Most discussion of acupuncture focuses on its anecdotal health benefits, particularly when it comes to pain and stress relief. Cosmetic acupuncture is a system that looks to prevent aging by improving skin health and reducing wrinkles, lines, and age spots.

What is cosmetic acupuncture?

Cosmetic acupuncture works on similar principles to other forms of acupuncture and acupressure. The meridians carry QI (energy) throughout the body through these channels. In regular acupuncture, needles are inserted into certain points along these meridians to try to release blocked QI, so the energy can flow. Acupressure does the same without needles, instead by applying pressure.

Another practice for comparison could be micro-needling, when tiny needles are inserted into the skin. It does not cause any major harm, but the body senses the intrusion and sends collagen, a protein found in the skin, to fix the wound. As there is no wound, the collagen instead rejuvenates the skin. Acupuncture can achieve something similar, by stimulating collagen production to heal the signs of aging. Benefits include:

1. Lines and wrinkles

Lines and wrinkles are a natural process of aging. They can be caused by a variety of factors, such as loss of body mass, sun damage, and regularly sleeping in the same position. Fibres of the skin, including collagen, become worn and damaged over time and misuse. If acupuncture can stimulate the production of new collagen, it may repair this damage.

2. Drooping eyelids

Drooping eyelids are properly called ptosis and can become more common as you grow older. One of the most common causes is the muscle that lifts the eyelid deteriorating or becoming stretched and unable to work properly. In severe cases, it may require surgery. Acupuncture has been used to try to alleviate age-related drooping eyelids.

3. Age spots

Age spots, also known as liver spots, are patches of skin discoloration. They appear in areas including the hands and face that experience sun exposure. Older skin is less able to regenerate from sun damage, which again suggests that finding an alternative way to stimulate collagen production may improve the chances of healing.

4. Relaxation

Stress and sleep deprivation can contribute to the effects of aging. If acupuncture makes you feel calmer, allows you to rest at night and improves your overall sense of well-being, the impact of this may be seen in your face. Cosmetic benefits can accompany mental and emotional benefits.

5. Lack of side effects

Many forms of plastic surgery, such as Botox, have a well-documented risk of potential side effects. Provided that you have a trained acupuncturist, who follows proper hygiene procedures, the chances of acupuncture causing significant damage is minimal, making it preferable to many other procedures.

It may not be as well-known or researched as acupuncture for pain relief, but acupuncture has long been used for cosmetic purposes. This procedure will not harm you and could lead to you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, which will be evident in your skin, especially if collagen production is stimulated.