Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Why a Lymphatic Drainage Massage is So Important During a Facial

Lymphatic drainage facial massage is a technique used by many estheticians to improve the look of their clients’ skin. I’ve certainly used it on my own clients, and the significance of this massage technique is so understated that it’s actually kind of sad.

I believe lymphatic massage can be a powerful tool when it comes to managing certain skin conditions and supporting the overall health of your skin. In this post, I talk more about the benefits of lymphatic drainage for the face and bring you the best advice for performing lymphatic facial massage on yourself at home! Keep reading to get to the good stuff to keep your skin glowing and flowing!

What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a technique that uses light pressure and specific motions to gently drain excess fluid. The lymphatic system mirrors the circulatory system and is made up of vessels, tissues, and organs to help the body manage fluid balance, defend it from infection, and deliver nutrients while carrying away toxins and waste.

Lymph, the fluid that travels via the lymphatic system, contains oxygen, glucose, amino acids, and other vital nutrients, giving life to every cell in our body. It also carries away toxins and impurities, making the lymphatic system vital to our immune system and overall health.

The lymphatic system relies on muscle contraction, diet, exercise, and physical manipulation to function normally. Unlike the circulatory system, your lymphatic system doesn’t have its own pump. That’s where lymphatic massage comes in!

What Are the Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage for the Face and Skin?

In medical settings, lymphatic drainage is used to help patients with lymphedema (chronic swelling due to damage or removal of lymph nodes, usually as part of cancer treatment). It’s also been shown to reduce swelling and visible puffiness in those recovering from injuries. 

Research is still a little bit behind when it comes to the aesthetic effects of lymphatic drainage, but it’s starting to catch up! In fact, a 2015 study was the first to find a link between impaired lymphatic function and sagging of the skin. Needless to say, this could have exciting implications for preventative aging treatments.

The benefits of lymphatic massage are extensive. Because the lymphatic system plays a huge role in immunity and healing, the benefits to lymphatic massage are endless. For the skin, conditions like puffiness, acne, dryness, dullness, and even skin sensitivity can be improved and even resolved by simple lymphatic stimulation because it helps the body do what it’s meant to do: heal. You have the highest concentration of lymph nodes in your face and neck, so this means lymphatic drainage massage can really produce results!

I love ending a facial session with thirty minutes of lymphatic drainage massage. Obviously de-puffing is important, but so many people just have skin that looks unhealthy to me. Stimulating the lymph ensures that healing and real rejuvenation will occur, and this way I know I have done everything possible to restore wellness to that person’s skin.

How to Give Yourself a Lymphatic Drainage Massage

While it’s great if you can get in to see a professional who knows how to perform lymphatic drainage massage, this isn’t always an accessible option (especially during a pandemic!). But since this is so crucial a step that everyone should know how to do, even on themselves, here’s my advice on how to do your own lymphatic facial massage at home.

How to Prep for a Lymphatic Facial Massage

Try doing a lymphatic facial massage a few times a week, if not nightly, during your regular nighttime routine. Doing it at night will help de-puff you for morning and encourage your skin to repair while you sleep. It’s encouraged to perform the facial massage after the serum step in your skin care routine.

To get started, you’ll need either a facial oil or a nice, rich moisturizer. If you scroll through beauty or skincare accounts on Instagram, chances are you’ll catch a glimpse of massage tools such as jade rollers and gua sha stones. The popularity of these lymphatic drainage massage tools has definitely increased and is well worth a purchase.

While everyone should learn how to do massage with their own two hands (my preferred method), some people find that daunting. If I had to choose a tool, I would vote for a gua sha stone. It’s a fabulous way of massage, and it works.

Proper Lymphatic Drainage Massage Technique

Now for the actual technique! Keep in mind that, when performing lymphatic massage on your face, you always want to use very light pressure. This is true whether you’re using your hands or a massage tool. The reason for this is that lymph vessels are very delicate and applying too much pressure can crush them, meaning fluid won’t be properly drained.

As for the actual massage technique, start at the neck and following this method:

  1. Downward circles from the jawline down the neck.
  2. Circle under the front of the chin to the jaw, starting at the center and working your way out.
  3. Gently circle outward from the center of the face.
  4. Circle along the chin and jawline, starting from the center of your chin.
  5. Gently circle along the cheeks from the center, working outward.
  6. Gently circle the orbital bone (the bones surrounding the eye socket), from the center along the bottom and out, then along the top ride and out.
  7. Gently circle along the cheekbones, starting from the center working outward.
  8. Finish with circles along the forehead starting in the center and outward on each side of the face.

You can repeat this process as many times as desired.

A word of warning though: Never massage inflamed acne! Applying pressure over active breakouts can increase inflammation or scarring and may spread bacteria, causing further breakouts.

Final Notes

While lymphatic drainage massage for the face is generally considered safe, talk to your doctor first if you have any health concerns—especially conditions such as congestive heart failure, blood clots, kidney problems, infections, or circulation problems.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about lymphatic facial massage! When done correctly, it’s such a great way to support your overall skin health. Whether you’re looking to up your skin care game or simply indulge in some relaxing self-care, I highly recommend giving lymphatic facial massage a try. Call Botanica Day Spa for Tampa’s #1 rated spa services and experience a professional drainage technique that will get you hooked and radiant with confidence! 727-447-1711 or book your appointment online!

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