Facial Lymphatic Drainage: What you need to know

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) has been used in medicine to treat post-surgery edema, breast cancer-related lymphoedema, among others. In addition, it is used for beauty purposes too just like botox injections; for example: to reduce inflammation, cellulite and body shaping. As it has many benefits for the body, why don’t you try it on the face? 

On a previous blog, we talked about 15 benefits of facial lymphatic drainage (FLD); and today we would like to answer all your questions about this trendy technique that makes you look and feel good. These are some of the most asked questions:

What is facial lymphatic drainage FLD?

As we told you on our previous blog, the  lymphatic system is a fundamental part of your immune system. Your lymphatic system collects and eliminates the excess fluid, toxins and waste of your body. Using a network of hundreds of lymph nodes, it drains the lymph (a fluid that carries the waste and toxins, but also white cells). Then, the lymph returns to your bloodstream to be eliminated. 

When there’s any kind of obstruction in your lymphatic system, fluid starts to build up. But don´t worry, the functions of your lymphatic system can be improved with MLD.

In short, Facial Lymphatic Drainage (FLD) is a (light and gentle) specialized type of massage that encourages the lymph to circulate properly all over your face, improving your skin quality, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles and eye bags. 

Is there scientific evidence related to de benefits of FLD?

  • An study made in 2015, was the first to find a link between impaired lymphatic function and sagging of the skin.
  • Professor Neil Piller, director of Flinders University’s Lymphoedema Clinical Research Unit, is about to begin a study to explore the role of MLD as a treatment for eye bags and puffiness, a perennial cosmetic problem that tends to worsen with age.
  • In addition, Professor Piller found, in a 2013 clinical trial, positive results of lymphatic drainage in the body when treating lymphoedema and other inflammatory conditions. This research has not been published, yet. However, thanks to professor Piller’s work there are more scientific facts and evidence related to the benefits of MLD . 

What are the benefits of FLD?

  • Improves circulation 
  • Delivers oxygen around the skin
  • Draining toxins
  • Reduces inflammation and puffiness
  • Promotes an overall glow.
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Reduces dark circles and under-eye bags.
  • Helps to reduce acne and eczema.

Users say “It’s like a gym workout on the face.”

Who can benefit from facial  lymphatic drainage?

  • People with  aging signs.
  • Facial lymphatic drainage can benefit everybody, it doesn’t matter the age. 
  • People with sun damage. Sun  damage can result in fewer lymphatic vessels and a deterioration of lymphatic function.

How often should I do a Lymphatic drainage on my face?

You can do it every time you need (5-10 minutes is ok), for example every day if you have dark circles or eye-bags. However, for better skin and mental health outcomes, it is advised to receive professional treatment. Your therapist will evaluate the condition of your skin and will design the treatment according to your needs and desired outcomes.

How long does FLD take?

 Professional sessions can last 30 or 45 minutes. If you perform it yourself, 10 minutes is ok. However, for best results you need to spend at least 20 mins draining your face and neck.

How do I know if I am doing incorrectly?

Remember Facial lymphatic drainage is a light and gentle massage. So if the massage is deep and rough it is not correct. You need to be familiar with the position of the lymph nodes in  your face, so you perform the movements towards the near lymph node. 

Does facial FLD have risk?

There aren’t risks as such. However, if you do it incorrectly, you are likely to develop:

  • Sagging skin sooner
  • Bruising
  • Muscle soreness
  • Nerve damage

Be careful when doing lymphatic drainage to yourself. If you are not sure about the technique and pressure,  please ask for expert advice, we are always glad to help you!

When is MLD contraindicated?

Ask your GP first if you have this conditions:

  • High risk of blood clots.
  • If you use injectable dermal fillers (Botox, Hyaluronic acid, etc. These toxins won’t be allowed to be adsorbed). 
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • An active lymphatic infection.
  • Skin cancer.
  • Cancer
  • When you are under chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Unknown lymph node swelling condition.

How can I do facial lymphatic drainage at home?

Watch how to do your facial lymphatic drainage on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CP-wK5cn9Xj/  or read the instructions bellow.

  1. First, Use  your index, middle and ring finger to do a short clockwise motion, this will  open the lymph nodes above your collarbone.
  2. After that, Follow your neckline and place your 3 fingers just above the clavicle.
  3. Without any pressure, move your fingers in a clockwise motion as if drawing a “C”.
  4. Repeat the ‘C’ clockwise motion 3 times, pausing between each motion.
  5. Next, move your hands to the middle of your neck and repeat the process. After that, repeat this same process on your neck, just below the jaw.
  6. Trace your fingers along the base of your jaw, and stop just before reaching the end of your chin and repeat the circular motion 3 times.
  7. Now, using your index and middle finger in a V shape, place your index finger behind the ear and your middle finger in front of it and repeat the ‘C’ clockwise motion 3 times; pausing between each motion.
  8. Then, using the index, middle and ring finger again, place it on your cheek bone, repeat the circular motion 3 times, pausing between each motion.
  9. Using your ring finger, tap your way towards the outer corner of your eye, beginning at the inner corner of your it.
  10. Now using the index, middle and ring finger again, place them on your cheek bone and repeat the circular motion 3 times, pausing between each circular motion.
  11. Finally, repeat this lymphatic drainage sequence again!

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find usin Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!






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