When it comes to skincare, there are so many anti-aging gimmicks out there. From creams and lotions to expensive treatments, it can be overwhelming figuring out which products and and remedies will actually work for you. And while facial cupping isn’t necessarily a new thing, it’s recently piqued our interest for its anti-aging powers.
What is facial cupping?
If you’ve seen photos of people going to salons and leaving with purple and blue circular marks all over their backs, you’ve probably heard of cupping. If not, it is a type of therapy that has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (though some researchers suggest that it could have originated in ancient Egypt) that uses suction directly on the body to promote healthier skin and muscle tissue and to improve the flow of “qi” (pronounced “chee”) or life force energy in the body. It can be done on the face or body and is said to relieve tension and even result in younger-looking skin.
Benefits of Facial Cupping
Cupping can be done at salons or at home. For areas like your back, it’s probably easier to go to a salon and have the treatment done. Many report that cupping helps relieve stiff, aching muscles and is super relaxing. On top of that, it’s said to increase blood circulation and promote cell repair and regeneration.
Cupping can also be done on the face, and you can go to a salon for a treatment or do it at home yourself. Facial cupping is a little different than body cupping in that the cups are much smaller and softer, offering a more gentle suction. Facial cups stimulate and encourage blood flow to the fascia — or connective tissue — by gently pulling the skin away, and they don’t typically leave cup marks. Though you might want to avoid it if you have sensitive skin or rosacea, as cupping could cause the skin to become red or irritated.
Research shows that facial cupping can increase oxygen-rich blood circulation, strengthen skin and connective tissues, stimulate the cells responsible for collagen production, and relax muscle tension (for example, around the jaw). Because of this, it’s believed that the practice can give you brighter skin, minimize signs of aging, help tone chin, neck, and jaw muscles, and reduce puffiness. Speaking to Healthline, Ananda Emily Reese, LAc, of Reese Acupuncture said, “Over time this practice improves the complexion and diminishes fine lines and wrinkles.”
Getting a facial cupping treatment at a salon is often expensive, but the good news is, you can grab a kit online and do it yourself. In fact, I tried it out and loved the results. Not only did cupping feel really good (I could actually feel the tension being sucked out of my face!), but the next morning I noticed a significant difference in the lines on my forehead and the puffiness around my eyes. My face turned a tiny bit red after the treatment, but otherwise, I noticed no major side effects. I used this kit from Beauty SSentials (Buy on Amazon, $19.99).
Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:
- Wash your face and pat dry.
- You can use a face oil or lotion on your face before you start cupping to help the cups move and minimize your risk for marks, but this is totally optional. If you’re using a product, apply liberally all over your face.
- Gently compress the cup with your fingers and place it on your cheek near your nose. Allow the cup to suction your skin, then move the cup slowly towards your hairline until the suction naturally releases. Important note: Don’t pull the cup off of your face when the suction is still active! This can cause skin irritation and bruising.
- Switch between cup sizes (your kit should come with at least two different ones) depending on the area you’re working on. The smaller cup can be used on places like the eye area and chin while the larger cup can be used on the cheeks and forehead.
And if you need some more specific guidance, here’s a YouTube tutorial from The Ancient Touch that I found super helpful. Her how-to begins at minute 5!
So indulge yourself in a little self care with facial cupping — we think you’ll love it!