Here's How To Give Yourself A Lymphatic Drainage Facial Massage The Right Way

Looking to flush toxins, boost immunity, and enhance your skin health? You might be considering trying lymphatic drainage facial massage, the healthcare craze that's constantly splashed across Instagram and TikTok, and raved about by the likes of Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber.

Medical News Today describes lymphatic drainage massage as "a form of gentle massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body." The concept behind this form of massage is linked to the removal of toxins from the body, as the fluid in the lymphatic system aids the removal of waste from tissues. According to Medical News Today, this is especially beneficial for people living with health conditions that cause lymph fluid to build up, such as lymphedema and fibromyalgia.

Healthline reports that while lymphatic drainage massage has traditionally been used to treat conditions like lymphedema, more recently many beauty enthusiasts have begun incorporating facial lymphatic drainage into their beauty regimens, and it's easy to see why. When performed correctly, facial lymphatic massage can act as a powerful weapon against skin that's puffy, dull or irritated, or simply in need of a boost. 

It's clear that lymphatic drainage facial massage offers a range of benefits when performed properly, but does lymphatic massage live up to the hype and is it safe to perform at home?

How does lymphatic drainage massage work?

Women's Health reports that lymphatic massage therapies tend to use gentle pressure applied to specific points in the body to move fluid through the lymphatic system. Linda Koehler, PhD, said, "It acts like a sanitation system for our body by getting rid of 'waste' that our body naturally produces, or other things that can invade our body, like bacteria."

As per Healthline, lymphatic massage can also be helpful for managing skincare issues such as acne and eczema, in addition to reducing puffiness, dullness, and general skin irritation. There have also been a range of studies that suggest facial lymphatic drainage massage may improve the appearance of aging skin.

Wellbeing guru and facialist Abigail James told Glamour, "In terms of tools, obviously you can use your hands, which are the perfect tool, but you can also use gadgets to give a different effect and feel." She suggests using gua sha tools (this is your reminder to add a gua sha to your skincare routine), jade rollers, foreo, or a Clarisonic, and explains that for best results, lymphatic drainage massage should be performed once or twice a week using a plant-based oil or balm.

DIY lymphatic drainage facial massage at home

As per Glamour, wellbeing guru and facialist Abigail James explains that "Not all techniques are the same, some are trickier to master than others but once you've grasped the way, it's a super simple addition to your daily skincare routine." She does also suggest that for sensitive or acne-prone skin, it's important to select the right massage method; otherwise, further irritation may occur.

When performing a lymphatic drainage facial massage, your focus is on moving toward the nodes to encourage draining, so outward and down. It is also recommended that you ensure your skin is properly lubricated, which helps fingertips and tools to slide smoothly across the skin. Enlighten Bodhi suggests using facial oil as lubrication for skin, prior to facial massage.

To perform a DIY lymphatic drainage facial massage, start by pressing the lymph nodes at your collarbones to begin draining. According to Healthline, use the palms of your hands to apply gentle pressure. Stretch the skin on each part of your face toward the lymph nodes in your neck. When massaging around your eyes, it may be best to use your ring finger instead of your entire palm, and instead of pulling the skin, use a rolling motion. For best results, repeat the process around three to nine times on each area of your face.