Q: What is facial acupuncture, and will it actually make my skin look younger and brighter?
A: As opposed to injecting a muscle-paralyzing neurotoxin like Botox to erase wrinkles, cosmetic acupuncture is the insertion of hair-size needles in different parts of the face to stimulate muscles and lift them slightly. It also encourages blood flow to the skin and creates micro-trauma that triggers collagen production. And it’s painless. Most people don’t even feel a pinch when the needles go in.
The results are subtle and gradual, usually requiring a series of ten to twelve treatments (around $125 each). “Acupuncture works on the principles of connection and balance between mind, body and spirit,” explains acupuncturist Janet Tsai of Herban Acupuncture in NYC. She needles into “problem areas” on the face by inserting up to 40 needles, then does tui na, a facial massage that drains the lymphatic system and helps your body and skin stay healthy. Then she recommends specific foods and Chinese herbal formulas to regulate digestion, sleep, and stress. “All of this manifests what you see on the face,” Tsai adds, noting that it’s not just the needles that help, but the entire process.