10-Step Lymphatic Drainage Massage for Your Face

lymphatic face massage

If your skin looks puffy, dull, and irritated, it could be due to fluid building up in the lymphatic system. A lymphatic drainage massage will drain the fluid from your skin, so you look and feel your best.

But what exactly is the lymphatic system? And what’s involved in a lymphatic drainage massage? This article will tell you all you need to know and will even provide information so you can perform the massage at home.

What is the Lymphatic System?

Lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is made up of a network of organs, vessels, and tissues that move a colorless, watery fluid called lymph through your bloodstream.

About 20 liters of plasma flow through your arteries, blood vessels, and capillaries every day, and they deliver nutrients to the cells and tissues and receive their waste products. Once this task is completed, about 17 liters of plasma go back into your system via your veins.

The other three liters are delivered to your body’s tissues through your capillaries.

The lymphatic system collects the excess fluid, called lymph, from your body tissue and circulates it through your body, so it returns to the bloodstream.

The lymphatic system is responsible for the following functions:

  • Regulates fluid levels in the body: The system collects excess fluid from the cells and tissues in your body and returns it to your bloodstream to allow it to be recirculated.
  • Absorbs fat from the digestive tract: Lymph is made up of fluids that contain fats and proteins. The lymphatic system transports these fluids back to your bloodstream.
  • Improves Immunity: The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It produces and releases white blood cells and other cells that destroy bacteria, parasites, and other foreign invaders to protect your body from disease.
  • Transports and removes waste products and abnormal cells from the lymph to ensure proper functioning.

What is a Lymphatic Drainage Face Massage?

At times, the lymphatic system may experience a buildup of excess fluid within certain parts of the body, including the face. A light massage will increase the circulation around the face to minimize fluid buildup and the toxins and waste that come with it.

It involves gently massaging the face following the direction of lymphatic flow. The circular movements will stimulate the lymph vessels beneath the skin. The provider will use a light, gentle pressure to drain excess fluids and toxins to relieve puffiness and brighten your complexion.

Who Should Get One?

face massage with stones

Lymphatic drainage face massages can benefit people with lymphedema and other conditions related to the lymphatic system. Lymphedema occurs when lymphatic fluid builds up in a specific part of the body to cause inflammation.

In addition to aiding with lymphatic conditions, the massages can benefit anyone with facial swelling due to stress, fatigue, migraines, and skin disorders.

However, the massages may cause complications for people dealing with certain health issues. Consult a doctor before getting a lymphatic massage if you are at risk for or have been diagnosed with:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Blood clots
  • Kidney infection
  • Circulatory issues

What are the Benefits?

A lymphatic drainage face massage produces the following benefits:

  • Eliminates toxins from the skin
  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces puffiness and inflammation
  • Reduces dark circles under the eye
  • Minimizes breakouts

How to Give Yourself a Lymphatic Drainage Face Massage

You can get a lymphatic drainage face massage at a clinic, but to save money, you can also do the massage at home. Here are the steps you will need to take.

  1. Start with a cream – which is not necessary for the massage process. However, it is recommended for beginners to help the fingers move around the face easily. Choose a cream that is non-irritating and will not cause breakouts.
  2. Note that lymphatic vessels are very delicate, so you shouldn’t use too much pressure. Doing so will cause the fluid not to drain properly.
  3. Massage your face gently using downward circles going from the jawline to the neck.
  4. Target the chin area going from the front of the chin to the jaw, continuing with the circular motions. Work from the center of your chin to the outer edges of your jaw.
  5. Apply circular motions going from the center of your face and moving outward.
  6. Go back to the chin working from the center of the chin to the jawline.
  7. Work the cheeks starting at the center and moving outward.
  8. Address the orbital bone around the eye going from the center along the bottom ridge and out. Then go along the top ridge and out.
  9. Circle the cheekbones starting at the center and working outward.
  10. Finally, address the forehead, starting in the center and moving outward to the side of the face.

Repeat as often as you’d like.

How Often Should I Perform a Lymphatic Massage?

You can do a lymphatic massage as often as desired. Some do it a few times a week, while others do it every night. It is best to do the massage at nighttime as this will reduce morning puffiness, and it is recommended to do it after applying serum to your skin.

You should not do a lymphatic massage if you are experiencing inflamed acne. Massaging over acne can increase inflammation and scarring and may spread bacteria in your pores, making breakouts worse.

Should I Use Massage Tools?

gua sha stone for lymphatic draininage

There are massage tools such as jade rollers and gua sha stones that can be used for lymphatic massages. However, experts recommend using your hands as the most effective way to achieve optimal results.

If you prefer to start with a tool, try gua sha stones. They are preferable to jade rollers, which move in a back-and-forth motion and do not allow the lymph vessels to drain properly.


A lymphatic face massage can get you looking better and feeling better. While you can get one at a spa, these directions will allow you to administer one at home so you can access its healing power any time you’d like, for way less money. Will you be including these massages in your beauty routine? 

Tools for Lymphatic Massage:

Wilding Empress Kit Gua Sha
Wilding Empress Kit, $129
BAIMEI Jade Roller & Gua Sha Set Facial Beauty Tools
BAIMEI Jade Roller & Gua Sha Set Facial Beauty Tools, $9.99
Aquaphor Ointment
Aquaphor Ointment, $13.89
CeraVe Healing Ointment
CeraVe Healing Ointment, $9.99
Gua Sha Facial Tool
Gua Sha Facial Tool, $7.99

Read Next:

8 Must-Have Skin Care Tools for Women 50+

A Flexible Anti-Aging Skincare Routine That Works

Steps You Can Take Now to Manage Stress


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