At a time when the wellness and beauty world is turning to the clean and holistic as a sunflower to the sun, no one should wonder at the rising star of Cosmetic Acupuncture. After all, this is a natural practice with roots that go back thousands of years— and one that gets you real results for a whole host of different skin goals.
But, despite the fascinating appeal of getting up to dozens of tiny needles in your face, not everyone’s clear on the science or the positive effects. And no one should miss out on the fun!
Here’s everything you need to know to reap the benefits of cosmetic acupuncture.
What Is Acupuncture?
Let’s start with the basics. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese tradition— archaeologists say it’s been around since 6,000 BCE. All that maturing time is reflected in a complex practice that works to balance and heal all of the systems in the body.
The key principles of acupuncture (and of Chinese medicine in general) involve
- Working with the body as a whole, to help it heal itself.
- Paying attention to the energy around you (what you eat, how you sleep, your stress and emotions) because it affects your health— and, of course, how your skin looks.
- Using natural mechanisms to find balance and minimize pain in the body.
Typically, an acupuncture sesh starts with an evaluation of your entire body’s health. Then, the practitioner uses minute (0.12 mm to 0.5 mm) needles to sink into the layers of your skin and stimulate the muscles, cells, and energy in different areas.
Even if you’re scared of needles, don’t fear! The ones your acupuncturist uses are virtually painless— likely, you won’t feel anything at all.
How does cosmetic acupuncture work?
All well and good— but does acupuncture have cosmetic benefits besides healing medical conditions and managing pain? In other words, will it make your skin look magnificent?
Yes. Yes, it will. But before getting into the results, let’s take a look at the how.
Cosmetic acupuncture works under the same principles of the general practice— stimulating your body’s own mechanisms to find balance and heal the symptoms. Just like in body acupuncture, the practitioner places needles through the layers of your skin to stimulate what’s beneath.
But here, as celeb acupuncture guru Vivian Tam said to Vogue, there are three levels of action in play:
- The surface level: the needles improve blood flow and nutrients on the top bits of the skin, making for a new, radiant glow.
- The middle level: in the dermis, the stimulation makes your cells produce natural youth proteins, targeting ageing signs.
- The deepest level: when the needle reaches your muscles, it relaxes and softens them. This gives you a younger, well-rested and smooth expression. Truly, goals.
Cosmetic acupuncture also stimulates the energy channels that link your skin to the other interconnected organs. It often becomes a positive feedback loop. For example, if one of your systems is causing you stress and, in turn, muscle tension that creates frown lines, relieving the root cause will also target the skin symptom.
The benefits — A natural alternative to Botox & Fillers.
Antiageing is the key forte of cosmetic acupuncture. Its mechanism is perfectly designed to manage age naturally, working with your body to produce a transformation. Not that we don’t love Botox and fillers— we absolutely do, but they’re not for everyone.
If you’re scared of big needles under your skin and don’t want surgery, or if you simply want to pair up a botox regime with something more holistic for best results, cosmetic acupuncture is perfect for you.
Why is cosmetic acupuncture good for antiageing?
- Collagen & Elastin: when the tiny acupuncture needles sink into the deeper layers of skin, they stimulate the fibroblast cells. These are the ones responsible for making both collagen and elastin— the proteins that keep your skin looking (and feeling!) young, healthy, and line-free.
- Erase muscle tension lines: cosmetic acupuncture treats tension in the underlying facial muscles and connective tissue. This helps the tissues move freely instead of pulling your skin in one direction and, as a result, banishes the lines (like frown lines) that form because of that muscle pull.
- Crow’s feet: the fragile area of skin around the eyes gets reinforcements in the form of collagen and elastin. These proteins build a more resilient and taut layer with better circulation. The end result— softened expression lines (like crow’s feet) and brighter skin with less puffiness and dark circles.
- More volume: ageing skin is saggy skin— and cosmetic acupuncture targets all the root causes. Loss of bone density in the cheekbones causing sagging cheeks and folds? Improved blood flow brings nutrients to repair the bones. Fragile skin? Your new collagen makes for thicker and healthier skin layers. Shrinking lips with lines around them? Collagen muscle stimulation brings back their luscious fullness.
- A healthy glow: aged skin is typically dull and thin. The increased flow of oxygen and nutrients, together with collagen & elastin, plumps up the skin layers and gives them back their glow.
But cosmetic acupuncture isn’t just a thing for anti-ageing skin goals. It also helps treat
- Acne— Cosmetic acupuncture helps balance the hormones that cause acne, boosts immunity against acne bacteria, and detoxes the tissues to help with healing.
- Acne scarring— This practice speeds up the healing process via collagen production that smooth and remodel past breakout scars and dark spots.
Cosmetic acupuncture is also the perfect way to get your glow on before a big event, even if your complexion is perfectly normal!
Plus, because acupuncture is a holistic treatment, you get the full benefits of the practice on all the systems in your body. After a session, you’ll likely feel that your skin is glowing, your hormones and energy are more balanced, and your mind is more clear.
Our acupuncturist of choice, Dr Abbie Cloherty at the luxe Zhong Centre, tells us that, ultimately, cosmetic acupuncture is about helping people feel good in their bodies. She says, ‘There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing someone come in tired or stressed only to then leave completely revived!’
To get the most out of your sessions, commitment is golden— treat yourself and get a course of 6-10 treatment treatments.
Team up— Cosmeceuticals that enhance acupuncture
How can you support your acupuncture treatments without interfering? You can go back to your normal cosmeceutical routine, and your acupuncture results won’t be at risk. But, if you really want to reinforce your skin’s healing, you need advanced skincare that’s nourishing as well as gentle.
C1 Detox by Beauty Tofu—This natural cleansing clay will support your healing process from the inside out. You just add three teaspoons to your glass of water in the morning or evening, drink up, and let it regulate your gut and skin health back to balance.
R3 Serum by Beauty Tofu— Get this serum on your skin to deepen the collagen induction. Its charcoal and botanical oils purify your complexion and encourage your cells to repair themselves, getting your skin a step higher in the youthful glow ladder. It’s the perfect nourishing complement for antiageing cosmetic acupuncture.
More Than Rose Hydration Mist by Organic Nations— Spritz this baby as soon as you get out of your appointment (or any time, really) to get your skin feeling refreshed and instantly nourished. It’s a great choice for sensitive skin and anyone in need of a (delicious) pick-me-up.
Ultimately, we love holistic beauty. Treatments like acupuncture, which work with the body as a whole, are our favourite. The way we see it, beauty is psychology: by going through your day focused on your wellbeing and self-care, you’re building a life that you love. And, together, we can build a kinder world— a world that loves us. Happy needling!