Contributor: Primally Pure
Photographer: Primally Pure
We can’t stress enough how essential lymphatic drainage is for a clear, healthy, balanced complexion.
The lymphatic system is the body’s natural cleansing + filtering system and is responsible for removing waste + harmful substances, recycling nutrients back into the bloodstream, sustaining healthy cells + immunity and maintaining homeostasis within the body. But when this system is blocked or when lymph fluid becomes stagnant, it causes toxic buildup in tissues – which can lead to not only acne, congestion and other inflammatory skin conditions but also illness and disease within the body.
Clearly, the lymphatic flow has a bit part to play in our overall health and how our skin looks and feels.
But the thing about the lymphatic system is that it doesn’t have an internal pump to get these processes going (where as the circulatory system has the heart which is continually pumping) – so it requires an external force to get things flowing.
Here’s how to support and optimize your lymphatic system in 4 simple steps (they’re so easy you could literally do them all this morning!).
Just like a sedentary, stagnant lifestyle can lead to serious health issues (have you ever heard how sitting is considered the new smoking?), it works the same way for the skin. When the flow of lymphatic fluid is blocked and becomes stagnant, it slows down all of those processes and the health of cells seriously declines – leading to signs of aging, dullness, discoloration, sagging skin, sensitivities, and inflammation. It’s through movement and flow that the skin is fed, detoxified and nourished.
Moving your body inevitably gets circulation going which also enhances the flow of lymphatic fluid. Get a morning yoga flow in, go for a hike, hit the gym, or just stretch for 10 minutes after getting out of bed.
#2. DRY BRUSHING
We talk about dry brushing ALL the time on our blog. Why? Because it really is such a powerful way to support not only skin health (check out all of its beauty benefits here!), but your well-being below the surface. While skin is our largest organ, it’s also the last to receive nutrients from the body, so dry brushing provides a much-needed boost of blood + lymphatic flow to keep skin nourished, clear and radiant. Increased flow = serious skin glow.
We typically suggest dry brushing before showering (and after moving your body from tip #1 above, you’re probably going to want to shower anyway!) so this is the perfect time to incorporate another way to love on your lymphatic system. Watch our dry brushing tutorial to make sure you’re getting the most benefit from your dry brushing!
#3. COLD SHOWER
After moving your body and dry brushing, it’s time to hit the shower – and I promise, this lymph tip isn’t actually as terrible as it sounds. You don’t have to keep the temp cold the entire time, try oscillating between warm and cold water to boost blood and lymphatic flow – or after enjoying the warmth of your shower, finish with about a minute of cold water to really wake up your systems and support your wellness within. This daily practice can help to powerfully improve immunity, metabolism and your mind + body connection. The trick is to focus on slow, deep breaths even when the water temperature drops, this helps to support stress levels and allows you to actually enjoy the fresh flow of water – and lymphatic fluid!
#4. FACIAL TOOLS
Whether you took a shower at night or first thing in the morning, I suggest moving into your topical skincare routine to replenish your skin: toner, skin-specific serum and/or beauty creamand finishing with your favorite facial tool. Facial tools are one of my favorite ways to optimize the lymphatic system (and create visibly glowing skin) by clearing out stagnant, blocked flow and buildup to support proper detoxification + drainage to promote healthy, strong tissue and to naturally rejuvenate the skin. Check out my favorite facial tools here and tips on how to use them!