From there, the acupuncturist will develop a treatment plan, mapping out where on the face and body the needles will be inserted and stay in place until removed. Enhanced treatments may involve LED therapy, a facial, guided meditation, masking, microcurrent, facial cupping, gua sha, and more. It’s important to note that if you are looking for hybrid treatments that include LED or a facial, your acupuncturist should also be a licensed aesthetician. 

Who is cosmetic acupuncture for?

“Anyone who wants a functional and holistic approach to health and beauty is a candidate,” says DiLibero. Those with Botox or filler should wait at least two weeks after injection before seeking this kind of treatment, and Dr. Liu says this waiting period allows for swelling from procedures to reduce  and Botox to fully kick in. If you’re pregnant, check with your doctor before trying cosmetic acupuncture (or acupuncture of any kind, for that matter.)

As for who is not a candidate for cosmetic acupuncture, Jenelle Kim, DACM, LAc, a doctor of Chinese medicine, warns that anyone with a blood clotting disorder or who takes blood thinners should talk to their physician prior to partaking in any acupuncture treatment. “I always recommend someone speak to their doctor first and ask if they have any reason to advise them against trying cosmetic acupuncture,” she explains. 

Angela Chau Gray, LAc, an acupuncturist and cofounder of traditional Chinese medicine-inspired wellness brand, Yina, adds anyone looking for a quick fix for their skin-care concerns should also seek alternative options.

What are the possible benefits of cosmetic acupuncture?

Improved Collagen Production

Dallas, Texas-based board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, MD, explains that facial acupuncture, specifically, is hypothesized to stimulate lymphatic drainage, and, therefore, increase blood flow to the face. “This will support collagen production, which can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles,” Dr. Marcus says.

Reduced Acne

Acne-prone skin types looking to supplement their over-the-counter balms and creams might want to consider facial acupuncture. While not scientifically proven to treat any skin condition, Dr. Marcus says there are anecdotal reports that it has helped bouts of acne. By encouraging lymphatic drainage, it may be aiding in the elimination of toxins that may contribute to breakouts.



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