The Benefits of Facial Cupping: When and How to use this Ancient Healing Modality
Cupping is a healing modality that was developed in ancient Chinese culture. Used for centuries, it is known for breaking up congestion in the skin, lymphatic drainage, and promoting the flow of Qi (“Chee”); the life force in the body. Like a reverse massage, cupping creates gentle suction away from the skin instead of pushing the skin inward. This suction pulls blood and nutrients from the deepest layers of the skin to the surface; breaking up blockages, promoting blood flow, and improving circulation.
If you’ve ever heard anything about cupping, you might be imagining big bulb-like cups being suctioned onto your back. If that’s the image you have in your head, facial cupping is pretty similar. The major difference is that they are much smaller and move more swiftly across the face. As with body cupping, facial cupping helps to reduce muscle tension around the jaw, forehead, and eyes but also has regenerating effects on the skin of the face and neck.
Facial and body cupping offer similar benefits; they help to drain lymph nodes, increase the supply of oxygen, and nourish the skin. When the facial cups are applied to the face, the suction separates different layers of tissue, resulting in microtrauma below the skin’s surface. The body triggers an inflammatory response, increasing the flow of white blood cells, platelets and other healing queues to the area.
Used at home, facial cupping is ideal for stimulating the deepest layers of the skin and can increase elasticity, plump and tone skin, and improve the look of fine lines. Increasing blood flow and stagnation below the surface will help to combat dullness and uneven tone. It can also be used as a tool to relax muscle tissue and tension, particularly around the jawline and down the neck.
Whereas body cupping is a treatment you’re going to want to book with a registered practitioner, facial cupping is a ritual you can do from the comfort of your own home. This self-ritual will save you the cost of a $200+ professional treatment with all the benefits. Cupping can be performed daily and will leave your skin feeling firmer, energized, and give you a refreshed glow in a matter of minutes.
Facial cupping sets come with cone-shaped cups or bulbs, that can be made out of plastic or silicone. A variety of cup sizes are typically included to provide optimal suction for the various areas on the face and neck. Larger cups should be used on the neck, cheeks, forehead, and outer areas of the face, while small cups are perfect for more delicate areas around the eyes and lips.
It’s important to begin by cleansing thoroughly and prepping your skin with an oil-based face serum prior to cupping. This will help to moisturize the skin and promote comfortable gliding of the cups. Once the skin is prepped, gently squeeze the cup, applying it to the skin and releasing to create gentle suction. It is important to continually move the cup across your face in an upward and outward motion to prevent the cup from sitting in one area for too long, causing bruising. Continue cupping the various sections of the face, switching the cup sizes as needed. To add to your experience, you can cup post-shower, first thing while listening to relaxing music, or just before bed. Either way, we are sure you will find your zen and your skin will thank you!
Diagram Courtesy of Province Apothecary
If you are looking to step up your skincare game in the New Year, consider adding facial cupping to your resolutions list. To shop our recommended kits or learn more on how to perform this healing treatment, click here!