For millennia, numerous Asian cultures have relied on acupuncture as a powerful tool for health and wellness. But beyond the myriad benefits that acupuncture can provide, cosmetic acupuncture is one of the most effective and safest ways to restore your youthful, natural glow.

Cosmetic acupuncture helps to improve the overall look and feel of your skin. It also improves your skin's overall health, and may even be able to slow the aging process. Today, we'll take a closer look at everything you need to know about this impressive and ancient skin therapy.

What is Acupuncture?

The practice of acupuncture is one of the oldest therapeutic systems on earth, originating in China around 100 BC.1 As one of the critical tenets of traditional Chinese and herbal medicine, and it is believed to provide many benefits related to pain and inflammation relief.

In traditional Chinese medicine, our health ties into the balance of yin and yang within our bodies, known as Qi. The flow of this life force is accessible through 350 different meridian points within our bodies. By tapping into these meridian points with acupuncture needles, you're able to realize the benefits of acupuncture.2

What is Cosmetic Acupuncture?

As an extension of traditional acupuncture, cosmetic acupuncture is an anti-aging treatment that is believed to improve the smoothness, appearance, and overall health of our skin.3 As a toxin-free alternative to Botox, facial rejuvenation acupuncture provides a variety of benefits. Cosmetic acupuncture can lift droopy eyelids, improve complexion, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.4

How Does Cosmetic Acupuncture Work?

Usually administered at the end of a complete acupuncture regimen, an acupuncturist will place between 40-80 hair-thin facial needles into critical points throughout the face. These painless needles create microscopic wounds, known as positive microtraumas.

These virtually invisible wounds elicit a healing response within your body, increasing the production of collagen and elastin.

The punctures also stimulate your circulatory and lymphatic systems, and oxygen and healing nutrients are delivered to the skin, resulting in a balanced, youthful complexion from the inside out. Combined with collagen and elastin, which helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines, it's no wonder so many consider cosmetic acupuncture a safer alternative to Botox and fillers.

Most practitioners recommend that patients include cosmetic acupuncture as part of full-body acupuncture treatment. Administering acupuncture only in one area of the body is believed to create an imbalance within the body, robbing treatments of their effectiveness.

The Benefits of Cosmetic Acupuncture

Those who rely on cosmetic acupuncture believe that the practice helps them to unlock a range of different benefits for the health and wellness of their skin, including:

- Fine line reduction

- Less pronounced deep wrinkles

- Raise droopy eyelids

- Reduced sagging skin

- Improved skin tone and complexion

- Improved circulation and vital energy

How Much Does Cosmetic Acupuncture Cost?

The cost of cosmetic acupuncture treatments can vary widely depending on your location and practitioner, making it very difficult to attach a price tag on the service. In most places, a full course of facial acupuncture treatments, which usually includes 5-10 sessions, can cost between $250-1200, depending on the cost per session.

After the initial course of treatment is complete, most people go for maintenance services every 1-2 months as part of their wellness routine.

What to Expect from Cosmetic Acupuncture Treatment?

While acupuncture may be a less risky alternative to other treatments, it isn't a quick fix, like Botox can be. Those hoping to see the benefits of therapy in a single acupuncture session will be remiss to find that most seeking facial acupuncture treatment visit their acupuncturist for five to ten sessions at a time, with their results improving throughout treatment.

During treatment, people generally notice a brighter and more balanced complexion, with fewer fine lines, wrinkles, and less sagging skin. Some also find that facial acupuncture can even raise drooping eyelids or reduce the appearance of a double chin by tightening the skin.

Beyond the treatment itself, there are ways to maximize the benefits you experience from cosmetic acupuncture treatment. Be sure that you're providing your skin with the nourishment and care it needs by using quality skin care products and eating a balanced, anti-aging diet.5

Side Effects

Acupuncture has been in practice for centuries, and it's regarded as a safe and effective treatment. Compared to many of the alternatives, facial acupuncture is entirely safe, healthy, and toxin-free, so it's long been favored by those who prefer a holistic approach to beauty and skincare.

In rare cases, you may experience bruising at needle sites, facial puffiness, or bleeding. These side effects are most common in those who have high blood pressure, although they're still quite rare.

The Importance of Selecting a Quality Acupuncturist

While acupuncture is a completely safe therapy that may provide a wide variety of different health and beauty benefits, it does involve puncturing the skin. As such, you must select a licensed acupuncturist who has the experience and knowledge you need to safely and correctly administer your treatments.

More severe problems such as infection or organ damage may be possible if your acupuncture treatments aren't performed correctly and with sterile single-use needles.

Alternatives to Acupuncture

Cosmetic acupuncture isn't a good fit for everyone. Thankfully, there are still a variety of similar options that may be better suited to your needs.

Microneedling is the process of using a roller that's equipped with hundreds of incredibly fine needles on your skin to create tiny punctures, triggering a similar healing process to acupuncture.

Other wellness therapies, like facial cupping or Gua Sha, may also possess reparative effects that can help improve the appearance of your skin. However, these methods are less practical as a beauty treatment than cosmetic acupuncture.

Of course, there are also less intense alternatives. You can improve the appearance of your skin and complexion by adopting a solid care routine. Ensure that you're hydrating and nourishing your skin, and adopt a diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and antioxidants while also avoiding sugars, alcohol, and processed foods.

Does Facial Acupuncture Work?

Many people swear by their cosmetic acupuncture routine and believe it's the key to providing their skin with the youthful exuberance they're after.6

Most people who try facial acupuncture find that the elasticity and appearance of their skin improves significantly within about five sessions. One study on study on acupuncture's effect on skin elasticity seems to confirm these findings.7

Seven other studies on the effectiveness of cosmetic acupuncture reported positive results concerning facial blood circulation and the appearance and depth of wrinkles.8

Who Should Consider Cosmetic Acupuncture?

The growing popularity of facial acupuncture suggests that this procedure is something that anyone serious about skin care should consider.

Most people are great candidates for cosmetic acupuncture. Some people should be sure to check with their doctor first, including pregnant women, people suffering from severe diseases or deficiencies, those with contagious skin diseases, hemophiliacs, and those who have recently undergone a surgical or cosmetic procedure.