Everything you need to know about facial cupping and how to do it yourself.
The first time I tried cupping was back in 2016, riding the Michael Phelps wave of body cupping as a form of recovery. I went for a cupping massage which involved being rubbed with oil, after which soft rubber cups were suctioned onto my stomach, back and feet, and gently moved around to massage the area or in the case of particularly tight spots, suctioned and left on to draw out toxins and dead skin cells.
At the time, the therapist who did my session mentioned facial cupping which uses smaller silicon cups on your face, as part of an aesthetic treatment. That conversation would be stored in the back of my brain until 2021, when Celluvac sent us their facial cups to test out. Unboxing the little cups and testing them out, that conversation came out of storage and I started to dig into what facial cupping is and how to do it.
What is Facial Cupping?
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Facial cupping is a lot more gentle than body cupping and should never leave your face with the red-purple marks body cupping results in. That is because you use soft silicone cups not hard plastic or glass cups like with body cupping. When doing facial cupping, cups are not static like with body cupping, they are always moving making it more gentle.
Cupping is an ancient practice that has roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine where skin is suctioned from the rest of the body, resulting in freshly oxygenated blood being brought into the tissue which increases skin cell nutrients, stimulates collagen and elastin, and restores new skin tissue. Facial cupping involves using soft silicone cups to gently suction skin on your face and glide it upwards and outwards to reap the benefits of cupping.
Benefits of Facial Cupping
- Facial cupping helps stimulate collagen and elastin production. Collagen is what makes your skin look firm and taut which leads to the anti-aging benefits of cupping.
- It increases blood circulation which pumps oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells, leaving your skin looking supple and glowy.
- It helps decrease puffiness and moves lymph around, sculpting the face, neck, and jawline. As you glide the cups in upward strokes, you can also help tone and lift the skin as well.
- Improves the absorption of facial products.
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Reduces tension.
Good to know
- If you have hypersensitive skin, avoid facial cupping as it can leave bruises or cause broken capillaries especially around thinner areas.
- Avoid facial cupping on open sores, sunburnt skin, edema, over large blood vessels and acne pustules, as the dragging motion can make them worse.
- Those who are pregnant or have bleeding disorders should not do cupping.
How to do Facial Cupping at Home
Celluvac recommends that facial cupping should be done for a few minutes 3 times a week for 6-12 weeks to see results and then once a week for maintenance. However, in my research I have seen numerous people mention not doing it more than once a week as it is intense and can negatively affect the skin’s elasticity with overuse. Erring on the side of caution, I chose to do it only once a week.
You will need;
- A facial oil, I used this Urban Veda Radiance Facial Oil.
- Facial Cups like this set from Celluvac which comes with two different sized cups to be used on the face and neck. They’re small cone like cups about the length of a finger.
Step 1 – Cleanse Skin
As with all beauty treatments, it’s important to start with clean skin. Cleanse your skin with your regular face wash and pat dry. There is no need to apply moisturiser as the facial oil will moisturise your skin.
Step 2 – Apply Facial Oil
Apply facial oil to your skin. Just like with Gua Sha, the facial oil provides enough slip to allow you to gently glide the cups across your face without pulling.
Step 3 – Facial Cupping
I prefer using the smallest cup on my face, as it grips and slides the best. However on my neck and cheeks I will also use the next size up which is a little bigger.
Squeeze the cup at about the mid-way point and suction it to your face. The Celluvac facial cups are see-through so you can see how much skin your are suctioning – keep the little mounds of skin low, you want to be gentle. Use one hand to hold your skin taught, while the other gently guides the cup in an upward motion. It does take a little getting used to to work out the correct amount of suction, but you want to keep pressure light and move slow and steady. Take care over delicate areas, avoid veins and do not leave the cups on one area – you want to keep it moving so it doesn’t leave any bruising.
Start with the chin, then cheekbones and forehead; going over each are a few times until the skin looks a little flushed and always moving in an upwards and outwards motion.
Once you’re done, wash the cups with soap and water and let them air dry.
I love a massage and facial cupping feels like a massage over your face making it extremely relaxing. The results of facial cupping however are very much “instant gratification”. Immediately after doing it there is a noticeable difference in my face. It has a healthy pink glow, my cheekbones look more sculpted, lips plumper (yes you can work it on your lips to plump them up) and that permanent line between my eyes gone. But those results do fade within hours. Perhaps, doing it consistently over months will reduce lines and make your skin look better; but as a quick fix to de-puff skin and plump it up, it works wonders.
Celluvac sent us their facial cupping set to test out. This article was not sponsored, previewed or pre-approved by Celluvac. Opinions and images are our own.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.