Our skin is the largest organ and we wear it proudly on the outside.
Did you know that adults carry some 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) and 22 square feet (2 square meters) of it. Out of this 3.6kg, we probably spend a lot of time, energy and money on that 300g (just a guess) of skin on our face.
Why? Because we all want to age beautifully right?
Ageing is a natural process but we’re all for aging au naturale~
Madonna swears by it. So does Gwyneth Paltrow. Many celebrities are moving away from botox and fillers and trying out the au natural Cosmetic Acupuncture.
Data from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons showed the number of cosmetic procedures conducted last year fell 40%. That’s a near-decade low, from a record-breaking high in 2015. The biggest fall was in the number of brow lifts, down 71%.
More men and women were choosing cheaper, non-surgical procedures, such as chemical peels and perhaps Cosmetic Acupuncture too?
Scared of needles? Don’t worry – these needles are so thin that you can hardly see them. Just a little tingly feeling and it will be over before you know it. Sure, you might be a human pin cushion for a while though. But it is all worth it, trust me.
So, what’s the big hype?
Cosmetic VS Traditional Acupuncture
Cosmetic Acupuncture is also known as Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture (F.R.A), Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation, or Acupuncture Face lift and it is one of the most effective anti aging skin care in the past few years.
Cosmetic acupuncture is the insertion of acupuncture needles into the acupoints specially focused on the face. By doing so, it stimulates cells to produce new collagen and elastin fibres which help to minimise wrinkles and pore problems. It can also increase the blood circulation to the face which will improve the oxygen and nutrient supply for the skin, leaving it radiant and supple.
Whereas the traditional acupuncture incorporates other works to balance the state of your health, calm the body, mind and spirit.
Botox VS Cosmetic Acupuncture
Both of them have their strength is I think that they are complementary. Cosmetic acupuncture works better for the complexion and lightening the skin pigmentations by improving the Qi and blood circulation. Botox is more direct and effect is probably more obvious straight after treatment. Treading, fillers and face-lift surgeries are a totally different things where it is such more invasive and thus the effect is more drastic and permanent.
“BOTOX is Botulinum toxin produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. Several types of toxins have been identified, but type A, which is used commercially, is the most potent. Botox acts by blocking acetylcholine, a chemical that is responsible for transmitting electrical impulses that cause muscle contraction. This results in muscle paralysis. The resultant paralysis, however, is temporary, as the new growth of nerves will re-innervate the muscles.”
Just like taking traditional chinese herbs to improve your overall health after a surgery; I think that cosmetic acupuncture can be used as a maintenance treatment. Schedule some acupuncture sessions after a month after your botox or even do it in conjunction with your laser facial treatments. I recommend that you space out at least 3 days or so after your laser so that you don’t put too much stress on your skin.
Who moved my collagen?
Collagen and Elastin breakdown
As we age and become wiser, our brain forms more wrinkles (good thing!), and our skin forms wrinkles (bad thing!). The majority of the changes happens in our dermis,which can lose from 20-80% of its thickness during the aging process. This is the result of changes in the fibroblasts, the cells responsible for collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) biosynthesis. Not only is the collagen and elastin produced at a slower rate, which impacts the skin’s inability to repair itself, but the organization of the protein also changes, affecting the skin’s structure.
On the dermis, there is collagen and elastin proteins. There is also this thing called the ground substance or the intercellular glue (glues the cells together) that holds these proteins in place. As they age, these substances undergoe changes, causing GAG to distribution such as hyaluronic acid changes. And creating wrinkles!
Cell Renewal Factor (CRF) slows down
As we age, the move slower, think slower and cells also regenerate slower. Cell turnover is the process where our skin produces new cells which travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer and then shed off the skin. Skin epidermis cells’ turnover time is 10 -30 days.
Above: Cell renewal rates in different tissues of the human body.
Hair elongates at about 1 cm per month, fingernails grow at about 0.3 cm per month,
which is about the same speed as the continental spreading in plate tectonics that
increases the distance between North America and Europe.
Why Cosmetic Acupuncture can treat my skin problems?
The issues on your skin is not just skin deep. To truly solve the problem, we need to go down to the root of the problem.For the past decades, the cosmetic and aesthetic industry was dominated by fillers and Botox. For those looking for natural solution instead of injecting with toxin and silicons, you can try out facial acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete system that recognizes healing from a multidimensional process. There are 12 meridians also known as the Qi channels. Of which 6 of these meridians spread up towards the face. The 6 meridians include Bladder, Stomach, Ren, San Jiao, Gallbladder and Large Intestine meridians.
