Healthy Living, Natural Beauty, Women's Health

Guide to Facial Rejuvenation with Acupuncture

By Barbara Poczyniak, R.Ac

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Is Cosmetic Acupuncture right for You?


Facial Acupuncture is a time-honoured method of slowing down the signs of aging while also addressing the overall health of the body.

Although most women seek out Cosmetic Acupuncture strictly for the aesthetic benefits, it is actually based on a whole-body approach to health. The idea is that you look your best if you also feel your best.

Unlike Botox or other injectables, acupuncture works to improve the appearance of your entire face. It is not just a band-aid measure for certain areas.


Who Should Get Cosmetic Acupuncture?


Although there is no ‘right or wrong age’ for Cosmetic Acupuncture, women in their late 20’s and through to their 50’s will often see the most benefit. If worry lines and wrinkles are just starting to appear, this can help soften and slow the formation of fine lines. If lines are more pronounced and skin is starting to lose its lustre, it can help tighten and firm the skins appearance.

A targeted series of treatments can help to:


  • restore vitality and glow to dull, lifeless skin
  • improve the appearance of fine lines
  • promote circulation and enhance the body’s production of collagen
  • reduce puffiness and uneven skin texture
  • minimize certain types of acne
  • improve elasticity of skin
  • tighten and tone saggy skin
  • clear up sinus congestion


How Facial Acupuncture is Different


This is not a quick fix such as more invasive approaches (namely surgery, Botox or other injectables).  If you’re expecting instant or drastic results, it may not be the right fit for you.  This type of treatment works on a more subtle, deeper level but it is non-toxic and has very few potential side effects.

Individuals who have had more invasive approaches can still benefit from facial acupuncture, but should wait until enough time has passed after the procedure.  Please contact us for more details on specifics.


A Holistic Approach to Beauty

An Acupuncturist approaches beauty from the inside out:  we consider the person’s overall picture.  This includes their health history as well as the goals that they come in with to the visit.

We’ll ask about your diet and digestion, and whether your elimination is healthy and regular.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the digestion and elimination organs are closely tied to the skin, and to the appearance of the face.  Quality and quantity of sleep will be addressed, as well as how well you handle stress on a daily  basis.


What to Expect in a Treatment

As with almost any natural therapy, Cosmetic Acupuncture works on a gradual basis. Each session is meant to build on the previous one. 


  • A typical treatment includes: full health intake on the first visit. This includes going over your skin type, concerns and goals for the treatments.
  • We also discuss your overall state of health.
  • A treatment plan will be suggested in order to get the best results.
  • Each visit includes body acupuncture as well as facial acupuncture.
  • Acupressure facial massage and scalp massage are included before needles are applied.
  • Acupuncture needles are typically left in place for 30-45 minutes, depending on the treatment and individual.
  • Recommendations for diet and self care protocols to follow at home are often included.  


Where do the needles go for Facial Acupuncture?

Although the face is the focus of treatment – needles are also applied to important acupuncture points in the body. Expect to have needles placed in and around the feet, lower legs and hands as well as on the face. We may also place needles on other parts of the body such as ears, scalp and abdomen. Acupuncture points all have a “local” function as well as helping balance the body overall. 

Here are five acupoints that are often used in these treatments, as well as their translated Classical names and functions:

YINTANG – “Seal Hall”, this point is midway between the medial ends of the eyebrows, in center of forehead.  Also often known as the Third Eye point, it is used for headaches, insomnia and to calm the mind.  In facial acupuncture it also helps boost circulation to the often tense area and may help open up sinuses.

LI 20 – “Welcome Fragrance”, this point is in the nasolabial groove, at outer edge of nostrils.  It works to open up sinuses as well as bring energy and blood circulation to the face.

LI 4 – “Hegu”, this point is on the hand, but it is a “VIP” point for the face and head.

SI 18 – “Cheek Crevice”, this point is directly below the outer edge of the eye socket, in the depression on the lower border of the cheekbone. Used for improving circulation to the cheeks, as well as relaxing the areas around eyes.

ST 6 – “Jaw Chariot”, a point along the jaw muscles that helps relax tension that may be causing painful clenching of the jaw.


How fast can you see results?

This can vary widely based on each individual’s skin, health, age and goals for treatment.  The look of facial swelling may be reduced and skin texture will often feel smoother. Usually after just one session skin looks brighter and more resilient. BUT, it is important to have realistic expectations. 

