It’s always easy to reach for a pot of cream offering to firm skin, erase wrinkles, cure sagging. But can we learn and benefit from the past, natural ways of approaching anti-ageing and beauty?
I find that my own face has a tendency to be a little puffy first thing in the morning, but running a jade roller across my face (much to my husband’s amusement), and around my eyes seems to help reduce the puffiness. The jade roller always feels cool on contact with the skin and is extremely soothing.
I was given my jade roller as a very welcome gift- but I contacted a company, White Lotus, who supplies jade rollers in the UK to ask them about the science and history behind this anti-ageing beauty tool.
The history of Jade Rollers
Jade holds a significant and even mystical place in Chinese society. Jade artefacts dating back to 5000BC have been found in China and Jade rollers have been found in tombs dating back to the 12th century. During this time jade was always considered a symbol of beauty, grace and longevity. The ancient Emperors, his wives and concubines all made good use of these precious beauty products and jade rollers were part of every wealthy and powerful women’s beauty chest in ancient China. The Jade rollers have experienced continuous use right up to the present where they can be found in cosmetic acupuncture clinics and increasingly modern day spas. As the properties of jade become better known minute amounts of crushed jade are also beginning to be used in modern beauty creams.
A side note to the history
Jade was considered such a powerful stone of immortality that the Emperors of China had 15 jade suits In fact there was what was considered to be a legend of 15 jade suits worn by various emperors of China. The emperors believed these suits would grant them immortality. Some of these complete suits of jade have recently been uncovered and one is currently on display in Cambridge UK. http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/may/03/han-dynasty-immortality-suits-show
What are Jade Rollers used for?
Traditionally they were used to flatten wrinkles on the face and clear fluid congestion. Jade is an interesting semiprecious stone in that it remains cold while in contact with the skin (even in Brisbane, Australia in summer) and this allows it to help close the pores and tighten the skin. In modern understanding their most useful function is that they increase lymphatic drainage.
Increasing lymphatic drainage
Here we are referring to the interstitial fluid or the fluid that resides within the tissues. This fluid is responsible for providing cell nutrition and removing waste products and toxins. The lymphatic system has no pump to keep the lymph circulating and instead relies on muscle contraction. When this system does not function correctly there is a build-up of fluid in the tissues which can manifest as swelling and fluid retention in an area.
The lymphatic system responds very well to manual therapy. This can be done in a variety of ways, one of the easiest and most affordable ways being with a jade roller massage.
By improving lymphatic circulation you can provide improved nutrition to the cells in the epidermis and dermis. You can also increase the removal of waste products.
This is very useful in combination with microneedling as the micro trauma caused by the needles requires good nutrition to heal and the healing process creates a variety of waste products that need to be removed from the area.
Using the Jade Roller
Jade rollers are quick and easy to use. The basic principle is to roll in an upwards and outwards direction as this is believed to lift the qi or energy of the face. Traditionally the massage always started on the right side of the face and then massaged the left second as this is the direction the energy in this part of the body is believed to flow. The rollers are also excellent to use on areas such as the eyes and neck which are harder to treat.
In China the lighter the colour of the jade the more valuable it was considered. White Lotus only uses the more expensive lighter colour jade rather than the cheaper dark green jade commonly available. Traditionally jade was always kept in silk to protect it. White Lotus preserves this tradition by providing the jade rollers in a beautiful silk lined box.