Maybe you've heard a buzz or two about acupuncture as part of a skincare regimen thanks to recent celebrities endorsing its benefits. Of recent notoriety is Meghan Markel. "The actress and philanthropist is famously a fan of holistic health and natural beauty — what would you expect from a born-and-raised Californian?" ~The Chalkboard
Her protocol for holistic beauty includes Acupuncture + Cupping. Meghan has been a longtime fan of both ancient Chinese practices for maintaining a glow (and curing her migraines).
Other celebs known to partake in the anti-aging treatment include Gweneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Aniston, Elle McPherson, Katy Perry, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Madonna, and even Sean Connery, Matt Damon, and Robert Downey, Jr - it's not just for women. The goal is to restore the balance of energy which flows throughout the body, while increasing the production of natural collagen in the skin.
So who is cosmetic acupuncture for besides celebs?
The younger set, teens: As hormones shift, the skin can go through havoc. My treatments are also great for launching good habits of cleansing properly, and learning the importance of sunscreen in your teens. This is part of my personal practice more so because of my background in esthetics. I can also help with breakouts, congestion, and acne, as well as lifestyle choices for clear skin. In some cases, an herbal formula might assist in bringing about more balance in the skin.
20s-30s: Taking proper care of your skin now will show later on, with less effort needed to reverse signs of aging or lifestyle choices. Balancing systems inside and out to improve sleep and digestion will keep the skin in top shape, as will balancing hormones and treating fatigue. Sleep is everything for your skin! Acupuncture for the face will impart a glow and release stress to prevent lines forming,
I think of the face as a garden; if you’re not tilling the soil and making sure everything is moist you’re going to get cracks. By bringing blood to the surface of the skin and moving circulation, it becomes plumper, smoother and better equipped to heal. ~Samantha Story, acupuncturist in NYC
40s-50s: I agree we need a better word than 'anti-aging', but we sometimes do need an assist to not look like we stepped on the accelerator. As we age, we become less resilient in many ways - taking care of everyone but ourselves can take a toll, or burning the candle at both ends. If the skin is still in great shape, needles will assist in maintaining collagen. The increase in circulation, both blood and lymphatic, will keep the skin glowing. If you and your skin have been last on your list, acupuncture treatments will help restore the texture, contours, complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Possibly showing up - expression lines, sun damage, and loss of elasticity. Needles are applied directly to deeper lines to encourage collagen to rebuild the area. It's important to address your entire system, for instance, the spleen is responsible for muscle in Chinese medicine, and keeping things firm and lifted, stomach issues can show up as redness, inflammation, or congestion in the cheeks or forehead. As noted before, digestion, sleep, hormones, and diet can all affect the appearance of the skin.
60s onward: many of my facial clients are in their 60s! They have seen fantastic results (see the before & after posts). It's important that we discuss expectations of what is possible - it's not surgery after all :) In some cases, I treat the person first, sorting the constitution, so the skin is properly able to respond.
Does it hurt? Regarding the pain factor, Jo Curle, acupuncturist to some celebs says “some of the micro needles do have the potential to produce a small nip, but the result is worth it.” I, and my clients, agree.
Cosmetic acupuncture is now the go-to for those looking for a natural alternative to invasive procedures - it's beyond worth a try before you assume you have to go that route. And you'll be healthier to boot.
For info on mechanisms of acupuncture and other modalities like facial gua sha and cupping, please see my other blogs.
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