There’s limited evidence that lymphatic facials are an effective beauty tool, but they might be worth a try.

Discover the rejuvenating benefits of a lymphatic drainage facial — a treatment that helps address puffiness and revitalize the skin. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, this practice is recognized for its holistic approach to promoting overall skin health.

Let’s dive into the world of lymphatic drainage facials, exploring the secrets behind achieving a radiant complexion and a renewed sense of well-being.

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Does draining your lymphatic system really improve your well-being (especially in your face)? Here are some health perks you might experience from applying lymphatic drainage massage to your most visible body part.

Could decrease enzymes linked to muscle damage

According to a 2009 systematic review, manual lymphatic drainage techniques lowered levels of blood enzymes associated with muscle damage. If you’ve experienced damage to the muscles in your face (such as from surgery or injury), it’s possible this treatment could help them repair.

May reduce swelling

The same 2009 research indicated that people also had less edema (aka swelling) when treated with manual lymphatic drainage. Just keep in mind that the study focused on ankle sprains and wrist fractures, not facial swelling.

Increases blood flow

When you or an aesthetician performs lymphatic drainage massage on your face, you’ll boost blood flow to the area. This might be especially true if you use a facial roller. A small 2018 study found that using a facial roller increased blood flow in the short term and vascular dilation response in the long term.

So far, there’s limited evidence around the beauty results of lymphatic drainage facials. There’s not much to link them to minimizing breakouts or erasing eye bags, for example (no matter what a medspa’s website says). In general, though, any face-prettifying benefits of this procedure are probably connected to its health benefits.

Could reduce puffiness

As lymphatic drainage calms swelling, the natural result is less puffiness. This applies on any part of the body, including the face.

Might be useful after injectables

Do you feel like your face is looking a bit funky after Botox or other injectables? According to 2023 research, manual lymphatic drainage could mitigate complications after facial procedures like these.

Could calm eye swelling

The above research also concluded that lymphatic drainage was especially helpful for reducing eye swelling after eyelid lifts.

Wellness centers, aesthetics practices, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, and spas all may offer lymphatic drainage facials — it really just depends on what’s available in your area. Like many other facials, you’ll likely be able to choose the time length of your treatment (typically 30-60 minutes).

Price varies a lot by location, too. Generally you can get a lymphatic drainage facial for anywhere from $75–$200.

Fortunately, lymphatic drainage doesn’t actually involve draining fluids out of your face. (Phew!) It’s more like a specialized massage — meaning you can try it on yourself without fear of physical harm.

Here’s how:

  1. Sit, stand, or lie down in a comfortable, quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
  2. Place a few drops of good-quality facial oil on your fingers.
  3. Beginning at the bottom of your face (the chin), massage your skin in circular motions. (You can also use a face roller.)
  4. Knead your skin gently, using your fingertips to apply pressure and continuing to work upward in circular motions until you’ve covered your entire face.

A lymphatic facial massage may not be the right treatment for conditions like acne or wrinkles, but it holds some promise for reducing puffiness and increasing circulation. And really, who can argue with a calming massage to the face? No matter the results, you’ll probably come away from a manual lymphatic drainage session feeling relaxed.