By increasing the flow of Qi and invigorating the blood circulation in these meridians, we can help to improve dull skin, pigmentation and dark eye circles.
How is Cosmetic Acupuncture done?
Your TCM physician will attend to you for the initial consultation. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theories and treatment methods, they will address the underlying cause. Also, medical history, skin problems and current treatments and dietary habits may also be assessed.
After the consultation, it is time for cosmetic acupuncture. After cleaning the acupuncture points with alcohol cotton wool, tiny hairline thin needles are inserted into different parts of the face, forehead, cheeks, around the eye and mouth areas. You will feel a slight prick in the beginning and may feel a slightly sore feeling as the acupuncture points are stimulated. In some cases, body acupuncture may also be used. These body points work in conjunction with facial points to treat the main cause of the skin problems.
What are the benefits of Cosmetic Acupuncture?
Improves overall skin complexion
Gives your face a rejuvenated healthy glow
Reduces under eye dark circles and puffiness
Minimises fine lines and wrinkles
Lightens spots and scars
Improves hormone related skin conditions (along the jawline)
Reduces double chin
Slims face for that V-shape look
Firms sagging skin
Is Cosmetic Acupuncture suitable for me?
Most people are suitable to do cosmetic acupuncture. However it is not suitable if you have active acne (very red and painful nodules or cysts), severe skin infection, open wounds or any bleeding disorders. For those going through laser treatments at an aesthetic clinic, it is recommended that you to do the acupuncture approximately 3 days before and after your laser treatments. It is recommended to space out your facial acupuncture treatments, laser treatments and aesthetic facials session so as to avoid excessive stress on the skin.
It is always good to start early before the signs of aging. Even with my daily vital collagen in my coffee, it may not be enough. Ageing is a natural process and I don’t intend to fight it but of course we all want to age gracefully don’t we? You want to be stimulating collagen while it is naturally starting to decline which is starting in your late twenties and early thirties.
How often do I need to do it?
One carrot will not make you healthy overnight. So is Cosmetic Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is not a one-shot treatment and it takes time and series of sessions to give you the desired result.Usually the course of treatment is 10 visits with best results achieved with 2 sessions per week.
Each visit is approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Individuals will respond differently to treatment depending on age and lifestyle.
Maintenance may be needed once per month after the initial program and is recommended.
Any side effects?
It is a very safe treatment. Usually there is no down time. However, as it goes with any acupuncture treatments, there may be minor bruises, which will go away within a week. Minimal stimulation will be made on the delicate face acupoints and any visible blood vessels on the skin’s surface will be avoided during treatments.
I am not ready for cosmetic acupuncture, what can I do?
Don’t worry, you can always start with some some self-care. Take some me-time and try these TCM Tips!
Eat collagen – I like Vital collagen in my drinks or eat Beauty Collagen Hot Pot (Bijin Nabe from Tsukadanojo).
Use Jade roller – gently roll on clean skin to improve circulation. Do 5 minutes everyday at least.
Massage acupuncture points – gently using your fingertips 1 to 3 minutes on each point. You may feel that the points might be a little sore.
Don’t press too hard and stop if it is very uncomfortable.
Below are some lifestyle tips
Avoid collagen killers: Smoking, too much sun, diabetes, poor nutrition, stress (from excess cortisol), and poor hydration.
Exercise: Do some light weights for to train your muscles, tendons and ligaments. This can stimulate new growth of collagen. Loss of muscle mass can contribute to sagging tissues and declining bone density. #lazygirltip: Fill up your 1L waterbottle and lift them 100 times then do 100 jumpjacks everyday.
Vitamin C: 400mg day can help support to make more collagen.
Omega 3 fatty acids: Fish oil, flaxseed oil, linseed are great “lubricators” of joints so they can have good flexibility.
Plant protein: Soy bean milk, tofu, miso, nuts, chickpeas contains plant estrogens / phytoestrogens, which have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on collagen.
Eat dates: If you have pale complexion, it may be due to blood deficiency. Eating a few chinese dates can invigorate blood and boost your Qi.
Hope this helped you to understand more on Cosmetic Acupuncture.
Has anyone tried it before? Share your experience with us 🙂