News alert: The lymphatic system has entered the chat room! The beauty chat room, to be exact.
In recent years, we’ve witnessed society show a newfound appreciation for the lymphatic system and how it surprisingly affects many aspects of our lives – the skin, our moods, our immune system, just our overall health and wellbeing.
In response to this growing interest, nearly anyone and everyone – brands, companies, doctors, health influencers – took to their heels to introduce solutions that could help boost our lymphatic system and, in turn, improve the quality of our lives.
The beauty world, in particular, stepped up to the challenge with a wave of trendy new tips – from jade rollers and gua shas to detox supplements and lymphatic drainage massages! And in all honesty, it can be hard to spot the difference between science-based treatments and bandwagon propaganda (like, are lymph cleansing smoothies actually a thing?!).
But conspiracy theories aside, one thing remains certain: All these solutions seem to have gotten the attention they wanted thanks to this plain and simple truth: The lymphatic system DOES affect our skin, in fact, so much more than we realise. And the good news is, we have more control over it than we think!
In this article, we unpack one of the latest trends in the long string of lymphatic-based beauty treatments: Lymphatic drainage facials. What is it? How does it improve the skin? And most importantly, do they really work?
Don’t worry, we’ll cover all that and more! But first, let’s start with a little science lesson.
What is the Lymphatic System?
For us to truly appreciate the hype behind these skincare treatments, we first need to understand what it is they’re advocating for: A healthy lymphatic system.
But wait, what does that even mean? We’ll try to keep it simple!
Just picture an intricate train system running around all the important areas of a busy city, keeping the citizens in constant movement and transporting them to their desired destinations. Well, that’s basically what the lymphatic system does for our body.
It is a network of tissues, vessels, and other organs – all bound by delicate tubes (lymphatic vessels being the more appropriate term) that travel throughout the body. Its goal is simple: To keep excess body fluids (also called lymph) flowing back to the bloodstream. By doing so, it is able to (1) drain toxins, waste, and pollutants, (2) ensure essential nutrients are back in the bloodstream, and (3) produce and distribute lymphocytes (white blood cells) to fight against viruses, infections, parasites, and fungi in our bodies.
Fun fact: Have you ever experienced swollen lymph nodes? Yes, they’re pretty scary to look at (and they hurt!), but that’s a sign that your body is fighting an infection. The lymph nodes are where the body filters through all those fluids with the help of white blood cells – stopping the bad ones from spreading and allowing the good ones to go through.
All that said, by ensuring that balance of body fluids, the lymphatic system prevents even bigger issues like cellular waste, blockages, infections, and illnesses. For the sake of concluding our analogy: No one likes late trains and crowded stations!
Phew, we hope that wasn’t too complicated to digest (pardon the pun)! Basically put: The lymphatic system is a crucial part of our body’s detoxification process, thus keeping our health in check. One publication even called it “the Amazon river of all lymph vessels”. We hope that gives you a glimpse of how important it is! In case, what happens when “the Amazon” runs dry?
What Happens When Our Lymphatic System is Clogged?
Not many know this, but the lymphatic network is actually part of our immune system. That means, any blockages or malfunctions will definitely show in the body one way or another: Bloating or swelling, brain fog and depression, sudden weight gain, food sensitivities and digestive problems, and in more severe cases, enlarged lymph nodes, infections (lymphedema being the most common), mystery illnesses, or worse, cancerous tumours. So if you ever doubted the effects of the lymphatic system on our daily health, then maybe that will change your mind!
For the skin, in particular, a poor lymphatic system can lead to physical manifestations on our tone and texture – like dullness, dryness, puffiness, and for some people, skin sensitivities.
Now, we are all (for the most part) born with fully functioning lymphatic systems. And because other organs, like the kidneys and liver, play a part in keeping our bodies clean from toxins, it can be hard to pinpoint the root cause of many of these problems. However, there are a few factors that are known to clog our lymphatic system, or at very least, keep them from functioning properly:
That said, the more important question we need to ask ourselves is this:
How Do We Keep Our Lymphatic System Healthy?
The lymphatic system relies on several factors to help keep it healthy and functioning normally, most of which are actually more simple than we think: A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and muscle movement. That’s basically it!
Because unlike the circulatory system, our lymphatic network does not have its own “pump”, thus functioning at a pace purely based on everyone’s unique body composition and condition. That said, it often needs the assistance of external triggers to help regulate the lymphatic flow of body fluids – and that’s where a facial lymphatic drainage can come in handy!
