An ancient Chinese skin-care tool purchased on Amazon and priced at $7.98? This was beauty super-influencer Marianna Hewitt’s top-selling affiliate-linked product in 2017, according to Reward Style, the influencer network that helps content creators monetize their content.
The aforementioned beauty tool — known as a jade roller — accounted for thousands of units sold. Hewitt linked to the jade roller from a video she posted to her YouTube account in July, a tutorial request from curious followers who responded to an Instagram story of her using the tool on herself.
“The video did really well, better than the average video [on my account] and it’s one of those evergreen videos that gets watched over and over — it gets shared a lot,” said Hewitt. “Everyone is interested in it — they’ve either seen it and they want to know how to use it, or they’ve never seen it before and want to know what it is.”
So what exactly is a jade roller? The actual tool is essentially a tiny rolling pin made of jade stone, designed to be swept across the face for a cooling sensation and anti-inflammatory, lymph-draining effect. Its origin story is vague, but most brands that sell the roller concur that it has been used in Chinese beauty rituals for centuries. The rollers are also said to have mystical powers, as the jade stone itself is said to represent healing and protection and promote qualities such as wisdom, balance and peace.
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Hewitt discovered the jade roller in a story she read online last year, and was quick to share her find with her 784,000 Instagram followers.
“Of course, the first thing I ever do is search to buy on Amazon, and they were only like $7, so of course I added to cart,” said Hewitt of the jade roller. “Maybe if the price point was higher, I wouldn’t have impulse-bought it. There are also a lot more advanced tools out there, but this is pretty simple — once I got around to playing with it and using it on my Instagram stories, my followers were like, ‘Oh my God, can you make a video?”
While Hewitt is one of the more high-profile content creators to promote the jade roller, she certainly isn’t the only one — a quick Internet search yields a slew of content on how to use the tool from media outlets like Vogue and Well & Good, all published between late 2016 and early this year, with pondering, click-bait titles such as “We Put the Jade Facial Rollers You’ve Been Seeing Everywhere to the Test.” Pinterest searches for facial rollers were up 345 percent in 2017, according to the platform.
Exactly how the jade roller became a staple of Internet skin-care content is as unclear as its origin story — though Alicia Keys’ makeup artist Dotti told WWD she can trace it back to a 2016 article published by W, in which she is quoted as saying she routinely uses the tool on the Grammy winner, who had earlier that year penned an essay for Lenny Letter proclaiming her stance on wearing minimal to no makeup in public.
Regardless, the jade roller is experiencing a cultural zeitgeist moment that has transcended the slowing beauty device market in the U.S. — The NPD Group tracked sales for the prestige facial skin-care device category as $207.2 million in 2017, down 11 percent from the year prior — and it’s not just influencers, but beauty brands and retailers who are tapping into the trend.
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SOURCE: (LA TIMES)