Viva Challenge: unblock facial lymph nodes

Those who have read Chizu Saeki’s The Japanese Skincare Revolution would have come across her information regarding how our facial contour will lose its definition when the lymph flow is lazy around our ears and neck. Hence, it is recommended that we stimulate those lymph nodes to drain fluid build-up.

Drainage system to absorb and remove toxins
For those who don’t know, the lymph system is a complex network comprising lymph nodes, lymph ducts and lymph vessels and one of its main functions is to act as a drainage system to absorb and remove waste and toxins from our body. However, our lifestyles, coupled with diet and stress may cause the waste to accumulate and our facial lymph system to become sluggish. Hence, drainage of toxins becomes slower and waste build up, causing our face to become puffy and our skin to suffer. This is why most facial massages focus on unblocking the lymph nodes to activate the lymph, purge the toxins, clean the tissues and stimulate circulation.

Most of the lymph nodes are in the neck
There are lots of lymph nodes in our facial region and in fact, I read that half of the lymph nodes in our body are in our neck. These are the four key lymph nodes highlighted in The Japanese Skincare Revolution:

1. Behind the ears – parotid lymph nodes
2. The sides of the neck – cervical lymph nodes
3. Above the collarbones – supraclaicular lymphy nodes
4. Armpits – axillary lymph nodes

Regular massages for healthy lymph nodes
It is said that regular lymphatic drainage massages can help us maintain a smooth flow of fluid, healthy lymph nodes, and of course, better skin. However, I’ve found the massages recommended by Chizu Saeki to be somewhat difficult and troublesome, since we need some amount of lubrication. So instead of massaging, I’m going to share with you an easier method using pinching and tapping.

Step 1
Use your thumb and press the lymph nodes in the hollows behind your ears seven times.

Step 2
Use your index finger and thumb, pinch the sides of your neck in an upward outward direction seven times.

Step 3
Use your four fingers and tap the hollows of your collarbones seven times.

Step 4
Use your four fingers and tap your armpit area seven times.

I picked these pinching and tapping techniques from my facial sessions and have been doing it on and off, whenever I remember them. If you like to keep your facial lymph nodes healthy and are comfortable with the idea, then join me in doing these for a fresher looking complexion!

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  1. rachel says

    hi sesame,

    wanted to ask you for the longest time about roototes. do you think the polyester or the cotton range is more hardy?

    thanks! (sorry to OT)

    • sesame says

      I like the designs from the cotton range but I don’t like how it rubs on my clothes. The polyester ones are okay, just that designs are so so. Both are equally hardy but of course polyester is water resistant.

  2. pf1123 says

    Hahahha…I have to do the armpit one. Mine has got fats there. Maybe it will melt the fats away.

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing these tips! I am one who’s into massages and manual lymphatic drainage, but just too lazy to do it myself. Always prefer to go for such massages but not easy to find and quite pricey.

  4. crystal says

    That girl looks familiar like the girl from the Shisheido ads…

    But, I was wondering – have you heard of MAGIC OF ALOE – it’s supposed to be a brand w/ aloe vera based skincare products. I am hesitant of buying since I can’t seem to find any infor about them except on their site:
    I also found another site, “” but I think that doesn’t even link to the first one…

    • sesame says

      The girl is Kim Tae Hee from Korea. Very sweet and pretty gal.

      No, never heard of Magic of Aloe. A lot of products contain aloe so don’t think this is any special.

  5. Sparklewolfie says

    I will try to remember to do this too! I also have a little bubble of fat by by armpits/boob area @_@ Very unattractive!

    • sesame says

      I think it’s quite common…I have them too and they’re unsightly when we wear certain clothes. This is why I hardly wear sleeveless these days.

      Try these techniques but I can’t promise they’ll get rid of the fats though…

  6. evelyn M says

    Hello Sesame,

    How often do you think we should do these techniques for result ?

    • sesame says

      It’ll be good if you can do this every day, once a day. But I can’t guarantee results. It’ll add on to whatever goodness you’re doing for your skin I suppose.


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