We know acupuncture is the go-to treatment for sore backs, infertility and other kinds of ailments, but it also can do your skin a favor. Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese science of placing hair-thin needles into specific areas of the body to stimulate natural healing, dates back 2,700 years, gaining popularity in the West over the past 40 years.
“Modern-day studies show that acupuncture’s main methods of action include increasing blood flow, regulating hormones and neurotransmitters, and triggering balance in your autonomic nervous system,” says Tom Ingegno, DACM. All that positively impacts how the body functions and can help acupuncture patients relax, which allows the body to repair itself.
Skin Health: An Inside Job
Ingegno adds that skin conditions usually point to issues going on inside the body. For example, because acupuncture can help regulate hormones, it may help keep acne under control and drive more blood to the face for a radiant glow.
If you are looking to improve the appearance of your skin or take a few years off your face and neck, acupuncture can also take your skincare a step further by specifically targeting the face and neck. Dr. Kim Peirano, DACM, practices “cosmetic” acupuncture for acne or wrinkles, followed by a regular acupuncture treatment for underlying issues.
A cosmetic treatment involves needling the face, neck, and scalp to help relax and engage muscles. “During these sessions, we insert anywhere from 30 to 100 needles depending on what the patient requests and can tolerate,” says Peirano.
This specifically targets wrinkles, sagging skin, under-eye issues, rosacea, melisma and acne in a way regular acupuncture doesn’t. “While a regular acupuncture session does benefit our appearance by boosting underlying construction and overall health, it’s not as effective as cosmetic acupuncture, as it helps relax certain muscles and engages others, which softens wrinkles and lifts sagging skin,” says Peirano.
When you first begin cosmetic acupuncture, it’s recommended to have a block of treatments close together for best results; Peirano recommends one to two treatments a week for five to six weeks, as the treatments are cumulative and will improve skin each time. After that, for maintenance, Peirano says coming in for a session once a month to once a quarter will work, depending on your specific needs and results.
Post-treatment, Peirano recommends a good moisturizer like ALASTIN Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer and adds a sunscreen such as ALASTIN HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is a must to maintain healthy skin.