Anyone familiar with cupping therapy, but not with facial cupping, could be forgiven for not thinking this sounds like a good idea.
But fewer people are making that mistake as facial cupping becomes more widely available, both in spas and with at-home DIY kits. It is the same basic idea as cupping as it’s done on the back or other areas of the body, using heated glass or silicone cups to draw blood flow to a specific part of the body.
Perhaps best known for producing very round, visible bruises on the body, cupping is believed to detox the body and alleviate neck and back pain, skin conditions, asthma, hypertension and other conditions.
These bruises occur because the cups are left to rest in one place for several minutes to create extra suction, while with facial cupping smaller cups are kept in constant motion, which feels like a facial massage. They’re designed to gently lift the skin from deeper layers of collagen, increasing blood flow and refreshing the skin without bruising.
That’s not to say facial bruising can’t happen, and there’s a greater risk of it when you’re doing it for yourself or having an untrained friend do it for you. So, do read all instructions.
Since both types of cupping are rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, most facial cupping practitioners are acupuncturists and may recommend pairing it with acupuncture or other treatments, though many will perform cupping by itself.
Many clients report positive results in as little as one session, due to improved circulation of blood and oxygen, increased collagen production and muscle relaxation, including:
- Brighter, plumper skin
- Reduced appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and scars
- More definition and toning around the chin, cheekbones, jawline, neck and chest
- Decreased puffiness
- Improved absorption of products and nutrients
- Facial cupping is not recommended for broken or inflamed skin, including breakouts, rashes and sores. In most cases, the treatment is safe and can have visible, if temporary, results.
Some experts recommend waiting at least 72 hours between treatments, while others say it’s better to wait seven days.