Doing a manual lymphatic drainage on your own is definitely possible. There are tons of articles and videos that show the proper ways to massage the lymph nodes. That said, before you try it out for yourself, make sure the techniques are advised by experts. An even better (and definitely safer!) option is to get a professional to do it for you.
These days, tons of beauty salons, day spas, and skin clinics offer this type of treatment in the form of a lymphatic massage or a full-fledged lymphatic drainage facial, which leads us to the next question:
What Does a Lymphatic Drainage Facial Do?
Like regular facials, it involves a comprehensive skincare routine with specific ingredients and careful, long-flowing movements that are applied throughout the skin. But with a lymphatic drainage facial, these techniques target specific lymph nodes in our face and neck through circular motions and light, directed pressure.
In simple terms: Its purpose is to address lymphatic fluid buildup, usher out toxins and wastes, enhance the circulation of blood, oxygen, and other vital nutrients, and ultimately welcome an array of benefits for the skin!
5 Skin Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Facials
1. Gets rid of toxins that may cause acne breakouts and other skin problems
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the lymphatic system for our skin is detoxification. All that waste buildup in our bodies can lead to inflammation, which is often the root cause of acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, rashes, and other skin sensitivities.
That’s not to say that a lymphatic facial will not completely heal these skin conditions (after all, there are so many other factors that contribute to problematic skin!), but ensuring a healthy circulation of fluids will definitely help reduce symptoms or possibly prevent breakouts from happening in the first place.
For people with sensitive skin, it is also a great alternative to deep facial massages and movements that often trigger reactivity.
2. Improves dull skin and restores overall radiance
As you already know by now, one of the many responsibilities of the lymphatic system is to regulate the flow of lymph (again, another term for excess body fluids), which contain vital proteins, nutrients, minerals, fats, and white blood cells that need to make it back to our bloodstream.
When this fails to happen or there is a congestion of some sort, our skin cells and tissues are deprived of these essentials, and it will definitely show! One obvious indicator: A dull complexion.
So the next time you’re looking like a lifeless zombie, try out a lymphatic facial (in tandem with skincare products and a healthy lifestyle of course!) to help get your glow and radiance back! Not only does it stimulate proper lymphatic circulation, it also promotes healthy oxygen and blood flow. A triple win for dull skin!
3. Decreases puffiness
Raise your hand if you’ve ever woken up looking like Pillsbury Doughboy, only not as cute and cuddly. Don’t worry, us too!
Facial puffiness is a clear sign of congestion, whether it be because of fluid retention, an on-going infection, or clogged sinuses (that is, of course, assuming it’s not caused by something more serious like an allergic reaction, thyroid disease, or preeclampsia).
Assuming it’s not any of those latter conditions, lymphatic drainage is an effective way of releasing those pent up fluids. It also helps clear the sinuses from any infection by ensuring white blood cells are coming to the rescue! The cherry on top are the soothing and firming effects of the gentle massage techniques, thus restoring the energy, vitality, and tight texture of the skin.
4. Prevents skin ageing
Facial massages are known to help boost collagen production in our skin, and the same can be expected from the techniques used in lymphatic facials. They incorporate gentle, circular movements and other massage strokes that stimulate this natural process, and consequently, help prevent signs of skin ageing.
As some of you may know, collagen is a protein in our bodies responsible for keeping the skin elastic, flexible, and supple. In simpler terms, it is what prevents our skin from sagging, and instead provides a more plump, youthful look.
5. Lessens dark circles and discolouration under the eyes
Now, just to be clear, we’re not encouraging you to carry on with those long, sleepless nights and solely depend on eye masks and facials to work their magic on those dark circles. After all, nothing compares to healthy habits and a full 8-hour sleep! But as an added skincare tip, getting a lymphatic drainage massage will help increase blood circulation and allow fresh oxygen and nutrients to flow to the area. As a result, it helps reduce the appearance of puffy, dark under eyes.
What Happens During a Lymphatic Drainage Facial?
First thing’s first: When it comes to facials that target the lymphatic system, it is best to trust professionals to perform the treatment for you. They are trained with the knowledge and skillset to handle your skin in the best way possible, targeting the proper channels and assuring you of proper techniques that are safe and effective.
