Lymphatic drainage: you will probably have heard of it before, but not in this context.
Long associated with massages and cellulite, this technique is about to become more mainstream in beauty routines – and experts say it can make a big difference.
To kickstart the lymphatic system, vigorous movement is typically needed – like a deep massage – and this is why skin tools that manipulate the skin, such as rollers, have spiked in popularity in recent years.
Now there’s a cream on the market claiming to have the same effect, simply through topical application.
Dr Michael Detmar, co-founder and chief scientific officer of the new lympathic-focused brand Iräye, has spent decades studying lymphatic drainage. This brand alone was 10 years in the making.
His company, founded with Dr Epa Gousopoulous, makes use of a patented formula designed to do the necessary stimulation to keep skin youthful.
They both believe lymphatic drainage is important.
What is lymphatic drainage?
‘It’s the skin’s natural purification system,’ Dr Detmar tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It consists of fragile transparent vessels that rhythmically contract to pump fluid and waste away from the skin.
‘Simply speaking, the lymphatic system is the skin’s toxin filtering system.
‘It drains excess fluid from the skin and it removes the toxic waste products that are constantly produced by the skin cells.
‘It also removes inflammatory substances and cells from the skin, preventing skin inflammation and degradation of the collagen and elastic fibres in the dermis, helping to slow down the ageing process.
‘Finally, it plays an important role in our defence from skin infections by viruses, bacteria and fungi.’
While acids, retinol, and vitamin c are still considered key pillars in beauty routines, the scene is moving away from specific ingredients and more towards bigger skin ideas, like skin barrier health, the microbiome, and now this.
Dr Cristina Psomadakis, a dermatologist, speaking of skincare advancement more generally, says: ‘We’ve had more years of research behind us now and better developed techniques, we understand skin more, we’ve identified things like the microbiome, which we didn’t even know about to the extent we do now just 10 to 15 years ago.’
She believes consumers today go for ‘science’ driven products, over ones that just offer a nice ‘experience’. Now skincare fans have foundational knowledge, they want to understand skin conceptually.
Lymphatic drainage is one way to do this.
Dr Detmar says: ‘We are convinced that this category of beauty will grow and that the activation of lymphatic drainage by topical skincare products will indeed become a strong “buzz word”.’
But why now?
He continues: ‘Due to the difficulty to study the transparent and fragile lymphatic vessels, the lymphatic system has been neglected in both science and medicine for decades.
‘This “moment” is the result of the combination of a unique scientific discovery and increasing consumer interest in lymphatic activation.
‘There has been a constant and rapid increase in lymphatic drainage massage and therapy, applied not only to the body but also to the face.
‘Many consumers have seen and felt the benefits of the improved lymphatic function, and there is now a rapidly growing, very well-trained group of lymphatic massage specialist who work both in healthcare and in skin health and beauty.’
Now that you can get this in a bottle too, it’s only a matter of time before other skincare companies follow suit.
Why is lymphatic drainage important?
Like all functions that keep us youthful, lymphatic ability depletes as we age.
Dr Detmar says: ‘Because they are extremely fragile, they are easily damaged by sun exposure/UV light, toxins, inflammation – and by the aging process itself.
‘This leads to a rarefication of lymphatic vessels in the skin, and the remaining vessels have an impaired function – they do not drain efficiently, they become leaky, and they do not pump regularly.
‘This leads to accumulation of cellular waste in the skin.
‘The natural defence function of the skin is also impaired, and so the overall health of the skin making it look dull, puffy and inflamed. We need to support the survival of lymphatic vessels.’
What’s the future of lymphatic drainage?
Up until now, people had to go to a specialist for a particular kind of massage (the effects of which would be short-lived). These new products mean it can be done at home with minimal effort.
Dr Detmar and Dr Gousopoulous say their new serum and cream are ‘designed to support the maintenance and survival of the system, and also enhance the function and pumping of the lymphatic channels – this is what stimulate drainage’.
Their complex of ingredients does this by activating specific lymphatic survival genes.
‘Skin is “washed out” from within,’ they add.
Massage still has its place though, as they advise applying the products in a massaging motion ‘following the natural lymphatic vessel routes towards the lymph nodes’.
This science isn’t cheap – both from a massage perspective and with regards to the brand’s products.
However, expect to see more products that stimulate the lympathic system to slowly pop up over the market, because this area is set to expand.
The doctors are launching an eye cream and a body cream too in coming months, and they believe what they’re pioneering will be taken on board by others.
‘Of course, this will also necessitate more educational material and information about the benefits of a healthy lymphatic system,’ they agree.
Another tool in your skincare arsenal is never a bad thing – and this is your heads up if you want to get ahead of the curve.
Credit: Original article published here.