The Best Ice Rollers for Face to Soothe Skin in 2023
May 30, 2023
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Reap the benefits of this “cool” step in your skincare routine.
Whether your under eyes are puffy from staying up too late or your face is a bit swollen from having one too many drinks, the best ice roller for the face can help de-puff, massage, and soothe skin.
It turns out these handy (and portable!) skincare tools provide a host of benefits. “It is thought that ice rolling can be soothing on the skin and have a de-puffing effect,” Dr. Garshick says. “It can also help to calm redness and reduce inflammation as it helps to constrict the blood vessels. The added roller benefit helps to facilitate lymphatic drainage to reduce additional puffiness.”
Meet the experts: Rachel Lee Lozina, owner and licensed esthetician, laser technician, and oncology esthetician at Blue Water Spa; Brendan Camp, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist at MDCS Dermatology; Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D., board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology; and Blair Murphy-Rose, M.D., F.A.A.D., board-certified cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatologist at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.
Ice rollers provide a host of skincare benefits, but they also simply feel refreshing—especially in the morning when you want to roll back into bed. These face massage tools have the added pro of feeling cold on your skin, which is extra nice if you’re dealing with migraines or TMJ pain.
Ahead, find the best ice roller for face massages and de-puffing skin, according to experts.
With three dermatologist recommendations, this award-winning ice roller takes the prize as as our best overall pick. Brendan Camp, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist at MDCS Dermatology, says stainless steel rollers are thought to stay colder longer than gel models. “This ice roller works to boost circulation and de-puff while also soothing the skin,” Dr. Garshick agrees. “It helps to relax muscle tension as well, and is great for the cheekbones.”
Blair Murphy-Rose, M.D., F.A.A.D., board-certified cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatologist at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, also recommends this roller for its egg-shaped barrel and ergonomic handle that allows for comfortable rolling. It comes at a more luxe price point, but the reviews and praise make it a promising choice.
This budget-friendly ice roller is a number one bestseller on Amazon, and for good reason. It has a detachable head for compact freezer storage and easy cleaning. It’s small enough to massage your face, but it can also be used to massage away back, neck, and leg pain. This highly-rated product is just $8, and you can choose from 14 color options.
“I recently purchased this ice face roller and it has been an evolution in my skincare routine. I use it in the morning before I hit the gym and it helps me with my puffy morning face,” writes one satisfied shopper. “When I use it at night I can feel how smooth my face becomes.”
This ice roller is a great option for people with sensitive skin as Dr. Camp says gel is a gentler material than other products. “Gel rollers, like this one, can be softer on the skin than a stainless steel model,” Dr. Camp. The large size makes it a great option for migraines, muscle cramps, and massaging the body, but you may want to opt for a smaller ice roller for the under-eye area. And for just $10.
This ice roller has a stainless steel head that claims to stay cold for up to two hours. It’s a bit larger than others on this list, which makes it a great option for icing and massaging sore arms and legs.
“This ice roller helps to improve blood circulation, de-puff, reduce swelling, and soothe redness,” Dr. Camp says. Dr. Garshick also recommends this travel-friendly and inexpensive ice roller for the face. Simply pop off the head for proper cleaning, and pop it in the freezer until next time.
“I love this [ice roller] because it has a detachable head for ease of use,” says Rachel Lee Lozina, licensed esthetician, laser technician, and oncology esthetician at Blue Water Spa in Oyster Bay, NY.
“When you freeze the head, the handle doesn’t become cold.”This cryotherapy tool says it’ll reduce swelling, redness, bloating, and irritation. If you’re not impressed, no worries; Grace & Stella has a 30-day Feel Good Policy that allows you to return it if you’re not 100% happy.
“This three-in-one set allows you to get near the delicate eye area and push out stagnated puffiness,” Dr. Lozina says. The different heads each serve their own purpose: use the small egg-shaped one to apply eye cream, the curved head to de-puff skin around the jawline, and the roller ball to massage under eyes for more de-puffing. Some reviewers even report the product being naturally cold before placing them in the fridge or freezer. Choose from silver or rose gold to match your aesthetic.
