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Treat Your Skin To a DIY Lymphatic Drainage Facial

The act of gently massaging the lymphatic system is known as lymphatic drainage. Click through to learn more about lymphatic drainage face benefits.

Read on

You might have stumbled across the term “lymphatic drainage” when looking up gua sha, or jade rolling benefits.

The act of gently massaging the lymphatic system is known as lymphatic drainage. There are many people in the “beauty world” that swear by this, claiming it can help reduce face bloat, brighten and tighten dark and droopy under-eye skin, and improve skin firmness.  But how does lymph draining work and can this be done DIY?  Keep scrolling to learn more about lymphatic drainage facials.

What’s the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system runs parallel to the circulatory system in our bodies. Instead of pumping blood, however, the lymphatic system circulates lymph fluid.

This lymph fluid is comprised of a collection of the extra fluid that drains from cells and tissues, pathogens, bacteria, proteins, minerals, fats, nutrients, and infection-fighting white blood cells.

The main purpose of this system is to help rid the body of toxins and waste.

This system also plays an important role in our immune system as there are lymph nodes throughout the face and body, helping to protect us from bacteria and pathogens.

However, this system does not have a pump to move lymph fluid. So the lymph system must rely on muscle contraction, like exercise, to move the lymph. (Or gentle and targeted lymph drainage massage.)

What is lymphatic drainage?

Because the lymphatic system does not have a pump to move the lymph fluid, it doesn’t always drain properly which can cause stagnant areas of lymph fluid. This is where lymphatic drainage massage comes into play.

While the lymph cannot circulate itself, gentle pressure with targeted massage can move and “drain” this excess fluid. This draining of toxins also reportedly helps encourage the lymphatic system to deliver brand spanking new nutrients to cells.

Because we have lymph nodes and vessels on our face and neck, excess lymph fluid can be retained throughout our face if it is not properly drained (either naturally or manually).  

Benefits of a lymphatic drainage face massage

The result of lymphatic drainage can be a thinner looking face (cheeks) and a more sculpted jaw.

Over time, with repeated draining, the facial skin may become more firm, and plump (that youthful glow package).

Lately, gua sha and jade rolling (which both stimulate facial lymphatic drainage) have been very popular as people use these tools against puffy cheeks, swollen under eyes, and lackluster skin complexion.

Is lymphatic drainage safe?

Lymphatic drainage massage is generally considered to be safe. Self lymphatic drainage massage is used medically for those with certain health conditions to help the draining of lymph fluid. However, do not conduct a lymph massage when you are sick, have a fever, or have the following health conditions:

  • A high risk of blood clots
  • Congestive heart failure
  • An active lymphatic infection
  • Any upper respiratory infection
  • Swelling with no known cause

If you have any of these preexisting conditions, it is recommended to check with your doctor before starting lymph massage.  

Lymphatic drainage facial how-to

If you’d like to see if lymphatic facial drainage could make a difference in your skincare -- we’ve got the how-to scoop.

Try incorporating this massage into your night skincare routine after you’ve cleansed and moisturized your skin.

#1 Breathe

To begin lymphatic drainage face massage, you must first start with the breath. Deep breathing is like a pump in your body and it helps stimulate the lymphatic system.

Before you begin your massage, take a few deep breaths. Deep inhales and slow exhales.

#2 Use a serum or facial oil

To reduce friction, use a facial serum or facial oil to create a more slick surface for your fingertips to glide on. If there is friction or skin pulling, add more oil.

#3 Apply gentle pressure

If your skin turns red, you’re applying too much pressure. You want to apply just enough pressure to move the skin. There is no need to dig or go deep. The lymph is just underneath the skin.  

#4 Up and out

The flow of lymph at the face runs outwards, toward the ears, and down the neck. So to support drainage, follow this path when you are massaging. The rule of thumb is to start at the neck and trend your message up the face and out to the side. Use both hands on either side of the face for even coverage.

#5 Use circular motions

Using your fingertips apply a gentle circulatory motion while massaging. Always bring this motion to the sides of the face with each section you massage. This encourages the fluid toward the lymph “exit route”.

#6 Start at the neck

The lymph escape route is through the pathways along the side of the neck. So, to begin, start your massage at the base of your neck just above the collarbone. Start from the outside working in. (Remember to keep deep breathing.)

#7 Make your way up to the ears

Continue up the side of the neck, to the base of the ears.

#8 Massage the chin and move outwards

Starting in the middle of the face, massage the chin and massage along the jaw.

#9 Do the same on your cheeks, eyes, eyebrows, and forehead.

Start in the middle, moving in a gentle circular motion and trending the motions outward toward the sides of the face. Encourage the lymph to exit down the sides of the face. This can take 5 - 20 minutes.

This massage can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Do what feels good for you. If you are trying this as a newbie, start small and work your way up.

Strut Brightly anti-aging formula might enhance your skincare game

If you’re looking to keep your skin youthful and glowing you might be interested in products that help to rejuvenate your skin.

Strut Brightly was formulated by doctors to help brighten, moisturize, and Strut Anti-Aging formula contains tretinoin to help reduce fine lines. Pair this with lymphatic drainage massage and you’re turning the clock back on time, my friend.

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