Whether you’re feeling a little down in the dumps or you’re struggling with a puffy, bloated face, it might be time to restore a bit of that inner and outer radiance. The self-care solution? A lymphatic facial massage, perhaps.
On a basic level, a lymphatic facial is a special massage technique aimed at speeding up lymphatic drainage in the face. With benefits including healthier skin, reduced puffiness, and even a boost for your immune system and energy levels, this could just be your new skincare secret weapon.
Below, we’ll share 10 of the top benefits of this facial treatment. Plus, we’ll tackle some of your most-asked questions on the topic so that you’ve got all the know-how before you begin your search for qualified estheticians.
10 Ways a Lymphatic Facial Massage Can Help
The lymphatic system plays an important part in keeping us healthy and in improving our overall bodily functions. You can think of this system as the body’s process of self-cleaning, with vessels that transport lymph fluid throughout your body, helping to both deliver nutrients to your cells and “drain” away their excess fluid or waste.
If any part of the lymphatic system isn’t working properly, it could lead to swelling, fluid buildup, and other not-so-pretty side-effects.
So, how exactly can a lymphatic drainage facial massage benefit you? Let’s take a look at that now.
1. Reduced Swelling
Lymphatic massage has been shown to increase lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling, particularly for those who have undergone surgery. If you tend to have facial swelling or bloating, this form of massage could help to reduce it.
2. Improved Circulation
Like other forms of facial massage, lymphatic massage is said to promote circulation. This increase in blood flow can help bring more oxygen to your skin, a key ingredient when it comes to maintaining a healthy, more youthful complexion.
3. Lessened Water Retention
There are plenty of reasons why your face might be holding onto more water than usual. Whether due to menstruation or you’ve been snacking on a few too many salty treats, this lymphatic fluid retention can often manifest in the cheeks and under eyes. The good news? Lymphatic facial massage is said to help release any buildup of fluids in the face, thereby reducing the appearance of bloating and puffiness overall.
4. A Faster Metabolism
Because the lymphatic system is intricately linked to the metabolic system, science has shown that poor lymphatic function could be related to decreases in one’s metabolism.
Sounds like the start of a two-for-one deal, right? You bet!
When you work to improve your lymphatic drainage, its positive ripple effects extend to your metabolism, optimizing the way your body stores fat cells.
5. Clearer Skin
If pimples and blemishes have a tendency to rain on your daily parade, a lymphatic facial could be the key to clearing up that inclement weather. Though studies on this are limited, some allege that because the lymph system is responsible for the release of toxins and impurities within the body, a lymphatic facial massage could also lead to clearer, healthier-looking pores.
6. Improved Skin Texture and Firmness
Hey, let’s be real. Unless you’re a walking airbrush filter, your skin has texture. But there are ways you can give yourself an added dose of smoothness, and a lymphatic facial could be one of them.
One study suggests that if the lymphatic system is blocked or not draining properly, it can lead to a buildup of fat beneath the skin, leading to uneven texture and an appearance of “sagging” skin. Researchers found that treatments to enhance lymphatic drainage led to improvements in skin texture and firmness.
7. Stress Relief and Relaxation
Aside from the benefits for your skin’s overall appearance, facial massages can just be plain old relaxing. And who doesn’t need more of that in their life? Finding yourself holding tension in your face or neck, or clenching your teeth after a long day at work? This massage could be the trick to help you unwind.
8. Boosted Energy
Though studies on the energy-boosting effects of lymphatic massage are somewhat scarce, those who swear by the technique claim it leaves them feeling less tired and with greater energy than before.
Skip the afternoon coffee and treat yourself to a lymphatic facial instead. It could work wonders for your skin and give you the boost you need to tackle the rest of your to-do list with gusto.
9. Strengthened Immune System
Allergy season is around the corner and the key to making it through sneeze-free could be linked to your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of your body’s immune system, helping to protect you from external toxins, bacteria, and viruses. Because of this, some suggest that lymphatic facial massage techniques could help speed up the process, thereby giving your immunity a boost.
10. Release of Toxins and Waste
In addition to benefits for your immune system, a lymph drainage massage could also speed up your body’s release and removal of waste, toxins, and abnormal cells, which is also part of the lymphatic system’s function.
A detox that doesn’t involve throwing back shots of cayenne pepper? We’re here for it.
What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why many are adding lymphatic facial massages to their self-care regimen. And yet, if you’ve never had this special type of massage, it might be difficult to imagine what it looks or feels like.