Dr. Lozina recommends this ice roller for facial massages. This product has the perfect shape for applying lotion or serums by massaging the face. Store it in the fridge for a cold facial massage, to reduce swelling, and de-puff your face.
“MonétBeauty Ice Globes are attractive and fun pink or teal glittery glass balls perfect for a budget-friendlier cryo massage,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. “They contain non-toxic antifreeze and are stored in the freezer to be ready for use. They do not freeze and emerge at a cool temperature.” These ice globes can be massaged upwards to promote skin lifting or downwards for a lymphatic massage and to drain sinuses.
“It offers a benefit of cold therapy, as well as massage and is battery-free making it convenient to use,” Dr. Garshick says. She advises using this ice roller on the undereye area and anywhere on the face to massage the area.
This affordable option even has the approval of actress Brie Larson, who shared with Vogue that it’s one of her “favorite things” and it is “heaven.” It’s available in 12 different colors with the option of buying both stainless steel and gel detachable heads. The product says it’ll tighten and smooth skin and boost lymph circulation.
“This stainless steel model is ideal for calming inflammation, contouring skin, and reducing puffiness,” Dr. Camp says. The large size may not be suitable for the under-eye area, but studies show that applying cold and massaging the head can help with migraines and chronic tension headaches. It comes in an aesthetically pleasing pink color and works to de-puff your skin and invigorate your face in the morning.
“I personally prefer ice globes to ice rollers because they feel so nice on skin and can move in all directions with ease,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says.
These are available in five colors, and each order comes with two ice globes and a recyclable makeup remover pad. “[These are] made of smooth borosilicate glass that glides easily on skin for a chilled massage,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. “They calm with hand cushions for added comfort.” These globes can even be heated in hot water for a warm massage in the winter months when you are feeling congested.
“This stainless steel dual-ended cryo roller works to de-puff and tighten the skin,” Dr. Garshick says. “The two-sizes make for easy use for hard-to-reach areas, with the narrow end being better for areas around the eyes and brows. It helps to increase microcirculation and collagen production.”
These orbs come in a large or mini size, and the stainless steel ball can be placed in the freezer or in hot water for either a cold or warm facial massage (note: be careful not to burn skin when heating up steel). “These are easy to use and the rolling ball helps with lymphatic drainage,” Dr. Lozina says. Roll them in downward motions along your face to drain the lymph nodes and sinuses, or place the ball under your foot or leg to massage the body.
“For only $20, these are the best dupe for the Biologique Recherche Cryo sticks at a fraction of the price,” Dr. Lozina says. The cooling gel inside the stainless steel heads helps these facial sticks maintain icy cold temperatures for a long time. The unique shape will massage along the contours of your face and allow for a better massage.
This bestseller is available in four colors. The detachable head is great for storage and cleaning, and it’s the perfect size to massage the face along the jawline. The product claims to help with TMJ pain. Reviewers say it’s easy to use, stays cold for a long time, and helps with their puffy eyes every morning.
“I get pretty puffy in the mornings so I use this to reduce inflammation,” one customer writes. “I love the way it feels and how it tightens and de-puffs my skin. It feels very soothing and relieves stress.”
Dr. Lozina says ice rollers are a beneficial tool because ice reduces inflammation. “If you have a chronic inflammatory skin condition like acne, rosacea, or eczema, icing can help reduce the inflammatory process,” Dr. Lozina says. “Icing de-puffs, gives the appearance of glass skin, and calms acne. Icing should be done two-times a day, morning and night, to keep the histamine and inflammation at bay.”
These skincare tools are at-home, less intense versions of cryotherapy, which is a treatment process of applying extreme cold to the skin to remove abnormal tissue. Cryotherapy facials aim to boost circulation, tighten and lift skin, and de-puff —which a daily morning massage with an ice roller claims to do.
