Everything You Need To Know About Facial Cupping

Made famous by Olympian Michael Phelps, cupping burst onto the scene as a wellness trend that aimed to enhance performance and reduce inflammation. Viewers around the world watched as the swimmer — with visible bruises on his back — broke record after record and quickly wondered how it would help them in their own lives. Recently, many have warmed up to the idea that suction cupping various areas of the body could help reduce tension and work as an unconventional complement to a classic massage. But, doing this to your face might prove to be a harder sell.

O! Magazine explains how the ancient Chinese technique of cupping works. It boasts benefits such as better lymphatic drainage, reduced acne, better digestion, and lowered inflammation from increased circulation. Essentially, the process of constricting and releasing blood flow helps oxygenate the areas of skin under treatment. Elle notes that by increasing this circulation, the treatment may decrease the look of wrinkles and fine lines, brighten your skin, and tone your facial muscles. Some have dubbed it as botox sans the needles. O! Magazine even cites its use as a non-surgical cosmetic procedure. 

Think of the plumped, glowing skin that comes from increased circulation and oxygenation as the result of little suction cups massaging your face.

Facial cupping doesn't involve bruising

O! Magazine explains that the cups are only used for short periods rather than minutes at a time, meaning that the classic bruising should never ensue. The practitioner will likely use a small suction tube that they glide around your skin as it lifts and tones various areas of your face. This shouldn't be painful, but rather feel like a revitalizing treatment which may leave your skin looking slightly flushed. Plus, Elle notes that this technique brings nutrients to the surface of your face, resulting in a brighter look. 

Furthermore, the movement of the suction cup stimulates the lymphatic system — making way for the drainage of toxins and reducing puffiness around the jaw and cheeks. Creating a sculpting effect that can benefit people of all ages, facial cupping also acts as a tightening treatment. You won't walk out with bruises, but it's important to stay hydrated to facilitate the flushing effect the treatment can have, the outlet notes. Steering clear of known inflammatory ingredients like salt, caffeine, and alcohol can help make your facial that much more effective and noticeable.

Be aware, however, that not everyone is convinced facial cupping works. Per the National Institutes of Health, "the beneficial effects of cupping therapy need to be substantiated by large randomized clinical trials [and] basic scientific innovative research is also needed to verify the discussed theories."

If you believe the hype on facial cupping, however, sit back, relax, and let the cups do the work.