At Kiehl’s, we believe a skincare routine doesn’t have to be a chore. Whether it’s a weekly face mask or taking a little extra time to massage in your hand cream, these steps can have a positive impact on your skin and potentially help calm your mood. They’re the perfect blend of skincare and self-care. One easy way to add a bit of extra pampering to your daily routine is to incorporate skincare tools.
Jade rollers, gua sha stones, and metal eye-rollers are just a few of the common tools that can be used alongside your favorite Kiehl’s products. While the best skincare tools and devices were once reserved for aestheticians’ treatment rooms, recently, these tools have been making their way into the mainstream as part of at-home skincare routines.
Chances are good you’ve at least seen one of these tools, but might not have known what it is or what it can do. To help you better understand how tools can be incorporated into an everyday routine, we’ve put together this guide to skincare tools. Keep reading to learn how to use skincare rollers, gua sha stones, and other skincare devices, plus the best Kiehl’s products to pair them with.
1. FACIAL ROLLERS
A facial roller is a handheld massaging tool that usually has two ends—one larger and one smaller—made of stone. Each rounded head has a rolling action that helps it perform lymphatic massage (a gentle form of massage that encourages the flow of lymph fluid to reduce puffiness) and relieve muscle tension in the face. Research suggests that facial massage can help improve skin blood flow and have an anti-aging effect.
Two of the most common types of facial rollers are jade and rose quartz, both of which have gained recognition not just because they look beautiful atop your vanity, but because they’re said to help skincare products like serums and oils absorb better.
Jade rollers have been used for centuries in Chinese culture, purportedly boosting circulation and reducing swelling by helping remove any excess fluid. They were said to be part of the beauty routine of emperors.
As for rose quartz facial rollers, they’re often recommended for reducing facial puffiness and promoting lymphatic drainage. The rose quartz stone is believed to have calming properties and encourage self-love, making it ideal for your self-care ritual.
How To Use:
To use either a jade roller or a rose quartz face roller, start by applying a serum or face oil all over your face and neck. A facial roller will help evenly spread the product over your skin. After smoothing your formula of choice onto your skin, start at the base of the neck and roll the larger stone upward to the underside of the chin. Then, roll in an upward and outward motion from the center of the face, rolling each section three times. Move across the forehead, from the center toward your ears. With the small stone, work it in between the eyes, around the orbital bone, and down the center of the nose.
For nighttime, we love using a face roller with Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil. The moisturizing formula with lavender essential oil and evening primrose oil helps smooth and firm skin’s appearance and absorbs easily, thanks to a lightweight texture. It also works to replenish skin at night, which is when skin is most receptive to repairing itself.
Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum pairs perfectly with a face massage as well. The light hyaluronic acid serum is suitable for all skin types and is clinically-demonstrated to boost radiance and improve resilience for healthy-looking skin.*
*Based on a 4-week clinical study on 58 subjects tested in urban and polluted environments.
2. ICE ROLLERS
Ice-rolling is a skincare trend in its own right. These handheld skincare tools feature a roller on the end that typically can be removed and popped into your freezer to be kept on ice—literally. The idea behind using an ice roller is that it will help de-puff, much like applying ice after an injury can help reduce swelling. This may be helpful for under-eye bags, for example, as using a cool compress can help reduce puffiness. A chilled ice roller can also feel refreshing and soothing on your skin.
How To Use:
Using an ice roller is much the same as using any type of facial roller, but you’ll need to store it in the freezer first. Once it’s cold, roll it over your skin with gentle pressure. When you’re finished, be sure to clean the tool before putting it back in the freezer near your food (more on how to clean skincare devices and tools later).
3. METAL EYE ROLLER
Think of this little metal orb as a much more user-friendly and ergonomic version of the old “cold spoons on the eyelids” trick. The round metal orb has smooth sides that make it ideal for gliding gently over the eye area without tugging or pulling at the delicate skin around your eyes.
How To Use:
This tool is very simple and intuitive to use. After cleansing skin, apply a moisturizing eye cream, like Avocado Eye Cream. This formula with avocado oil and shea butter offers all-day hydration, improves under-eye texture, and helps de-puff. Take the eye roller and place it under the eye, starting at the inner corner. Gently sweep in an outward motion, making sure not to press too hard. Repeat this action for a few minutes, or until your eyes look revitalized.
4. GUA SHA STONE
These flat stones can be made from a few different types of crystals, but the two most common are rose quartz and jade. They can also come in a variety of shapes that range from butterflies to crescents to simple rectangles. Gua sha stones work similarly to jade rollers in that they are a form of facial massage. But, instead of rolling, you are gliding and sweeping the tool over the face. Studies have shown that gua sha treatments can be used to improve circulation, much like other forms of facial massage. Beyond this, it’s rumored that gua sha can also help visibly lift, firm, and slim the appearance of your face in addition to de-puffing and reviving dull skin.
