Lymphatic drainage: you’ve probably heard of it before, but not in this context.
Long associated with massage and cellulite, this technique is about to become more mainstream in beauty routines – and experts say it can make a big difference.
To jump-start the lymphatic system, vigorous movements are usually needed – such as a deep massage – and this is why dermal tools that manipulate the skin, such as rollers, have grown in popularity in recent years.
There is now a cream on the market that claims to have the same effect, simply by topical application.
Dr. Michael Detmar, co-founder and chief scientific officer of the new lymph-focused brand Iräye, has spent decades studying lymphatic drainage. This brand alone lasted 10 years.
His company, founded with Dr. Epa Gousopoulous, uses a patented formula designed to provide the stimulation needed to keep skin young.
They both believe that 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 contract rhythmically to pump fluids and waste away from the skin.
“In simple terms, the lymphatic system is the skin’s toxin filtering system.
“It drains excess fluid from the skin and eliminates toxic waste products constantly produced by skin cells.
“It also removes inflammatory substances and cells from the skin, preventing skin inflammation and the breakdown of collagen and elastic fibers in the dermis, thus helping to slow down the aging process.
“Finally, it plays an important role in our defense against skin infections by viruses, bacteria and fungi.”
While acids, retinol and vitamin C are still considered key pillars of beauty routines, the scene is moving away from specific ingredients and towards broader ideas for skin, like barrier health. skin, the microbiome, and now this.
Buy it for £85 from Iraye.
Dermatologist Dr Cristina Psomadakis, speaking more generally about the advancement of skincare, says: “We now have more years of research behind us and better developed techniques, we understand the skin better, we have identified things like the microbiome, which we haven’t “I don’t even know how well we know now just 10 to 15 years ago.”
She believes that today’s consumers are opting for products that are ‘science’ based rather than those that simply provide an enjoyable ‘experience’. Now that skincare fans have fundamental knowledge, they want to understand skin conceptually.
Lymphatic drainage is one way to achieve this.
Dr. Detmar says, “We are confident that this category of beauty products will grow and that the activation of lymphatic drainage through topical skincare products will indeed become a strong ‘buzz word’.
But why now?
He continues, “Due to the difficulty of studying the transparent and fragile lymphatic vessels, the lymphatic system has been neglected in science and medicine for decades.
“This ‘moment’ is the result of a combination of a unique scientific discovery and growing consumer interest in lymphatic activation.
“There has been a steady and rapid increase in massage and lymphatic drainage therapies, applied not only to the body but also to the face.
“Many consumers have seen and felt the benefits of improved lymphatic function, and there is now a very well-trained and rapidly growing group of lymphatic massage specialists who work in both healthcare and health and beauty of the skin.”
Now that you can also get it in a bottle, it’s only a matter of time before other skincare companies follow suit.
Why is lymphatic drainage important?
Like all functions that keep us young, lymphatic capacity is depleted with age.
Dr Detmar says: “Because they are extremely fragile, they are easily damaged by sun/UV exposure, toxins, inflammation – and by the aging process itself.
“This leads to a scarcity of lymphatic vessels in the skin, and the remaining vessels have an impaired function – they don’t drain effectively, they become permeable and they don’t pump regularly.
“This leads to a buildup of cellular waste in the skin.
“The natural defense function of the skin is also impaired, and therefore the overall health of the skin, making it dull, puffy and inflamed. We must support the survival of the lymphatic vessels.
What is the future of lymphatic drainage?
Until now, people had to go to a specialist for a particular type of massage (the effects of which were short-lived). These new products make it possible to do it 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 to improve the function and pumping of the lymph channels – this is what stimulates drainage “.
Their complex of ingredients does this by activating specific lymphatic survival genes.
“The skin is ‘washed’ from within,” they add.
Massage still has its place, as they advise applying the products in a massaging motion “following the natural pathways from the lymph vessels to the lymph nodes.”
This science does not come cheap, both from the point of view of massage and brand products.
However, expect to see more lymph-boosting products slowly appear on the market as this area is set to grow.
Doctors will also be launching an eye cream and a body cream in the coming months, and they believe what they are pioneering will be picked up by others.
“Of course, this will also require more educational materials and information about the benefits of a healthy lymphatic system,” they agree.
Another tool in your skincare arsenal is never a bad thing — and it’s your head if you want to get a head start.
Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.
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