Lymphatic Detox: What Is It and How Can It Help With Acne?

Lymphatic Detox: What Is It and How Can It Help With Acne?

 Explore how eliminating toxins and waste buildup through lymphatic drainage can help prevent acne outbreaks. Read on to learn more about lymphatic detox.

You may do whatever you can to stave off acne, from filling your plate with low-glycemic eats to following a daily skincare regimen., But there’s one technique that you might not have attempted or possibly even heard of yet: A lymphatic detox

That may change in the coming months. The term is dominating TikTok with 79 million-plus views. Google searches on “lymphatic drainage” skyrocketed by 60% in February 2024 alone. And with smooth-skinned celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Anne Hathaway touting its benefits, the world can’t be faulted for taking an interest in the practice.

But what is a lymphatic system detox, exactly? And can it prevent acne breakouts? Let’s dive into the world of lymphatic drainage treatment. 

What is a Lymphatic Detox?

Your lymphatic system is composed of several lymphatic vessels, organs, and tissues that help transport lymph—a clear, watery fluid that shields the body against infections—throughout the body. While it may not attract as much attention as, say, the cardiovascular or digestive systems, it plays a vital role in several biological processes, including:

  • Immune function
  • Fluid regulation
  • Fat and vitamin absorption

In theory, certain lifestyle choices, injuries, and medical conditions like cancer may lead to “lymphatic congestion,” wherein lymph fluid becomes trapped or blocked, resulting in a handful of health issues. 

A lymphatic detox works toward undoing this, mainly through a blend of massage techniques and lifestyle changes. But what is its relation to skin health?


The Connection Between Lymphatic Detox and Acne

One of the primary jobs of the lymphatic system is to aid the body in metabolizing and flushing out waste and bacteria. When your system is not performing at its peak, it may cause an accumulation of both and cause inflammation.

This is key: acne vulgaris, as it’s known in the medical community, is technically defined as a chronic inflammatory condition of the oil glands. 

Impact of Lymphatic Congestion on Skin Health 

Snags in your body’s lymphatic system are thought to increase the level of toxins in your lymph and blood. This may have a direct effect on pores that are already battling excess oil and trigger a breakout. Lymphatic congestion is particularly known to cause acne on the jawline. Additionally, a compromised lymphatic system is believed to contribute to:

  • Cellulite
  • Eczema 
  • Psoriasis 

How Lymphatic Detoxification Can Improve Acne Symptoms  

The idea behind a lymphatic detox is that it may improve the body’s ability to cast off waste, decrease inflammation, and result in a clearer, brighter complexion. 

How to Detox Your Lymphatic System: 4 Ways

Intrigued by the concept of a lymphatic system detox? Consider these top suggestions:

#1. Dry Brushing 

“Dry brushing” refers to a type of self-massage that’s performed on dry skin with a coarse-bristled brush. The combination of stiff bristles and circular motions may:

  • Encourage improved lymph flow and proper drainage
  • Exfoliate the skin and, in the process, unclog pores
  • Slough off dead skin cells, which can accumulate on your skin and prompt lymphatic acne breakouts

If you’re new to the process, bear in mind that experts suggest dry brushing before you shower. Why? To wash off flaky skin and dead skin cells. 

#2. Lymphatic Massage/Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Therapy

Lymphatic massages, or lymphatic drainage massages and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), as they’re also commonly called, have historically been performed to alleviate lymphedema—an often-painful medical condition that causes swelling in the arms and legs. 

In recent years, however, they’ve become an increasingly popular option for those who hope to enhance their skin health (among other wellness goals). The notion is that the massage, which is applied to specific areas of the body, moves lymph and extra fluid out of trapped places and towards spots that need it. This massage technique might have the potential to:

  • Support detoxification
  • Improve blood circulation and lymph flow
  • Eliminate toxins
  • Curb inflammation

The result? Potentially fewer blemishes and the more radiant complexion that comes with it.

#3. Hydration and Diet

Dehydration is believed to be one of the leading culprits of lymphatic congestion. Drinking an ample amount of water may promote lymph circulation while also improving your overall skin health. The goal is to aim for 3L of spring water (never distilled), more if you have caffeine or do high-sweat workouts like hot yoga/

Further, consider piling your plate with nutrient-rich foods that support lymphatic function and decrease inflammation, such as:

  • Organic Vegetables & Fruits
  • Herbs like echinacea and dandelion
  • Wild-caught Seafood

#4. Infrared Sauna Therapy

Infrared sauna therapy is unique in that it targets warming your body without heating the air around you. This can help some people have a more comfortable sauna experience. 

We’re only now beginning to unlock the potential perks of the practice, but early research indicates that it may encourage microcirculation and improve the condition of the lymphatic system. What’s more, the sweating that ensues in infrared sauna therapy may:

  • Open your pores and clear them of acne-triggering impurities
  • Boost lymph circulation
  • Removes toxins from the body

How to Support Your Lymphatic System with CLEARSTEM

The link between your lymphatic system and acne is only now becoming clear. What we do know is that disruptions to your body’s natural filtration system may result in inflammation and manifest as acne. Luckily, there are simple but savvy ways to support your lymphatic processes to ensure all of you is operating at your highest.

CLEARSTEM can help you dial up your efforts. Our one-of-a-kind hormonal acne supplement is designed to treat acne on a healing, holistic level, while our entire line of skincare for acne-prone skin is crafted with toxin-free, skin-beautifying ingredients.

Enjoy soft, glowing skin with CLEARSTEM. 


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Penn Medicine. What is acne?

Vogue. 7 easy ways to stimulate lymphatic drainage, courtesy of a detox expert.

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Cedars Sinai. FAQs about lymphatic drainage massage.

Frontiers in Immunology. Inflammation and lymphatic function. 


Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology. Acne: a new model of immune-mediated chronic inflammatory skin disease.

Well + Good. This could be the surprising reason behind your jawline breakouts.

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Cleveland Clinic. The truth about dry brushing and what it does for you.

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