How To Use:
There are different techniques for using a gua sha stone, depending on the results you’re seeking. You can use different edges of the stone, change which direction you work in, and adjust how much pressure you apply. For this reason, it’s best to first watch a professional to help hone your technique—our Kiehl’s Customer Representatives can show you how in-store. You can also use the same movements you would use for a jade roller. Angle the stone at a 45-degree angle, then stroke upward and outward in the direction of the perimeter of your face.
Be sure to cleanse your skin and apply a generous amount of face oil or moisturizer before you begin the massage. We recommend Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate Face Oil. This oil helps visibly reduce skin redness, provides relief from discomfort, and helps balance hydration. The non-acnegenic formula contains hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil and can be used on all skin types, including sensitive and blemish-prone skin. Another option is Daily Reviving Concentrate Face Oil. The antioxidant-packed formula revitalizes skin for a radiant, glowing complexion that looks fresh and healthy-looking all day.
5. MICRODERMABRASION DEVICE
There’s a lot to love about skincare tools, but one aspect we haven’t touched on is that they can sometimes bring treatments that would typically be done by a dermatologist into your own home. For example, while you can have microdermabrasion done by a derm, there are also at-home microdermabrasion devices.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive treatment that exfoliates the skin, and with time, helps it appear smoother, brighter, and more even in tone. Keep in mind, however, that in-office and at-home microdermabrasion do differ—a treatment performed by a dermatologist will go deeper into the skin. While both are used to address the same concerns (dull skin, uneven tone and texture, age spots, and dark spots), how dramatic the results are will vary.
How To Use:
To try microdermabrasion at home, start with clean, dry skin. From there, it’s best to follow the directions that coordinate with the specific device you’re using.
6. DERMA ROLLER
Microneedling is another skincare treatment that is associated with dermatologist offices but can be brought home with you. This treatment involves using a derma roller, a device unlike the other rollers on our list. It features thin needles that are rolled over the skin. This creates tiny wounds, which stimulate collagen production. Derma rollers are used to improve the appearance of large pores, wrinkles, and scars, especially acne scars and stretch marks.
Again, you can’t expect the exact same results from an at-home tool that you would from your dermatologist. According to experts, at-home microneedling devices have shorter, duller needles and provide a temporary brightening effect.
How To Use:
Since derma rollers do feature needles, we recommend closely following the directions that come with your tool. You can also discuss at-home derma-rolling with your dermatologist before attempting it.
7. FACE CLEANSING BRUSH
Your hands are skincare tools in their own right. They can smooth on serums and massage face scrubs over your skin. When it comes to cleansing, all you really need is your face wash, water, and your hands. However, a face cleansing brush can give your routine an upgrade. These tools can be used for a deeper clean, and some also provide exfoliation at the same time. There are electric options as well as manual ones, depending on your preferences.
How To Use:
Apply a small amount of Ultra Facial Cleanser to the head of your cleansing brush. If your brush is electric, switch it on. Wet your face and begin working it over your skin in circular motions. You won’t need to use a lot of pressure; the brush should be doing the heavy lifting for you. Once clean, wash away the cleanser residue and follow with moisturizer.
8. SKINCARE FRIDGE
This tool may not be quite like the others on this list, but there’s a reason pictures of mini beauty fridges are replacing skincare shelfies. Enough of a reason that we think they’re deserving of your attention. A skincare fridge is simply a small fridge where you can store your favorite skincare products and even some of your skin tools.
How To Use:
Try stowing a facial roller and Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate in your skin fridge, then use the two together. You’ll love how the cool stones and serum feel on your skin, and as you’ve already heard, their cooling action can have a de-puffing effect.
How To Clean Your Skincare Tools
You’re probably aware that when you don’t wash your makeup brushes and tools it can take a toll on both your makeup routine and your skin (even if you don’t always follow this beauty rule). The same idea can be applied to skincare tools. Not only will your tools not work as well when unclean, but you can end up spreading bacteria all over your complexion when you use a dirty jade roller or gua sha stone. This can reverse the benefits of even the best skincare tools.
Certain tools, like derma rollers and facial cleansing brushes, have replaceable heads, so you can pop them off and start fresh as needed. Others need regular cleansing sessions for you to keep using them. To clean a facial roller or gua sha stone, wet your hands and lather a small amount of a gentle facial cleanser between your palms. Roll your skincare tools over your hands to work them through the cleanser, then rinse them off.
If your skincare tools are coated in a lot of product buildup, you can give them a more thorough cleansing by soaking them in a bowl of warm water with a little soap mixed in. After a 15-minute soak, pull them out, give them a rinse, and lay them on a towel to dry. Keep in mind, this cleansing isn’t meant for any electric skincare devices, like a microdermabrasion tool.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: You can also sterilize skincare tools by spritzing them with alcohol and letting them air-dry.
Next: Find more ways to pamper your skin with The Best Moisturizing Face Masks For Every Skin Type.