduces tension, blue sodalite roller hydrates, and black obsidian roller helps with acne.


Due to the success of face rollers, many beauty and skincare houses have added tools such as the gua sha – a flat stone used in traditional Chinese medicine treatments said to stimulate oxygenated blood flow – for a complete mini facial.


The takeaway

We can thank Shakespeare for this expression – “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them” – and this age-old quote rings true when it comes to the history of face rolling.


Whatever catapulted the popularity of face rollers from past to post, this buzzy skincare craze has our stamp of approval.


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