The History of Facial Cupping

In this blog post Dr Carlos Pauloa general practitioner from Spain kindly answers some frequently asked questions about Facial Cupping. He shares his medical views on the ancient old therapy. But before we get into it, let's make sure you know exactly what Facial Cupping is and what it does for the skin.

The origin of Cupping:

Cupping is one of the oldest and most widely used types of alternative therapy that originated in China. It spread throughout Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, during the Renaissance. Cupping was a popular treatment of gout and arthritis in Italy during this period. 

The purpose of Facial Cupping:

Cupping involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. It helps to draw out impurities from skin tissues and drains them into the lymph nodes where bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms are destroyed. Cupping pulls the skin away from deeper layers of skin tissue, resulting in an inflammatory response. This response stimulates healing and regeneration.

Facial Cupping Benefits:

  • Activates blood flow.
  • Improves lymphatic drainage.
  • Brightens the skin.
  • Stimulates collagen production.
  • Tones the skin.
  • Improves scar tissue.
  • Reduces puffiness.
  • Softens fine lines.

Below Dr Carlos Paulo answers some questions about Facial Cupping:

Q.1) What is your medical view and background on facial cupping?

-a) My background

 I am a general practitioner (Medical university - Lille france). I trained in body cupping at kiné-formation in Paris (2011) with Thierry Blain (
In the meantime, I had the idea to write books about cupping on different parts of the body.
I started with the head ... Hence my first and second books which seem to be appreciated by my readers.
So, basically, I am not an esthetician, but I gradually became interested and I crossed a lot of knowledge of anatomy with facial suction cups. This gives an originality to my books with good feedback from cupping practitioners.
The protocols presented are not set in stone but can be added to the experience of other therapists and given ideas to Spa-therapist, beauticians, facialists etc.
b) My medical view
Cupping brings many benefits for the skin and therefore they are interesting in the field of beauty.
At first, I was interested in lymphatic drainage of the head and neck. I had seen children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. I was looking for a way to "drain" this reaction (without much success). The suction cups and the hands are therefore complementary.
I have also seen that women like to do facial cupping for wrinkles. So I got interested in the physiology of wrinkles (all by myself). Lymphatic drainage and wrinkles are therefore complementary. Drainage allowing cleaning before the face lift. Although with drainage you can have a lifting effect.
The danger of cupping for beauticians when it comes to the skin is stretched too hard.
If you use the suction cups too much, you will tend to make it more flabby.
So 3 times a week is a good pace without too much decompression.
If you are doing it daily, then do it lightly with a little redness on the skin, to deliver nutrients daily via the subcutaneous blood.
It is necessary not to be excessive, and to adapt to the stretch ability of the skin. Do not hesitate to use other instruments (like Gua Sha).
The other aspect of facial cupping, very little developed, I think, is the sensitivity via the trigeminal nerve. Field that I develop in my second book - "neurosensitive facial cupping".

Q.2) Why do you believe facial cupping is good for the skin?

-You can stimulate the different physiologies (lymphatic, vascular, nervous and muscular systems).
a) For the vascular system
The temporary redness formed by the passage of the cup is very beneficial (blood supply and mobilization of stagnant waste in the vascular circulation).
3 vascular networks are stimulated with cupping: The lymphatic system acts in concert with the venous and arterial systems. And as a result, there will be an effect on the balance (homeostasis) of the skin.
b) For the nervous and muscular system
- The nervous system of the head closely linked to the trigeminal nerve (sensory) and facial nerve (motor) which is partly at the origin of wrinkles.
- The muscular system very related, also, to the nervous system.

3) What results have you seen from preforming cupping on the face?

-There are good results, although I don't have a beauty salon. The estheticians and the readers who use my books are happy.
The fact that I do not come from the world of aesthetics offers a transversal vision and new sources for ideas.
One of the things that I find most interesting in the field of beauty and bags under the eyes. From an anatomical point of view, the eyelids are an individual entity, they have a specific delimitation. Bags under the eyes are a reflection of lymphatic overload or the reflection that lymphatic flow is diverted from the eyeball to the bags.
Therefore, I recommend doing the nose cleansing yoga exercise "Jala neti". In order to unload as much as possible the area of the sinuses and the nose.
Once cleaned, you will have better results, the head is a "hollow" sphere.

Q.4) Do you think the results are long lasting with facial cupping?

-Yes, they are durable if you clean thoroughly (lymphatic drainage) and bring blood to the surface.
You just have to avoid pulling the skin too much.
Indeed, if you stretch too much, it's a bit like learning to do the "splits" on the skin! Which is not so much the desired effect in beauty. The nervous stimulation of the skin also seems interesting to me. It releases the nerve and relaxes.

Q.5) What skin concerns do you think facial cupping improves?

-Each skin has a different degree of skin stretch. It is necessary to do according to its feeling.
Oily skin must be cleaned with lymphatic drainage, then if you want, do a more specific face-lift.
Of course, you have to be careful with very thin skin.
Very fair skin tones can mark easily. In this case, avoid leaving the suction cup in the same place for too long and move the suction cup.
Locate the areas of muscle tension and relax them. Indeed, the subcutaneous lymphatic capillary is closely linked to the connective tissues by anchoring filaments. So it’s interesting to relax the muscles.


Facial cupping is an excellent form of non-invasive treatment that brings healthy blood, oxygen and nutrients to the skin. It is a great way to release tension and remove toxins in the face. Using the facial cups 1-2 times a week is plenty.  Cupping has been around for centuries and when done regularly the results can be long lasting.

Special thanks to Carlos Paulo for taking the time to share his views on Facial Cupping with us. You can find his Facial Cupping Books which are available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish on Amazon. His Instagram account is - @facial.cupping.

Are you interested in using facial cups in your skincare routine? We have two types available on our web shop. Click the links below to view them both in more detail If you have any questions please get in touch.

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