This massage typically involves several techniques to stimulate the lymphatic system, including:
- Gentle pressure on the face
- Upward pushing motions
- Light, feathery stroking of the skin
- Gentle tapping of the skin
Overall, the most important part to remember is that a lymphatic facial massage includes specific facial massage movements aimed at encouraging lymph drainage. In professional settings, it may be offered by physical therapists, estheticians, or other specialists.
Who Should Try a Lymphatic Facial Massage?
In medical settings, lymphatic massage is often recommended for those with swelling related to surgery or other illnesses affecting the lymphatic system.
But as you know, the perks of this treatment aren’t just available for post-op patients.
Based on the benefits alone, you may want to try a lymphatic facial massage if you:
- Have fatigue or low energy
- Want to reduce facial bloating, swelling, or puffiness
- Want clearer, firmer skin
- Want to strengthen your immune system and metabolism
- Are looking to flush out waste and toxins from your body
- Need a way to relax and relieve stress
Who Should Avoid a Lymphatic Facial Massage?
Although this massage technique is considered to be relatively safe, people with certain conditions may want to take extra caution.
Medical experts recommend checking with a professional first if you have any of the following:
- An infection or injury
- A history of blood clots
- Any form of heart condition
- Kidney disease
If you’re not sure, or if you think you might have another condition that could interact negatively with a lymphatic drainage massage, it’s always a good idea to double-check with your doctor beforehand.
Lymphatic Facial Massage At Home
Many of those seeking the benefits of a facial lymphatic massage may wonder if this is something they can do at home.
In truth, while the services offered by a professional might be more effective due to their special training and knowledge, there are many parts of this massage technique that you can do on yourself.
To give yourself a facial lymphatic massage at home, all you really need are your hands and an understanding of how to use a Gua Sha. If you find you like the effects of the massage, you may later want to try adding a few new skin tools to your collection that are said to help with lymphatic drainage, including Gua Sha stones, jade rollers, or dry brushes.
Here’s a quick and easy guide to giving yourself an at-home lymphatic facial:
- Start by washing your hands and cleansing your face.
- If desired, you can apply a moisturizer or oil to help your hands glide more smoothly across your face, helping to ensure a gentle massage.
- Using slow, gentle pressure, start from your collarbone and massage in an upward and outward motion using your fingertips, knuckles, or the heels of your hands.
- You can also try simply applying pressure, stroking, tapping, or massaging your fingertips in a circular motion on different parts of your face.
The key here is to be gentle, and to remember that you’re trying to encourage that drainage, not force it. The process should feel smooth and relaxing, and any pain or discomfort is a sign that it’s time to stop.
How Often Should You Get a Lymphatic Facial?
Say you’ve tried a lymphatic facial and found you simply love it. Your skin is glowing, you feel relaxed and energized, and all that facial puffiness is disappearing like magic. At this point, you’re probably thinking, how soon can I do this again?
There’s no set advice on how often to get a lymphatic facial massage. If you’re doing a self-massage at home and like the effects, you can even perform this DIY massage on a weekly or even daily basis, so long as you’re using gentle techniques.
How often you want to see a professional for a lymphatic drainage massage depends more on your budget and other elements of your regimen. Depending on the other facial treatments you’re getting and the results you’re looking for, it may make more sense to schedule your appointments for a lymphatic massage on a weekly or monthly basis.
StyleSeat: Find the Expertise You Need
With all the different challenges demanding our time, energy, and emotions these days, it’s no surprise that even our faces sometimes feel like they could use a pick-me-up. And given all the benefits, a lymphatic facial is undoubtedly on the list of best facial massage techniques to get you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
While it’s a relatively easy and affordable massage to do at home, sometimes you just want the skill and specialized care that only an expert can offer. That’s why StyleSeat has made it easy to find all the beauty experts available near you.
Cleveland Clinic. Lymphatic System. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21199-lymphatic-system
PubMed. Manual lymphatic drainage for lymphedema following breast cancer treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966288/
ScienceDirect. The Lymphatic Vasculature: Its Role in Adipose Metabolism and Obesity. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413117304850
Shiseido. Shiseido Becomes the First to Reveal the Relationship between Impaired Lymphatic Function and “Sagging” Skin. https://corp.shiseido.com/en/releimg/2455-e.pdf
Cleveland Clinic. Lymphatic Drainage Massage. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21768-lymphatic-drainage-massage