A few months ago, I got really excited about a new skincare intervention called face cupping. Being the type of person who is constantly searching for skin tips and tools, I instantly wanted to try this one out. I asked the beauty company Lure, to send me one of their face cupping sets and they graciously agreed (no strings attached).
While this review does focus on sharing my honest experience with face cupping, it intends to ask a more important question: how much of this “beauty stuff” do we really need to consume?
What is face cupping?
Have you ever seen circular purplish bruises on people? Think Michael Phelps in the Olympics. Cupping is an alternative medicine technique that’s used for pain management, reducing inflammation, and increasing blood flow to treated areas. Cupping therapy has been around a long time. It’s been said that the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy back in 1,550 BCE.
But face cupping is a much gentler method. Face cupping works by using silicone cups to create a slight suction that stimulates the skin by bringing blood flow to the area. The increased blood circulation is supposed to promote skin regeneration resulting in glowing skin with minimized scars, wrinkles, and fine lines.
I learned about face cupping when conducting research for another article I wrote on how stimulating the lymphatic system can boost skin health (check it out: Is Your Acne Caused By A Sluggish Lymphatic System? Here’s How To Heal). A healthy lymphatic system can help our body dispose of toxins, instead of them sitting stagnant under the skin. Given my desire to brighten and clear my skin, I was excited to give face cupping a try.
My experience with face cupping
Use: I used the Lure Essentials GLAM Face Cupping set about 10 times in a 4-5 month period.
My goal: Reduce acne scars and hyperpigmentation
Functionality: The overall ease of use wasn’t great. I had a hard time maintaining an even suction as I slid the silicone cups across my face. I would lose the suction halfway on my cheek and then have to pick it back up again or restart that area. This got annoying after a while and frankly, I started not enjoying using the cups at all. The suction held better when my skin was heavily lubricated with oil (I used jojoba) and I preferred the smaller cup as it was able to grip the skin even while moving it over the contours of my face.
Time: It took me at least 20 minutes to cover the entire face from start to finish. Personally, this is more time than I wish to spend on just one part of my skin routine. The advertised “illuminate your skin in under 5 minutes a day” did not hold up for me.
Impact: Because of the subsequent redness after use I can safely say that the cups did increase circulation to my skin. Long-term effects weren’t noticeable, but perhaps more frequent and prolonged use would have shown more of a difference.
Recommendation: Strictly because of the difficultly of use and amount of time it takes to treat the entire face, I wouldn’t recommend purchasing unless you’re really curious and don’t feel tied to the $30+ it costs to purchase.
Face cupping began to feel like one of those tools I bought with hope and excitement, only to be left on the bathroom shelf abandoned after a few weeks of use.
There are many other comparable face tools such as gua sha, rose quartz rollers, and more expensive options like handheld microcurrent machines that are intended to stimulate the skin for beauty benefits.
I’ve personally used the gua sha as a skin tool and have generally liked it, however, it doesn’t beat my favorite skin-stimulating tool: my own two hands.
About a year ago I started giving myself face massages when applying my nighttime skin routine. The intended benefits of face massages align with face cupping and gua sha: increased circulation to regenerate the skin and make you glow. However, I’ve loved the self face massage technique way more than any beauty tool I’ve bought. And guess what? It’s completely free and doesn’t contribute waste into the environment. Check out a previous PD post 7 Reasons to Start Giving Yourself Daily Facial Massage to learn more about the benefits of face massages.
When I was experimenting with face cupping and gua sha, I found myself thinking how much they paled in comparison to using my own hands. With my hands, I felt I could connect more with my face and know how much pressure to use. Face massage is also so much quicker and easier to implement, which helps my skincare routine stay enjoyable and achievable.
Here is a helpful face massage tutorial found on YouTube.
Let’s rethink our need to consume so many beauty tools
It’s easy to get excited about a product thinking it will be that last missing ingredient to a perfect skincare routine. I know I tend to get sucked into consuming products with high hopes of achieving clear and glowing skin. But similar to what I experienced with face cupping, it feels like we end up wasting money on tools we don’t really need, because well, they don’t really work as well as we thought.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that get us to those goals instead of stockpiling beauty products. Exercise, nutritious meals, hydration, and mental healthcare may be much more effective and way less expensive in the long run.
Are there any beauty tools you’ve regretted purchasing?
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Thank you Lure for providing the opportunity for an honest product review!
Photo: lureessentials via Instagram