You’ve seen those Instagram videos where a smooth, slender face is meticulously kneaded. We know that these movements aren’t just for show, thanks to Gua Sha’s mainstream popularity. A face massage using lymphatic drainage can help to depuff, detoxify and lift the skin. It will leave you with a glowing, more taut complexion.
Although “lymphatic draining” is a popular beauty trend, it doesn’t mean that we all know everything about how it works. (I am a skincare junkie and I struggle to explain lymphatic drainage beyond its benefits for depuffing.)
We turned to Joanna Vargas, a celebrity facialist and brand founder for some insight. Dr. Ritu Chopra, a plastic surgeon and co-founder of Solvasa, is our guest. Jordan Dorn, cofounder of Zuma Nutrition, to get a better understanding of the process and how to perform a home lymphatic drainage facial massage.
What is lymphatic drainage massage exactly?
The lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system, is responsible for transporting waste and toxins from every cell of the body (and bringing nutrients back to) those cells. The lymphatic system does not have a pump, unlike the circulatory system. Because it relies on movement and breathing, the lymphatic system can become stagnant which could cause acne, puffiness, dry, dull skin, and other problems.
Lymphatic drainage massage encourages lymph drainage by massaging the skin in certain areas and pressing in the direction to the heart. Lymph carries waste products from tissues and returns them to the heart for purification.
Dorn points out that although a professional can perform a lymphatic drainage facial, you can also do it at home.
How do you know when your lymphatic drainage is needed?
It doesn’t have any pump to move it, so it’s easy to cause lymphatic system problems. Dorn says that even if you don’t notice any signs such as puffiness, anyone can benefit by a lymphatic drainage massage. It encourages lymph movement and ensures that fluid doesn’t get backed-up.
What are the benefits to lymphatic drainage for the skin?
The lymphatic system, if you haven’t noticed by now is a powerful powerhouse in our bodies. The benefits we see in our faces when nutrients are properly delivered and waste is properly drained are obvious.
- Cellulite appearance is reduced
- Supports detoxification
- Improves skin elasticity
- Increases circulation
- Aids in digestion
- Clears acne
- Reduces wrinkles in the glabellar region (aka the 11s)
What is the average time it takes to see results after a face massage that stimulates lymphatic drainage?
Vargas points out that massage effects can vary from one person to the next. You may not see any benefits if your lymphatic system is very blocked. You may not see any benefits if there is minimal or no blockage. Massages can be used to stimulate lymph movement, which can carry toxins that could negatively impact your health. This massage has many benefits for your immunity and health.
What can we do for our lymphatic system to be more efficient? What are some at-home tools that we can use to support our lymphatic system?
Camille Styles loves a high-tech skin care tool, but it is possible for the lymphatic system to get a boost without paying a fee. Nihel Ayari, a patient with chronically swollen lymph glands, says she does 100 jumps every morning to get her body moving.
Our experts are skilled in lymph drainage and can help you invest in at-home care. Dr. Chopra advises that you avoid rollers as they are designed to move in one direction.
Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand
“This tool is perfect for imitating at-home or on-the-go lymphatic draining. It’s great to use it with a sheet mask for 10 minutes on the Cool + Massage Mode so that I can contour, de-puff and wake up my face. It’s lifting and especially around the lid so I do it around my eyes.” Joanna Vargas
Zuma Nutrition Lymphatic Detox Tonix
Exercise, breathing, massage, herbs, and herbs are the most important factors to encourage lymph drainage. Zuma Nutrition’s Lymphatic Detox Tonic, which contains medicinal herbs and compounds that promote lymph drainage, can be beneficial in draining lymph.
Solvasa Crystal Energy Wand (With DeStressance(r), Serum)
“The Solvasa Crystal Energy Wand offers both lymphatic drainage as well as vibrational therapy. This supports microcirculation to draw nutrients to your skin and stimulates the release endorphins for extra feel-good benefits.” –Dr. Ritu Chopra
Here are some best practices and tips for home lymphatic drainage face massaging.
“It takes only three minutes. So commit to doing it every single day for 21 consecutive days until it becomes a routine.” — Dr. Ritu Chpra
Joanna Vargas: “When using a wand to massage the lymphatic system, begin along the side and neck. Then move from the middle to the sides of your face to get the best results.”
Dr. Ritu Chopra: “Be sure you use enough pressure and always move in the same direction as the lymph nodes.”
Jordan Dorn offers a hands-on method to stimulate the lymphatic system’s drainage throughout the body.
- You can take 10 deep, slow breaths in and out. This will allow you to fill and empty your lungs completely. This will help move lymph fluid through the lymph vessels and lymph nodes.
- Use a dry brush to brush your skin in the direction of your heart. Repeat each stroke several times.
- Place the middle and index fingers of each hand on either end of your neck, just above your earlobes. Then, gently slide your fingers down towards the shoulders and stretch the skin. Repeat this five times.
- Gently press your palm against your shoulder 10x.
- Gently press your fingers 10 times.