If 2017 was the year of adopting a 10-step K-beauty-inspired skincare routine, then 2018 is the year of the discerning skincare edit. Consumers, inundated with more choices than ever before, now find themselves staring into bursting bathroom cabinets, wondering which products are really worth the #shelfie space. In fact, the growth of the skincare industry outpaced that of the makeup industry this year... because everyone knows that a great beauty look starts with even greater skin.
That's why rollerball eye serums, face oils, and skin treatments are taking over. Once relegated to on-the-go fragrances, the circular metal applicator is experiencing something of a renaissance, with luxe beauty brands like Odacité and Votary recently releasing cutting-edge formulas delivered via rollerball (the Aventurine Kiss Lip Serum and the Intense Eye Oil, respectively) — for good reason, too.
“Rollerball applicators provide a quick and effective way to apply serums and oils,” Dr. Duane Dilworth of DTLA Dermatology in Los Angeles tells The Zoe Report. “The metal tip can be soothing and result in decreased swelling of the application area,” he continues; which is especially useful when it comes to the under eye area. But those aren’t the only skincare products get a packaging makeover: rollerballs are being utilized for blemish treatments, all-over oils, lip care, and even skin-firming technology.
Here’s exactly why you should be harnessing the power of the roller in your skincare routine — and which products belong in your personal collection — according to experts.
The Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
“The cooling effect of using a metal applicator can help reduce swelling and inflammation,” Dr. Jennifer Vickers of Sanova Dermatology tells The Zoe Report. “Think of it like putting a mini cold compress on your eyelids or other areas of your skin while you apply treatments — and they certainly feel good when you are using them.”
While a rollerball is cooling all on its own, you can amplify the effect by storing it in the refrigerator, says Dr. Dilworth. In the morning, gently roll the chilled product across your skin; you’ll notice an almost-instant decrease in puffiness and signs of fatigue.
The Targeted Application
Rollerball treatments deliver the necessary amount of product in a few swipes, and decrease the risk of waste (since you’re applying directly to the area instead of applying to your fingers and then to your face). This targeted approach also allows users to focus on specific areas, which comes in handy for powerful spot treatments and hyperpigmentation products that you don’t necessarily want to slather all over your face.
“By not using your hands to apply your skincare, you can avoid placing any unnecessary stress on your face, especially the delicate skin around the eyes,” Dr. Vickers adds. “Many people are anything but gentle with their skin, so by alleviated unneeded stress, you can slow the aging process.”
But contrary to popular belief, rollerballs don’t actually help products sink deeper into the skin. “Penetration of topical medications is usually determined by other factors,” Dr. Vickers explains. “Rollerballs could, however, potentially help provide a more consistent application.”
The On-The-Go Packaging
On the most practical level, these products are easy to travel with. You can count on nearly every rollerball on the market to be TSA-friendly and pretty much spill-proof.
Many brands also offer tester sizes in rollerball form, like One Love Organics Botanical E Youth Preservation Serum (which can be purchased in a 10 milliliter rollerball for $29 as opposed to a one ounce pump for $75) and Kahina Giving Beauty’s Prickly Pear Seed Oil (which is $40 for five milliliters compared to $150 for 50 milliliters). An affordable trial size that also de-puffs? Yes, please.
Caring For Rollerball Skincare
“Rollerballs have the potential to pick up bacteria and exfoliated [dead] skin,” Dr. Dilworth says. He recommends only using them on a clean face to reduce the risk of contamination. Dr. Vickers warns against sharing your rollerballs with others for the same reason — but with products this good, you’ll probably want to keep them all to yourself, anyway.
Ahead, every kind of rollerball skincare that deserves a spot on your shelf.