Relieve tension and treat yourself to a soothing facial massage with an inexpensive, can’t-put-down jade roller.

I have always loved worry stones: smooth, small rocks that fit neatly in my hand, to be rubbed and turned over and over. It’s a self-soothing tactic, a task for idle fingers. I am also a chronic face-toucher, hair-detangler, shoulder-knot-massager. So it makes sense that, after being gifted a jade roller six months ago, I can’t seem to put it down.

Stone face rollers are an ancient beauty tool dating back to 7th century China that have recently had a major renaissance among the beauty and self-care crowd. They’re simple: A smooth, round stone mounted to spin on a metal bar with a small handle attached. Allegedly, they support lymphatic drainage and blood flow, helping skin stay taut, rosy, and de-puffed. I don’t know that mine makes me prettier, but I do know that it has become an invaluable tool for migraines, congestion, and generally anxious hands.

Traditionally, these rollers are made of jade, though I have an inexpensive rose quartz one (and I’m skeptical that it’s real quartz at all, to be honest). Using one is simple: you just roll it, in gentle, upward strokes, along your face and neck. They’re best used cold — you can store yours in the fridge — but I keep mine next to my open window and the stone stays cool to the touch. 

Read more: What You Don’t Know About Your Lymphatic System

Woman Using Rose Quartz Jade Roller

Stone face rollers are an ancient beauty tool dating back to 7th century China that have recently had a major renaissance among the beauty and self-care crowd. Photo courtesy of Twenty20.

We carry a ton of tension in our faces. Think about the way you catch yourself in your phone’s front-facing camera, a scowl across your concentrated brow. A chilled stone across the skin feels like a gentle reminder to relax and let all those tiny muscles take a break. The version I have, which is cheap on Amazon, also has a gentle vibrating setting, and I can literally feel my sinuses drain when I use it (gross, I know, but amazing all the same). 

I actually use mine most at the computer: I’ll roll it along my cheekbones or press it gently into my tight temples or jaw while I read drafts. It’s a soothing break in the middle of the workday. I’m migraine-prone, too, and the cool stone soothes a pounding head when nothing else really will. It’s also become a bit like a fidget spinner: Something to occupy my hands after a stressful meeting or while I watch a show. 

Face rollers hang out comfortably in the space between aesthetics and utility, and I think that’s a huge part of the appeal. Do I think mine is making me prettier? No. Has it dramatically changed my skin? No. (Let me recommend Curology for that.) But does it make me feel good? Absolutely. 

There’s something undeniably calming about a face massage, and something pleasantly glamorous about a face roller that looks like jewelry. Grooming is inherently an animal act — a friend recently sent me this gif of a sea otter joyfully self-massaging its face with the message “you with your little face tools.” I like the idea that we’re all just little beasts, looking to feel better, collecting nice-looking things that help us do so. 

Read more: DIY Face Masks to Soothe End-of-Summer Skin

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