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Acupuncture treatment: a holistic approach to beauty

From at home skincare routines to full-blown spa sessions, your beauty routine can not only make a difference to your outward appearance but can also boost your confidence and mood. But have you ever considered acupuncture as a beauty practice?

What is cosmetic acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment used to promote healing, health and wellbeing. It has been practiced for around 3,000 years and is still evolving today as more research informs modern practitioners.

While traditionally, acupuncture has been used for pain relief or general health, it can also be used as part of a holistic, natural approach to beauty. In cosmetic acupuncture, thin acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin of the face, usually as part of a full body acupuncture treatment (1).

How does acupuncture promote beauty?

From a traditional point of view, acupuncture works by unblocking the flow of Qi throughout your body, from head to toe. Qi flow is the healing energy that flows throughout your body.

Modern research suggests that where acupuncture needles puncture skin, they create tiny wounds, stimulating your body to kick off natural healing and repair processes. During these processes, your lymphatic and circulatory system work together to drive blood flow, nutrients and oxygen to your skin. The tiny wounds in your skin can also stimulate collagen production, which improves elasticity and addresses fine wrinkles (2)

Cosmetic acupuncture and Gua sha

Cosmetic acupuncture is often used in conjunction with a treatment called gua sha, also known as cao gio, coining, scraping, or spooning. Gua sha uses jade or rose quartz instruments to create friction on your skin, raising transitory petechiae and ecchymosis (3)

Like acupuncture, gua sha has been shown to increase blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the surface of the skin. This increased circulation may help to reduce myalgia at the site.3 The style of rhythmic, gentle massage technique used in gua sha may also help with lymph drainage, assisting to reduce any swelling or puffiness you may experience (4)

What issues cosmetic acupuncture can help with

As we age, our faces change in many ways – some of which can be tricky to get used to! Cosmetic acupuncture can help to combat signs of aging, including:

  • The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, by promoting facial elasticity (2)

  • Dark age spots and uneven skin tone

  • Forehead furrows, crow’s feet and deep laughter lines

  • Saggy jowls

  • Drooping mouth corners

  • Eye puffiness

  • Dryness, dullness and flaky skin complexion

  • Acne scarring and scars

  • Jaw tightness

How often should I get a cosmetic acupuncture treatment?

The frequency of acupuncture treatments depends on your skin and your needs, but generally speaking, our expert acupuncturist suggests 8-12 treatments in total, spaced out 1-2 times a week for the best effects.

Keep in mind that unlike other more invasive beauty procedures, like Botox, cosmetic acupuncture is focused on long-term, gradual brightening of your complexion, so it should be a regular part of your routine for the best results (1).

Ready to give cosmetic acupuncture a try? Give our friendly team a call to discuss treatments that may work for you.


1 D Wilson, E Rekstis., Healthline, Can Facial Acupuncture Really Make You Look Younger?, 2018

2 Y Yun, S Kim, M Kim, K Kim, JS Park, I Choi., Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013

3 A Nielsen, N Knoblauch, G Dobos, A Michalsen, T Kaptchuk., The effect of Gua Sha treatment on the microcirculation of surface tissue: a pilot study in healthy subjects, Explore, 2007

4 Wound Healing and Management Node Group — Haesler E, Evidence Summary: Single modality treatment of lymphoedema: Manual lymphatic drainage, Wound Practice and Research, 2015


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