How to depuff your face with lymphatic massage

By Hayley McKinnon

If the first thing you see when you look in the mirror in the morning is puffy skin, it could be a sign that your face needs extra help with lymphatic drainage.

woman performing facial lymphatic massage

The lymphatic system removes toxins and metabolic waste from cells all over the body, carrying these substances away in lymphatic fluid (lymph). When lymph circulation is impaired or overwhelmed, lymph fluid can build up. This shows up in the face as swelling and puffiness, and even bags under the eyes.

The good news? The answer to improved lymph flow is literally at your fingertips. The next time you wake up puffy, try stimulating your facial lymph vessels with this gentle and soothing massage technique. It helps excess lymph to drain, reducing swelling in the face and eye area.

Facial Lymphatic Massage

1. Wash your face and pat dry.

2. Lightly coat your index and middle fingertips (both hands) with your favorite moisturizer.

3. Find one of your key lymph drainage points where the end of jaw bone meets your neck. (If you've ever had a swollen lymph gland when you were sick, this is the same spot.)

4. Using your fingertips, gently stroke downward from this spot towards your collarbone. Repeat 20 times.

5. Move up higher to your temple and gently stroke downward towards your collarbone. Repeat 20 times.

6. Find the spot just under your cheekbone (another area with a known lymph vessel). Gently stroke downward 20 times.

7. Lightly tap around the eye area to "wake up" the lymph.

8. Place your fingertips where your eyebrows begin near your nose and gently sweep your fingertips outwards towards your temple. Repeat 20 times. Apply more moisturizer as needed to help your fingertips lightly glide. Avoid tugging or pulling the skin.

9. Repeat this same light stroking in the under-eye area.

10. Now go in reverse: sweeping and stroking your eye area, cheekbones, temple, and jawline.

11. Finish your massage by lightly tapping all over your face. Start tapping at your forehead and move downward towards your jawline.

Show your lymphatic system some love! Support your body's natural detox system with these 12 ways to boost your lymphatic health.

Published: July 16, 2019 - Last Updated: April 6, 2021

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