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Face Cupping: What Is It and How Often Should You Do It?

WTHN Team/15.09.20


It’s time for a cupping session! 

We’re talking about the holistic service known to many as cupping. More specifically, let’s take a look into face cupping. 

Why face cupping? Well, your face is a small, delicate and oh-so-important part of your body that demands the utmost routine care. Because after all, your face is the first thing people see, right? 

From enduring harsh weather to eventually succumbing to aging lines and wrinkles, your face’s skin deserves the highest quality care and treatment you can provide, especially if you have a proven professional service available. 

Face cupping is not a new phenomenon--though those little suction cups have been trending in the latest magazines and all over social media. With its newly added steam, we’re going to discuss what it really is, what the process entails and the benefits and possible side effects after use. 

Sounds like a cup-full of holistic fun, doesn’t it? 


What is Face Cupping?

Do you remember when Michael Phelps, the U.S. Olympic gold medalist, was questioned for his holistic healing approaches during the Summer 2016 Olympic Games? Well, he was in fact using cupping all over his body. 

Cupping is a Chinese medicine practice where heated glass cups are applied to the skin on parts of the body that need to be relaxed to relieve muscle tension, usually by an acupuncturist or esthetician. This practice also has reported origins in Egypt. Given that Phelps is constantly stressing his muscles in the water, taking part in this practice was a huge relief for him. And at-home DIY facial cupping treatments can be performed anywhere! 

Now, when we look at face cupping specifically, it’s basically the same idea. The only real difference is that the cups are smaller and softer because your facial tissue and facial muscles are delicate and often sensitive.

Cupping therapy is used more for the benefit of promoting blood flow, whereas body cupping primarily provides pain relief. With increased circulation from facial cupping, users are likely to see overall beauty benefits such as decreased puffiness, as well as anti-aging benefits including reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and a brighter, tighter, more youthful-looking complexion.


Cupping is Non-Invasive

Want the great news? There’s no needles, and no catch to this type of service! Cupping yields similar benefits to other practices that may actually require invasive medical techniques.

Holistic methods like this are supposed to support your body in the best way possible with little to no recovery time needed. So, for those who prefer a low-maintenance method to feeling their best, the cupping approach may be the perfect fit for you!


Let’s Look Deeper into How Cupping Works

How does the cup really work as a holistic healing mechanism? 

That’s a great question! The suction created from the cup pulls blood to the surface, which is how circulation increases. This method has also been known to promote healthy circulation all across the body. 

When there is suction in the cups, it feels and acts like a vacuum. This prompts the body to then react by sending healing aids to that part of the body, which can then initiate some of the added benefits mentioned next!


The Benefits of Cupping

So, what are the benefits of utilizing the holistic approach of cupping? Facial cupping actually promotes healthy circulation and blood flow, as well improving the overall look and feel of your face. The following are all great improvements you may experience with facial cupping: 

  • Promotes healthy blood flow 
  • Improves the look and feel of your skin 
  • Stimulates cells for promoted health 
  • Promotes feelings of relaxation in the muscles and eases feelings of tension 
  • Brightens your skin 
  • Minimizes the appearance of imperfections such as scars, fine lines and wrinkles 
  • Tones the chin, jawline, neck and décolletage 
  • Reduces the appearance of puffiness 
  • Supports healthy oil production in the skin
  • Promotes healthy metabolism and nutrient absorption

How’s that for modern skin care? Ready to sign up right now? Think about it - which benefits sound most appealing to you? We especially love the idea that cupping brightens the overall appearance of our skin, because who doesn’t need brighter, more vibrant, beautiful skin


Can Cupping Leave Marks?

Everyone’s body (and face) is different! So unlike cupping on the body, where cups stay in 1 place for the duration of the treatment, facial cupping uses cups in a gliding motion across the skin. For facial cupping, you want to continuously glide the cups over the skin, never letting the face cups rest on a single spot for too long (this might result in light bruising). Additionally, don’t apply too much pressure--the amount of sucking should only result in a light to moderate pulling that shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. Lastly, make sure your face is lubricated with a cleansing oil--remember, you need to glide the cups, and the easiest way is to keep things moisturized!

It’s also extremely normal for redness to appear within the first few minutes of the cup being glided over the skin--in fact, it’s important that you do see some redness to ensure you’re allowing enough time and pressure for the cupping to promote blood flow. The goal is for each cup to bring the blood up to the surface, which is why promoting healthy blood circulation is one of the health benefits associated with this practice. 


Want to Do It Yourself? Here Are 8 Simple Steps to Cupping!

Want to try cupping in the comfort of your own home? Great! You can most definitely do that! 

Facial cupping and body cupping kits can absolutely be purchased for home use, and you can use them however and whenever you want for a much-needed facelift or just as part of your regular skincare routine.

By following these 8 simple steps, you’ll be able to successfully use the cups yourself from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Start with a clean surface by washing your face and patting it dry. 
  2. Next, massage your skin in circular motions to wake up your skin. 
  3. To decrease the risk of bruising, apply a light layer of face oil on your skin to enable the cups to glide smoothly. 
  4. Then, start with the cups at your chin and around the mouth. Only leave the cups on for a few seconds, and then begin to move them around. 
  5. You can then swap smaller cups and large cups out, as needed, for different areas of your face--be gentle with the eye area. 
  6. Glide the cups over the different parts of your face, almost replicating the movements of a facial massage, using the cups for as long as you desire. 
  7. Then rinse your face with warm water afterwards (if you used oil) and pat dry. 
  8. Finally, continue with your regular skincare regimen. The products used will then be absorbed much more effectively. 


What Do You Do After Cupping?

You may be wondering if there are any specific steps you should follow after a facial cupping session. And the answer is actually no, unlike normal body cupping. 

If you were to have a full body cupping experience, there might be more downtime suggested so you can reap the full benefits and allow your body to process the treatment that was just performed.

Following your facial cupping session, you should: 

  • Always make sure you’re hydrating in order to flush out your system and release toxins
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages 
  • Allow your body to rest (try facial cupping before bed!)  

After your facial cupping session, the last thing to do is to enjoy your newfound glow and facial rejuvenation! The increased circulation should give you that bright, youthful look you’ve been looking for! Feel free to do facial cupping as often as once a week to help promote healthy blood flow and happy skin!


Our Final Thoughts 

So, what’s the final verdict? Do you think facial cupping is for you?  

Face and body cupping are ancient practices that have been continuously used by all types of people. It’s a natural service that can be performed either in a professional setting or in the comfort of your own home, and the benefits are many with the side effects minimal. 

Craving a beautiful and more vibrant facial glow? Then face cupping just may be your skin’s new best friend!




  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/facial-cupping#potential-bruising
  2. https://www.self.com/story/at-home-facial-cupping
  3. https://resolution.health/2019/04/17/cupping-massage-what-to-expect/



*FDA Disclaimer: The claims made in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. Cupping is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease.

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