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Monday 19 September 2016

Research evidence shows cosmetic acupuncture works

Tiejun Tang

Cosmetic acupuncture has gained popularity worldwide in recent years. MailOnline published Cosmetic acupuncture is the newest weapon in the anti-ageing war”. Many public figures have tried cosmetic acupuncture. From Kim Kardashian to many Hollywood stars they all like facial acupuncture for cosmetic purposes.Can facial acupuncture really make you look younger and keep you beautiful? Some clinical reports have shown positive results.
A research team from a Korea university selected 50 female participants of aged from 40 to 59 years. The participants received five treatment sessions over a three week period. All the participants were measured by the Moire topography criteria before and after facial acupuncture. The secondary outcome was a patient-oriented self-assessment scale of facial elasticity. Results showed, among 50 women screened, 28 were eligible and 27 completed the five treatment sessions. A significant improvement after treatment was evident according to mean change in Moire topography criteria[1].

Moisturising of the skin is recognised as the first anti-ageing skin care. Research from Korea use scientific methodology to explore whether acupuncture can modulate the water and oil content of the skin. The results suggest that cosmetic acupuncture increased the water and oil content of facial skin in a female participant whose water content and oil content were lower before receiving acupuncture than those of the mean values of women of the same age. Acupuncture might contribute to enhancing the appearance of the skin[2].

To investigate the effect of the De-Qi sensationsof acupuncture stimulation, a research group from Taiwan selected fifty-two healthy medical student volunteers, acupuncture at Hegu (LI-4) acupoint as they were resting. During a test that lasted 30 minutes, their skin blood flow was measured.The results indicated that acupuncture increased blood flow when the De-Qi sensation occurred[3].Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells while it removes waste products. Good circulation is important not only for working muscles, but for healthy skin. Facial acupuncture can significant improve facial skin blood circulation. That is why it can have anti aging and cosmetic effects. 

Cosmetic acupuncture doesn’t mean facial acupuncture, because not only points on the face are selected, but also use some distant points. These distant points vary in different cases and different stages of the same case. The acupoints selection must match the TCM diagnosis of each case. Distant points can regulate the Qi and blood circulation of the whole body and regulate the functions of internal organs. Sometimes they are more important than local facial points. A few minutesof facial massage after acupuncture can enhance the effect of the treatment.

The first cosmetic acupuncture recording can be traced back to Western Jin Dynasty. Acupuncture grandmaster Huangfu Mi (AD215-282) mentioned puncture Quchi (LI11) can treat facial dryness in his book A-B Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion”. A lot of written records about cosmetic acupuncture can be found in TCM classics.
On the basis of historical ancient Chinese acupuncture points selection in combination with the use of hi-technology facial dermatological needles it has become the most effective and safe new cosmetic technique.

  1. Yun Y. Effect of facial cosmetic acupuncture on facial elasticity: an open-label, single-arm pilot study.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;424313. doi: 10.1155/2013/424313. Epub 2013 Jul 28.
  2. Nozomi Donoyama. Cosmetic acupuncture to enhance facial skin appearance: a preliminary studyAcupunct Med 2012;30:152-153 
  3. Kuo TC . The soreness and numbness effect of acupuncture on skin blood flow. Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(1):117-29.