“Using an ice roller decreases inflammation and reduces puffiness by constricting blood vessels and pushing excess fluid away,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. “The physical pressure of the roller can improve lymphatic flow as well. There is a soothing and de-stressing effect to ice rollers as well.”
If you have mature skin, Dr. Lozina says some studies show that icing can stimulate collagen production. Dr. Lozina says ice rollers can calm down inflamed pustular acne.
Look at the materials: Most ice rollers come in stainless steel, gel, or glass. Stainless steel tends to hold cold for longer, but can be a bit pricier. Dr. Camp says gel is softer on skin and Dr. Murphy-Rose prefers ice globes, which are typically made from glass. Ultimately, the choice is up to your preference and budget.
Check the size: If you’re hoping to de-puff under-eyes or use the skincare tool to apply eye cream, opt for a smaller ice roller. On the flip side, if you want to massage your neck or legs in addition to your face, a larger ice roller will help you cover more territory.
Consider your skin type: Oilier skin types may benefit more from an ice roller. “Ice rollers can be used by people with oily skin to tighten pores and potentially minimize their appearance,” Dr. Camp says. “People with dry skin may want to use an ice roller in combination with a hydrating serum or apply a moisturizer after use.”
Each product will have its own unique instructions, but most recommend storing it in the fridge or placing the head in the freezer two hours before rolling. Once it is nice and cold, you can go ahead and massage it onto your face in outward and upward directions. “It is best to use in an upward motion and begin in the center and move outward,” Dr. Garshick says, who recommends using an ice roller for five to 10 minutes once or twice a day.
“Use the roller in gentle strokes starting from the middle and rolling out to the sides,” Dr. Murphy-Rose recommends. “That will help to promote lymphatic drainage.” Dr. Murphy-Rose recommends using your comfort level as a guide, and you can still reap the skin benefits of ice rollers by using one for just two minutes—which is much easier to squeeze into your morning routine.
In short, yes. “Ice rollers help to reduce swelling and puffiness by constriction of superficial blood vessels and encouraging lymphatic drainage,” Dr. Camp says. “They can help calm irritated skin, and reduce the appearance of background redness. Ice rollers also help relieve sensitivity or itching from skin conditions like rosacea or sunburn.”
Beyond daily skincare benefits, ice rollers can also help with de-puffing skin from allergic reactions and soothing bug bites. “I often recommend cooling as a way to combat itchy skin without scratching and causing destruction to the skin for conditions like eczema or bug bites,” Dr. Murphy-Rose says. “Ice rolling is the perfect way to achieve this.”
Research has shown that facial massages can tighten and lift the skin, so performing a daily facial massage using an ice roller can help you reap these benefits. “Ice rolling also helps to boost circulation, allowing the skin to look more glowy and radiant,” Dr. Garshick says. One study found that massaging the face improved vascular dilation, which means there was more blood flow and circulation to the skin.
Dermatologists say you can use an ice roller every day, morning and/or night. “In the morning, ice rollers can help reduce puffiness that develops overnight while sleeping,” Dr. Camp says. “It can also help limit redness that can occur after a hot shower when blood vessels are more dilated. At night, ice rollers can be relaxing after a stressful day. They can also calm irritated skin after exposure to environmental stressor like UV radiation and pollution.”
Dr. Garshick says daily ice rolling is great for a de-puffing effect, or you can use it before big events to boost skin’s appearance. “It can be used for about five to 10 minutes one to two times per day or until you feel you have targeted the various areas you are looking to target,” she says.
While daily ice rolling is perfectly fine, Dr. Camp advises against using it in excess in a single treatment. “Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can potentially damage skin by causing an ice burn,” he says. Just make sure to only use it for the recommended amount of time in the instructions.
Isabella Cavallo is a freelance editorial assistant at Prevention. She graduated from Binghamton University with a bachelor’s degree in English: Literature & Rhetoric. Isabella gained a passion for health journalism after a rare cancer diagnosis and treatment. When she’s not writing, you can find her listening to music, playing Bananagrams, or running through Central Park.
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