We Tried It: What is an Ice Roller?
Last Updated: May 30, 2022
Ice rolling sounds like some fancy ice dancing routine you’d see at the Winter Olympics. Spoiler alert: it isn’t. So what is an ice roller, and how do you incorporate it into your skincare routine? Grove writer Mackenzie reports on this slick new trend.
Maybe you’re familiar with cold therapy — the practice of using cryo chambers and cold showers to rack up a host of benefits like improved circulation and reduced inflammation. But for those of us who’d rather avoid dunking our bodies in freezing cold water, there’s ice rolling.
Never heard of it? I hadn’t either! I’m a long-time lover of the jade roller, so I was intrigued when I came across my jade roller’s frosty cousin — the ice roller. It boasts many of the same benefits as jade rolling, with the stellar addition of reduced puffiness. I gave the Beauty by Earth Ice Roller a try — here’s how it went.
But first, what is an ice roller?
Ice rollers are skincare tools that use a cold roller to massage the face. Ice rollers de-puff, reduce redness, and add a boost of radiance to dull skin — sounds pretty good, right? The Beauty by Earth Ice Roller has a gel-and-water core that stays cold for up to 15 minutes after you pull it out of the fridge or freezer, and it comes with a big handle that’s super easy to grip.
Ice rolling benefits
Ice rolling gently massages your face, which helps bring more blood to the surface of the skin, resulting in a brighter complexion.
If you’ve got a bad bout of acne or inflamed, irritated skin, cold therapy is a proven way to reduce inflammation.
De-puffs and reduces redness
Morning puffiness is typically caused by lymph fluid resting in the face overnight. Ice rolling is a type of manual massage that helps stimulate lymphatic drainage to de-puff your visage. Plus, the cold of the roller is great for soothing red skin.
Tightens appearance of skin
The potent combo of improved blood circulation and lymph stimulation helps skin look brighter, tighter, and more firm.
How do you use an ice roller?
Freeze the ice roller for at least 30 minutes — or better yet, store it in your freezer so it’s ready to use whenever you need it. I put mine in a glass food storage container with a lid so it doesn’t get damaged.
Clean yo’ face! I prefer to ice roll before I apply any products because I don’t like the way ice rolling makes my serum feel. You can totally ice roll over your serum or moisturizer, though — experiment and see what you like best!
Gently roll in slow, back and forth motions over your forehead and temples before rolling over your cheeks, chin, and neck. Repeat as many times as you need for up to 10 minutes — I usually do the rounds five times because that’s what I’ve done with my jade roller.
If you rolled on a clean face, now’s the time to moisturize. I use Pai Rosehip Oil to make my skin extra glowy.
Ice rolling before and after
Everyone’s favorite part — the before and after photos! I’m 31 with normal-to-dry skin, and puffiness isn’t usually an issue for me — but I do look (and feel) pretty dull and lifeless when I wake up in the morning.
She glows! The ice roller definitely woke my face up and gave me a bit of the brightness I typically achieve only after I’ve applied my rosehip serum. I thought the roller would feel uncomfortably cold — kind of like holding an ice cube on your skin for too long. I was totally wrong about that, though. The roller felt nice and cool, more like holding a cold glass to my cheeks on a really hot day.
Ice roller FAQ
When should you ice roll?
Whenever you want! I like to ice roll in the morning to wake up my skin, but you can ice roll during your bedtime skincare routine, after a plane trip, or any other time your face needs a lil’ pick me up.
How long do you ice roll?
Ice roll anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to get the best results — just don’t linger too long on one spot, because it does get cold.
How do you clean an ice roller?
After every use (lol) or once a week (much better), run the jade roller under warm water. Add a couple drops of your face cleanser or a gentle soap, and thoroughly clean the roller, including the handle.
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