That said, lymphatic facials may differ depending on the beauty salon or day spa you go to. They typically incorporate light pressure and gentle movements like tapping, stroking, rubbing, and pushing around your face, neck and collarbones. Some aestheticians also make use of necessary tools like a jade roller, gua sha, facial cupping, acupuncture, masks, and the like. Whatever the case may be, the entire routine is meant to drain toxins, regulate blood and oxygen flow, and improve overall skin health.
To give you a clearer picture of how the actual procedure goes, we’ll give you a sneak peek into our lymphatic drainage facials at Lovoir Skin Body & Beauty.
We have customised three different types, each varying in skincare steps and ingredients that target the lymphatic system and provide different levels of detoxification and benefits for the skin.
In a nutshell, they usually consist of the following steps:
- Step 1: Consultation
- Step 2: Cleanse and exfoliate the skin.
- Step 3: Depending on the type of lymphatic facial you get, we will apply any of the following masks: (1) a Lymphatic Mask that gently tightens the skin around the face, neck, and décolletage, or (2) an Enzyme Peel for anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Step 4: After masking, we will end with a relaxing Lymphatic Facial Massage that detoxifies the lymphatic system, improves blood circulation, and promotes overall skin health.
Our lymphatic drainage facials last between 70 to 100 minutes, depending on what type you get. While you may experience a gentle tightening and pulsating sensation during the masking step, the entire procedure is comfortable, pain-free, and has zero downtime!
Most Asked Questions About Lymphatic Drainage Facials
How Long Do Lymphatic Drainage Facial Results Last?
The visible results of a lymphatic drainage facial will largely depend on your body composition, metabolism, and lifestyle among other things. While results may last up to 10 days for some, it may be a month for others.
Point is, it’s best not to depend on regular lymphatic facials (or any facial for that matter!) to solve all your skin problems. At best, they are meant to keep your lymphatic system as healthy as possible, alongside equally important habits like diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Your skin will continue looking and feeling its best as long as you continue incorporating these tips into a regular routine!
How Often Should You Get Lymphatic Drainage Facial?
We recommend getting a lymphatic facial
For our Lymphatic Facials here at Lovoir Skin Body & Beauty, we usually recommend a treatment plan of 3 facials spaced out every 2 weeks.
Once that first set of facials is done, we analyse your skin results and customise succeeding treatments from there. Because everyone’s lymphatic system acts differently, we like to take a personal approach with every customer to ensure only the best and safest results.
Is a Lymphatic Drainage Facial Safe for Everyone?
Lymphatic drainage facials are a gentle, painless, safe treatment. As such, it can work wonders for all skin types, including those with very sensitive skin. That said, we still advise our customers with the following conditions to get the go signal from their doctors before coming in for their facial:
- a high risk of blood clots
- an active lymphatic infection
- congestive heart failure
- swelling without a known cause or reason
Where To Go For Lymphatic Drainage Facials
If you’re ready to experience a lymphatic drainage facial firsthand, we invite you to pay us a visit at Lovoir Skin Body & Beauty!
We offer specialised lymphatic facials using PRIN skincare products, all targeted to give your lymphatic system a much-needed boost. They’ve quickly become a favourite among our customers, and we can’t wait for you to try them out for yourself!
Here’s a quick look into our available treatments. If you want to learn more about them or have any questions you’d like to ask, visit our website or give us a call and we’ll be glad to help!
PRIN Lymphatic Therapy Facial Level 1
- Perfect for: An introduction to PRIN for beginners.
- Includes: PRINs FLOW mask that tightens and targets our organ systems, helping increase blood circulation and promote detoxification. It also includes Australian botanicals and vitamin-rich plant extracts like Kakadu Plum and Tasmanian Pepper Leaf Extract, which are absorbed in the skin for overall health and radiance.
PRIN Lymphatic Therapy Facial Level 2
- Perfect for: A relaxing facial for PRIN regulars.
- Includes: A relaxing and specialised lymphatic facial massage that works to flush out toxins, stimulate circulation, and enhance your skin’s glow
PRIN Lymphatic Therapy Facial Level 3
- Perfect for: The ultimate PRIN Facial for avid fans of lymphatic drainage.
- Includes: Everything in one PRIN Lymphatic Therapy! A relaxing lymphatic facial massage, followed by a specialised Enzyme Peel for anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits. They work together to detoxify the skin, improve blood circulation, dissolve dead skin cells and blocked pores, soften, hydrate, and brighten the skin.