For some women it may require at least 5-6 visits, ideally on a weekly basis. On average it can take 10 visits in order to see lasting results.  With older or damaged skin – up to 14 sessions may be recommended in a targeted bi-weekly series.

Generally speaking, younger women may see results faster in a shorter time span.  Older women, or those with significant sun damage may require more frequent treatments over a longer period.


How long do results last?

Each person’s reaction to acupuncture will vary.  Results can also vary based on an individual’s lifestyle and overall health.  If coming in for only 1-2 treatments, the immediate results may not last long. However, if you are committing to a series of 10-12 treatments, the results are more noticeable. Improvements to skin tone and texture can last 12 months or longer, especially if kept up with recommended monthly maintenance visits and healthy lifestyle advice. 


Who may not be a good candidate

A series of treatments is generally not recommended in the following cases:

Heavy smokers – smoking has a huge impact on skin health and the formation of lines/wrinkles.  It can also impede the skin’s collagen production.  Realistically, you may not see great results if you are a smoker.  If you are ready to quit, we can help – with acupuncture as part of the plan. Once you are smoke-free the cosmetic acupuncture will have much more noticeable effects.

Scarring – if you have very sensitive skin or are prone to keloid scarring, facial acupuncture may not be the best choice.  Other options such as Qi Beauty may be more suitable.

Possible fertility issues – if you are currently having trouble trying to conceive it is recommended to first seek out help with this issue. Acupuncture can be very effective as part of fertility treatment, and it’s best to direct energy to this aspect of health first.

Chronic headaches or migraines – facial acupuncture directs a lot of energy and blood to the face and head. If you suffer from frequent headaches it may actually make them worse. We can help treat the headaches first, then once this is resolved you can safely move on to Facial Rejuvenation.

Pregnancy – not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy. Although an occasional treatment may be fine in later trimesters, we don’t usually suggest an intensive series of cosmetic acupuncture treatments during pregnancy.

Botox – combining Botox (or fillers) and facial acupuncture during the same time period is not recommended. It is best to wait at least 4-6 weeks after Botox (or other injectable treatments) before getting Cosmetic Acupuncture.  

Dermabrasion – contraindicated if you have had micro-dermabrasion, chemical peels or laser resurfacing in the past month.

Bleeding – It is contraindicated for women who have bleeding conditions such as hemophilia, or on blood thinner medications (such as Coumadin or other anticoagulants).


Self Care in Between Visits

While each treatment will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and glowing – we also love to suggest self care at home in between visits.  It can be a simple, no-fuss routine that takes a few minutes, or a more elaborate self care ritual. We may suggest one or more of the following options:


  • Acupressure (face and/or body): A few key acupoints can be pressed with fingertips to help relieve congestion, improve circulation and brighten the complexion. If following a more complex acupressure facial routine we recommend using a balm or light oil that is appropriate for your skin type.
  • Facial Gua Sha:  Using a jade or quartz gua sha tool can be a simple addition to your daily routine. This can help cool over heated skin, as well as reduce the appearance of puffiness.
  • Essential oils: Adding a drop of an appropriate high quality oil to your existing product, or making up a custom beauty elixir.
  • Hydrosols: refresh and moisten with a healing spritz of hydrosol.  Great before applying a serum, and/or acupressure massage.
  • Facial Self Cupping: while cups can be used during your cosmetic acupuncture treatment, owning your own personal set for home care is a bonus.  Self cupping for even 3-5 minutes a day can make a noticeable difference in skin appearance.
  • Face Yoga: a gentle “re-training” for the muscles of the face.  Expression lines can gradually soften, but some commitment is required.




  • Have a cold? Please stay home.  This facial treatment is not meant to be done during a cold or flu.
  • Skin rash?  Cold sore?  You’ll want to postpone your appointment until you’ve healed.
  • Bruise easily?  Arnica pellets may help prevent bruising.
  • Have a big event tonight? Save this treatment for another time.  Even if you did not bruise before, it is always possible.  We suggest Qi Beauty as an alternative “needle-free” option.
  • Drink enough water.  Keeping hydrated is a big part of maintaining great results.
  • Get ready for the “side benefits” of cosmetic acupuncture.  Results vary by individual, but you may experience better sleep, mood and digestion as a holistic rebalancing of the body occurs.

Barbara Poczyniak, R.Ac

Hi, I'm Barbara

I'm a Registered Acupuncturist and founder of Vital Bloom Wellness clinic.  My focus is on 100% natural solutions for reproductive, digestive and emotional health.

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