For centuries, people have been praising the benefits of acupuncture — to relieve muscle tension, aches and pains; reduce stress and anxiety and boost your immune system, to name a few. In more recent times, it has made its way into the beauty industry as a highly effective alternative to botox. Touted as being able to rejuvenate the skin, minimise fine lines and wrinkles and re-boot collagen production, it's definitely worth considering before you turn to injectables.
To get the full rundown on what exactly goes on during an appointment, we chatted to Georgia Fong from Sydney's The Dao Health who makes a great case for why cosmetic acupuncture should be a regular part of your skincare routine.
What is cosmetic acupuncture?
Cosmetic acupuncture is a gentle, non-invasive facial treatment. Specific acupuncture points are needled into the face to improve skin tone, fight the ageing process and improve overall wellbeing. "With a documented history of over 5000 years, acupuncture is an ancient natural alternative to Botox or fillers," explains Georgia. "Treatments are aimed at softening lines and wrinkles, lifting sagging, increasing firmness and toning the face while also taking into consideration the patient's overall general wellbeing to bring the body back into harmony."
Who is a good candidate?
Cosmetic acupuncture is beneficial for anyone looking to improve skin tone, elasticity and overall complexion of the face.
What are the benefits of facial acupuncture?
There are a whole host of reasons why facial acupuncture is worth adding into your skincare routine. It helps to increase the circulation of blood to the face improving collagen rejuvenation, muscle tone, firmness and elasticity of the skin. It's also great for helping to lift sunken areas of the face, and minimising the appearance of lines and wrinkles. If you're someone who used to suffer from acne but still have telltale scars, it's also a great way to help reduce the appearance of scarring, explains Georgia.
What can you expect from a standard treatment?
During a cosmetic acupuncture treatment, needles are inserted into different areas on the face depending on the patient's area of concern and overall skin appearance. The number of needles can vary from 10 to 100 and a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques are used including, massage, gua sha and jade rolling, says Georgia.
How does it work?
Cosmetic acupuncture stimulates the production of collagen and elastin by creating micro-traumas in the skin that encourages a rejuvenating effect — ultimately producing a brighter, more even skin tone.
How often should you have treatments?
While it's recommended to have cosmetic acupuncture treatments once or twice a week, the number of treatments will be personalised for every patient explains Georgia. "Generally, within 3-4 sessions your skin will have more lustre, moistness and will look brighter. Within 6-10 sessions any concerns relating to collagen loss, including wrinkles, loss of firmness and sagging will begin to reduce."
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very fine (they start at .1mm in width and go up to .18mm) so typically they don't hurt. You might feel slightly uncomfortable as they enter the skin, however, once they've move past the surface of the skin you shouldn't feel a thing.
Is there any downtime?
Cosmetic acupuncture is a gentle and safe treatment with little to no downtime, meaning that treatments will not affect you the next day. Typically, you'll see flushing and redness of the face as there's an increase in blood flow and circulation. Occasional minor and temporary bruising may occur at the site of insertion. But Georgia assures us that these are usually painless and resolve after a couple of days.
What kind of aftercare is involved?
"In between weekly sessions, we recommend facial jade rolling to continue to encourage micro-circulation of the lymphatic system at home."
How long do the benefits last?
After the initial block of sessions, it is recommended that patients have monthly treatments for maintenance care. These results obtained in the initial block will usually last up to 3 years.
How much does it cost?
Prices vary from clinic to clinic and are based on the person's needs, but a session of cosmetic acupuncture can set you back anywhere from $80 to $150.