Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, or cosmetic acupuncture, is a centuries old technique given a modern twist. Often touted as the non-surgical facelift, acupuncture has some pretty effective results when it comes to taking the years off.
How does it work? Compared to the conventional strategies of botox and fillers, acupuncture is an effective and non-toxic alternative.
Let's start with the botox. This is the toxin of the bacteria that causes botulism (bo-tox... get it?). It works by paralyzing certain muscles in the face. If you can't move the muscles to make your face wrinkle, you don't appear to have wrinkles. The thing is, when you're able to move naturally again, those wrinkles haven't left. The average time it takes for it to wear off is 3-4 months. It must be done by someone trained because if they miss the target muscle, some unfortunate drooping may occur. Allergic reactions, bruising, and local irritation are always a possibility.
Then, there's the fillers. These work to plump up the area in a line or wrinkle to make it appear fuller. Once your body processes the filler, the wrinkle appears again. That happens anywhere from months to years, depending on the type of filler that's used. They may be made of your own cells (from fattier pockets on your body) or of hyaluronic acid which helps plump the areas between the cells. Allergic reactions are always a possibility, and local reactions such as redness, bruising, swelling, pain and irritation are also common side effects.
And finally, the acupuncture. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is effective for fine lines, deeper wrinkles, and sagging skin. It helps to boost your skin's natural collagen production within each line to naturally correct lines and wrinkles. It also increases circulation, balances oil and moisture, improves skin elasticity, and improves muscle and skin tone. And yes, there are studies on it. Treatments are more frequent initially to allow your body's awesomeness to kick in (weekly is recommended for 4-6 weeks depending on your goals), then maintenance treatments once a month or so can help keep the circulation and collagen up and running! It's relatively painless, non-toxic, safe, and effective. Worst case there's a little bruise, but since all options involve needles, this is a risk that's there anyway, except acupuncture needles are much, much smaller.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture must be done by someone trained in this, since the techniques used are a bit different from regular acupuncture. I did my training with Virginia Doran, M.Ac, L.Ac in 2011 and home visits are available by arrangement. For more info, feel free to reach out!
Barrett JB. Acupuncture and facial rejuvenation. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2005;25(4):419–424.
Donoyama N, Kojima A, Suoh S, Ohkoshi N. Cosmetic acupuncture to enhance facial skin appearance: a preliminary study. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2012;30(2):152–153.
Doran VC. An introduction to facial revitalisation acupuncture. European Journal of Oriental Medicine. 2007;5(5):4–8.
Younghee, Y, et al. Effect of facial cosmetic acupuncture on facial elasticity: An open-label, single-arm pilot study. Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. 2013;2013:424313.