Acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into the patient’s body to treat a variety of ailments. Cosmetic acupuncture is a specialty within this practice that provides a variety of anti-aging treatments. It is a non-toxic, minimally invasive procedure for patients who want to improve their appearance but don’t want chemical injections or surgery.

Cosmetic acupuncture has been commercially available since 2003, and has increased dramatically in popularity since 2007. This procedure is also known by other names such as facial acupuncture and an acupuncture face-lift.

The most common specific goal of cosmetic acupuncture is to minimize the appearance of facial wrinkles. This generally involves reducing the muscle tension in the face or resolving other problems that cause wrinkles.

Cosmetic acupuncture can also reduce puffiness and bags under the eyes. It accomplishes this by improving the circulation of blood and lymph, which can cause swelling when allowed to accumulate in the face. Cosmetic acupuncture can also stimulate the sebaceous and sweat glands in the face. This rehydrates the skin, which reduces the size of wrinkles.

Cosmetic acupuncture also increases the rate at which the skin sheds skin cells, providing the skin with a healthier look. Exfoliation also allows the skin to breathe more easily, which helps fight infections.

This increase in the skin’s breathing rate increases the release of nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the skin cells, reducing the amount oil on the surface of the skin. Additional benefits of exfoliation include an increase in the production of collagen and elastin, which makes the skin softer.

Cosmetic acupuncture does not use anesthetic or scalpels. This procedure generally involves guiding tiny needles into wrinkles in the skin, but does not penetrate the dermis. Cosmetic acupuncture also uses needles to relieve stress in the jaw, which can cause the face to have a strained appearance.

Systemic issues that cause aging in the face may require the acupuncturist to treat other parts of the body. Some types of cosmetic acupuncture also use very small amounts of electrical current, which can stimulate facial nerves and tone the underlying muscles in the face.

The minimally invasive nature of this procedure means that no stitches are needed, and will not cause scarring swelling. Cosmetic acupuncture does not have a significant recovery period, and will not require the patient to take time off from work.

The number of treatments required for cosmetic acupuncture to treat premature aging depends on a range of environmental, physical and lifestyle factors.
Environmental factors that age the skin primarily include the patient’s exposure to the sun.
Physical factors include the patient’s age and genetic tendency towards freckles and other pigmentation problems.
Lifestyle factors that affect the appearance of the skin include the patient’s smoking and dietary habits.

A treatment of cosmetic acupuncture typically lasts 5 years for a non-smoker below the age of 40. A smoker above the age of 40 may need a treatment every year.