Facial acupuncture, or cosmetic acupuncture, is a beauty-focused treatment in which needles are inserted in the face to stimulate collagen production, improve skin quality, heal acne, and reduce acne scarring. It’s considered a natural facial rejuvenation treatment that involves inserting acupuncture needles into specific points on the face.

A typical facial acupuncture treatment involves about 20-40 needles in the face and 3-12 needles on the body, though that can vary depending on an individual’s skin needs and overall health. Needles are left in the skin for about 15 to 25 minutes. It’s a holistic treatment that can address skin concerns as well as things like digestive issues, anxiety and stress. Basically, you’re getting a beauty treatment but you’re also working on internal body systems as well. Divine! Your skin represents your internal health, so it makes sense to want to work on both simultaneously.

Collagen production slows down as we age, which can lead to fine lines, wrinkles and a decrease in skin elasticity. Facial acupuncture stimulates collagen production and slows down the signs of aging. The physical act of the sterile acupuncture needles puncturing the skin causes microtrauma to the skin, which signals your body to send collagen to that area to heal. The microtrauma also increases blood flow which in turn increases the healing process. This results in the “glow” to the skin that people expect after a facial treatment.

Is Facial Acupuncture an Alternative to Botox?

Yes and no. Botox temporarily paralyzes muscles and doesn’t boost collagen production. This results in tight, firm and wrinkle free skin. The results are instantaneous and may last for a few months before more botox injections are needed for maintenance. On the contrary, facial acupuncture doesn’t prevent muscle movement in your face. It stimulates collagen production while providing other health benefits. Score! The results aren’t instantaneous, but you’ll see dramatic results in a few weeks. Typically, an acupuncturist may recommend that you get one treatment once a week for 5-10 weeks. The course of treatment depends the skin condition and desired treatment results. Facial acupuncture may also be more cost friendly. (Happy wallet, happy life.) In conclusion, some individuals prefer cosmetic acupuncture over botox because you’re increasing your own collagen production and receiving other health benefits as well.