If you are like us, you are always on the hunt for any at-home beauty product/technique that truly works to sculpt, tone and firm your skin.  If it's out there, we've tried it!  The key though, is for it to have REAL results, because let's be honest, we are all busy and unless you see results you move on to the new latest and greatest.

Recently we were introduced to facial cupping and we can't stop singing its praises.  Facial cupping is completely different than the most popular "cupping" technique most of us are familiar with via Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop

So what is facial cupping?

Facial cupping is an alternative therapy that uses suction cups to stimulate your skin and muscles and is meant to increase blood circulation and stimulate the facial cells that are responsible for collagen production. In turn, this can brighten your skin, minimize the appearance of scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and tone your chin, jawline, and neck by decreasing puffiness.

How does it work?

Using the facial cups on your face creates a gentle suction effect. This suction pulls blood and nutrients from the deepest layers of the skin, to the surface. This stimulates your skin and leaves you with a refreshed glow.

This gentle suction also helps to drain lymph nodes and increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This microtrauma helps to encourage your body’s healing response sending platelets, white blood cells, and other healing and inflammatory responses to affected areas. This is great for areas with more stagnation like fine lines, uneven tone and dullness.

What are the benefits of facial cupping?

Facial cupping has been shown to:

  • increase oxygen-rich blood circulation
  • strengthen skin and connective tissues for increased elasticity
  • stimulate cells responsible for collagen production
  • relax muscle tension

Because of this, the practice is said to:

  • brighten skin
  • minimize the appearance of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • reduce appearance of discoloration
  • sculpt, firm and tone sagging skin along chin, jawline, neck, and décolletage
  • decrease puffiness and appearance of dark circles
  • rejuvenates the look of dry, dehydrated, and devitalized skin
  • regulate oil production
  • improve nutrient delivery and product absorption
  • relaxes facial tension

Though cupping is the most effective (and relaxing) when executed in full-face fashion, it is also an amazing 'quick fix' beauty option. “If you have an event, or a Zoom meeting, and your eyes are puffy, you can just do it around the eye area,” says Ildi Pekar, owner of the eponymous clinic in Midtown, New York. “Just put your eye cream on, do a little cupping, and apply your makeup.”

Is facial cupping safe?

If utilized correctly, facial cupping is an extremely effective and stimulating treatment. For that reason, we recommend not using them if you are experiencing any of the following conditions where you would use the cups: inflamed, irritated or damaged skin, broken capillaries, moles, skin tags, warts, severe acne, eczema, psoriasis, sores, undiagnosed lumps, melanoma, cancer or current use of blood thinners. Avoid high heat and sun exposure 12 hours after treatment. Do not leave cups suctioned on the skin without moving them as they will leave bruising.. The main issue to be aware of is keeping a steady flow and moving the cups continuously, to prevent bruising.  Facial cupping shouldn’t leave bruises, however, bruising can occur if the cup is left in the same place for too long. Discoloration can occur in as little as five seconds, so make sure you keep the cup moving and to do that always apply toner and oil.

Although facial cupping is generally considered safe, minor side effects are possible. They typically occur during or immediately after the treatment.

You may experience temporary:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea
  • cold sweats

In an email interview, Lana Farson, LAc and teacher at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, advised against using facial cupping on broken or inflamed skin. This includes active breakouts, rashes, and sores.  It is also important to stay hydrated and drink water.

Sculpting + Toning Facial Cupping Set

So now that you have all the details, ready to try it at home?  

There are a variety of different cupping kits you can use. Some cups are made from hard plastics, while others are soft and gel-like. Both can be equally effective, but we prefer a soft cup.  Our favorite is the Sculpting + Toning Facial Cupping Set by Province Apothecary that we are featuring in this month's Laurel & Reed box alongside Graydon Skincare Phyto Clear, Bloomeffects Tulip Dew Drops serum and Ursa Major Bright & Easy 3-minute Flash Mask.  This facial cupping set is made of high quality silicone and gently pulls the skin away from deeper layers of fascia, smoothing wrinkles and revitalizing the look of skin.

Let's get started:

  1. Wash your face and gently pat dry.
  2. Lightly massage your face with your hands to release preliminary tension.
  3. Always prep the skin with plenty of serum/oil in order to help the cups glide smoothly over the skin.  We also like to start first with a water-based toner for maximum absorption, like Graydon Skincare Face Food Mineral Mist. Some of our favorite products include Pleni Naturals Day Squad Face Oil, Honua Skincare Aloha Youth Serum, NINI Organics Natura Detox Oil and EarthWise Beauty Rosa Whole-Fruit Rosehip Oil.
  4. Make sure you are positioned by a mirror so you can see where you are directing the cups and how much suction you are using
  5. Start by applying a small cup to your chin and around your mouth. Start with a light amount of suction, the cups are most effective with light suction so they can glide smoothly. Always keep the cups moving, do not let the cups sit on the skin as this can cause slight temporary bruising/redness
  6. Swap smaller cups for larger cups as needed, like when you get to your undereye area.
  7. Continue until you have successfully cupped all desired areas.
  8. Cleanse your face and pat dry. Continue with your beauty or skin care routine. Facial cupping is said to increase product absorption, so now’s the time to apply.

Here is a great video to follow along to: