According to experts the connection between healthy lymph and healthy skin is significant

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Get your glow on – how good lymphatic health can help improve your skin

Dry and dull skin. Acne breakouts. Puffiness and bloating. Loss of skin tone and elasticity. Cellulite.  Whatever your skin concern there’s a million and one different topical beauty products that claim to provide the ideal solution.

What’s often overlooked is that our skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside our bodies.  The lymphatic system plays a vital role in skin health. If it’s blocked, overrun and not functioning properly, no amount of expensive lotions or potions will ever fully address any skin concerns until these underlying issues are addressed.

There’s been much talk in the media in the past couple of years on the benefits of lymphatic massage and for good reason.  Tipped to be one of the top five spa treatments to try in 2023, there are an increasing number of celebrities extolling the virtues of the treatment and DIY lymphatic drainage facials are trending massively on TikTok.

The role of lymphatic system in skin health

Our skin is the largest organ in our body – and one of the most important. It protects us from environmental factors that can damage our bodies or cause illness, whilst also providing a barrier against moisture loss.

But what you may not realise is that your skin doesn’t work in isolation.  Underneath the surface, the lymphatic system works closely with the circulatory system to filter out toxins and fluid build-up, in turn creating a clear pathway for hydration, nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to our skin cells.

What is Lymph?

The lymphatic system acts as the body’s primary waste disposal system, using lymph to carry away toxins, dead blood cells, excess fluid, pathogens, old or damaged cells and other potentially harmful waste. For a full description of the lymphatic journey, se our blog ‘What is Lymph’.

Why should I care about it?

According to experts the connection between healthy lymph and healthy skin is significant.  Lymphatic drainage encourages the circulation of lymph in the subcutaneous tissue – the deepest layer of your skin below the dermis.  Containing mostly fat, alongside collagen rich connective tissues, blood vessels and nerves this layer provides insulation, regulates our temperature and provides structural support and protection to our organs below.

When toxins and waste beneath the skin are frequently and adequately drained it’s easier for the body to expel them. A slow or stagnant lymphatic system can cause toxins to become trapped, in turn triggering inflammation.  Acute inflammation can result in dull, puffy and tired-looking skin.  If left unaddressed, acute inflammation will turn into chronic inflammation and can lead to conditions such as dry skin, loss of skin tone and elasticity, premature ageing and even acne or Eczema.

Our five top tips to improve lymphatic health to promote healthy skin

Move it: While the heart sits at the centre of the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has no central pump. Instead it relies on muscle movement, deep breathing and sometimes manual manipulation or a lymphatic drainage machine like the Body Ballancer® to move this fluid and maintain healthy tissues and organs throughout the body.

 On a daily basis, simple exercise such as brisk walking, gardening, housework, dancing, running up and down stairs or escalators, trampolining and cycling will all help to energise the lymphatic system and keep the lymph moving whilst also providing a great cardiovascular workout.

Brush it better: Dry skin brushing is a great way to promote lymphatic drainage and release toxins by stimulating the tiny lymphatic vessels that sit just below the skin.  Best done first thing in the morning before showering, begin with the soles of the feet and brush with upward strokes as you move up the legs and towards the heart. Use the same method on your upper body, beginning with the hands up your arms.  The routine should take you no more than 5-10 minutes. For best results, look to repeat 3-5 times a week.

Stay hydrated: This seems to be the answer to all ills, but when it comes to the lymphatic system it cannot be underestimated. As lymphatic fluid is made up of 96% water, even mild to moderate dehydration can have a significant effect, causing stagnation and congestion. And remember, we are already dehydrated when we feel thirsty so try not to wait until then to reach for the water bottle.

Roll with it: Jade rollers and Gua Sha tools have been used for thousands of years to improve the skin’s health and radiance. Available now from most high street and online beauty retailers, jade rollers help stimulate lymphatic drainage whilst improving skin elasticity, reducing puffy cheeks, and under eye bags.

Alternatively, why not give ice globes a go?  These freezer-friendly tools, often made of glass or stainless steel, are a form of cryotherapy, which is the use of extreme cold to help blood vessels constrict to reduce the appearance of redness, inflammation or swelling. It also helps decrease puffiness, cools the skin and soothes tired eyes.

The magic of massage: The most effective way to guarantee a healthy lymphatic system is through massage.  With more beauty journalists and celebrities extolling the virtues of lymphatic massage, manual lymphatic massage and compression therapy treatments using systems such as the Body Ballancer® are beginning to become more widely known and available in spas across the UK.