This past week has been a tough one for the Black community. On top of pressing concerns about Covid-19, America showed us the biggest threat to our livelihood is still alive and well with the killing of George Floyd right on the heels of the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black men and women. When you’re dealing with that level of angst and frustration, the stress is bound to show up somewhere. Some released that anger on the streets of their hometowns, where uprisings have erupted in cities big and small. Others are doing the work behind the scenes, keeping others informed and out of jail. Regardless of the type of work you’re doing, the stress of our world is likely building up somewhere in your body, and for many that includes the face.
When we think about skincare, we tend to think about treating and preventing external issues, but jade rolling is a holistic skincare method that not only aids in improving outward aesthetics but helps release underlying tension and other mental and emotional issues that show up on our faces. I stumbled across the brand KungFu Apothecary in my email just weeks before things went from bad to worse, and when I found myself sitting on my couch Sunday afternoon with a clenched jaw, throbbing temples, and tightness in my forehead, I decided to pull out the Ritual Set the brand sent me and get rolling.
The first thing you should know about jade rolling is it’s rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and assists with lymphatic drainage and depuffing of the face, particularly the under-eye area. It also increases circulation, which can make your skin appear more plump, and it boosts hydration when used to roll serums and oils into the skin; hence it’s resurgence as one of the most popular beauty tools around. The second thing you should know about jade rolling is that rollers are made from different crystals which offer different benefits. Jade is obviously one of them, but there are also rose quartz, purple amethyst, and a slew of other crystal rollers to choose from. I requested the White Jade Ritual Set from KungFu Apothecary because, according to the brand, the stone “aids in calming the nervous system, increases the energy of love in your life, makes challenges seem easier, helps heal old emotional wounds, and helps to strengthen eyes and skin.”
My first step to rolling was to apply an oil to my face. The Ritual Set comes with a set of Yin and Yang Balancing Facial Oils to be used with all of their facial tools. I opted for Yin because it’s made up of organic Camellia, organic pure essence of Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, and Rosemary which combine to comfort, calm, and soothe from an aromatherapy standpoint while also tightening and depositing anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties into the skin for a radiant glow.
It’s recommended that you use anywhere from 10-20 drops when rolling or practicing Gua Sha, so I released about three droplets of the oil onto each part of my face before rolling. The oil is very lightweight which allows for the jade roller to glide easily across the skin and it also has a strong aromatic smell, so be prepared.
To roll my eye area, I turned over to the smaller end of the tool and began moving it up to my undereye from my cheek in a vertical motion and then horizontally from the bridge of my nose to my temple. The tool is safe to move across your eyes and you should also pay specific attention to your brow bone and the area between your eyebrows which is where we tend to hold a lot of tension.
From there, I moved to my forehead, another area ripe for stress buildup, and rolled again horizontally and vertically to release the pressure in my face.
I rolled for about 30 minutes Sunday afternoon and, noticing that I’d woken up feeling a bit lighter Monday morning, I rolled for another 30 minutes or so Monday night as well. While there are no rules to the practice, most recommendations encourage rolling in the morning and night for as long as you like, particularly if you’re interested in the drainage and tightening benefits. I like the calming effect rolling has had on me so my plan is to incorporate it into my evening/night regimen. However you’re taking a stand right now, make sure that you take some time to take care of yourself as well.